Common Symptoms of ADD and ADHD in Women

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

Feeling low self-worth

Juggling parenting and work responsibilities can simply be overwhelming. Women may feel they must be able to "do it all," yet feel defeated when they can't keep up.

Woman stressed at work

Hypersensitivity to criticism

High expectations to be a "good girl" since childhood can make women with ADHD more vulnerable to these sensitivities.

Woman waking up late

Poor sense of time

Time management is often an issue for women with ADHD. They are often running late.

Sad woman seated alone on a bench

Being emotionally charged and easily upset

Easily upset or frustrated? For many women, emotions are exacerbated during hormonal changes. Emotional issues however, including depression and anxiety, are also related to ADHD. It is estimated that one in four adults with ADHD also shows symptoms of depression.

Woman DIY painting wall

Starting projects but unable to finish them

Do you have piles of empty photo books? Heaps of unfinished sewing projects? Focusing and following through on a project can be a difficulty with ADHD.

Frustrated woman covered in stiocky reminders

Taking on too much

On top of work and parenting, for women there is also a feeling of the need to take on even more tasks, such as volunteering, helping with school-related functions, cooking, etc. This symptom goes hand-in-hand with time management and difficulty finishing projects.

Businessman Attaching Blank Name Tag

Difficulty remembering names

Difficulty remembering names often gets worse before, during and after menopause. However, this is also a sign of inattention, a common symptom in ADHD.

Woman embarrassed

Saying things without thinking

A variety of social issues are noted in adults living with ADHD. Prone to "foot-in-mouth" moments? Saying things without thinking often leads to hurting others' feelings and may signal ADHD in some cases.

Friend looking annoyed

Appearing self-absorbed

Do your friends get upset with you for interrupting them in conversation or bailing out on plans at the last moment? Appearing selfish is a sign of ADD/ADHD.

Student have a problem with mathematics

Poor math or writing skills

Not a numbers person? Some women with ADHD exhibit poor math and reading skills. This could be a product of difficulty during schooling, possibly due to ADHD.

Woman distracted

Seeming to not want to hear what others are saying

Appearing aloof is especially difficult for women who are living with ADHD, who often want to connect socially but have difficulty doing so. Impulsivity (in one's own statements) and inattention (while others may be conversing) can emphasize this issue.

Shopping woman in the city

Engaging in unhealthy behaviors

Shopping, TV (reality shows!), and eating are common types of unhealthy behaviors. Impulsivity is a key symptom of ADHD in adults. Increased impulsive shopping purchases are often another sign.

Scrabble Letters

Problems with word retrieval

Difficulty remembering words often gets worse during menopause. And when the problem is not cognitive-based, it could just be an issue of inattention, specifically, of spinning too many thoughts at one time.

Female hand writing on paper

Poor handwriting

In addition to poor math or writing skills, poor handwriting can be an symptom of ADHD that may cause a person to become self-conscious.

Woman ironing clothes

Difficulty with boring, repetitive tasks

Is your house a mess because you hate and avoid doing chores? Completing repetitive tasks like laundry is hard for women with ADD/ADHD.

Distracted by the world outside

Spending too much time ruminating

Getting lost in your thoughts or daydreaming are common among women with ADD/ADHD. This also ties in with distractibility.

Women with cart shopping in supermarket

Difficulty making decisions

Skim, one percent, two percent, or whole milk? Regular or soy? Grocery shopping is often painful with all the choices available in stores today. Seemingly simple tasks that feel like they require too much thought or commitment to a singular idea, may in some cases of ADHD, lead to distraction.

Businesswoman tied with rope while working on laptop at her desk

Difficulty sitting still

Easily burnt out? Or do you often fidget? Tiredness and restlessness both are signs of ADD and ADHD. Though not so much an issue of a "running motor" as it is in children, fidgety and hyperactive behavior are still prevalent in adults.

Sleepless Young Woman with Insomnia in Bed, Watching Alarm Clock

Difficulty falling asleep and waking up

Many women with ADD/ADHD experience sleep disorders that may increase during menopause.

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.