Women and ADHD
It is estimated that ADHD prevalence is 6.76% globally according to a systematic review and meta-analysis conducted in 2021. The prevalence rates in men and women are similar, yet men are diagnosed more often. This gender gap is creating a dangerous scenario where women have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality.
The Impact of ADHD on Women
Women who are undiagnosed suffer greatly. By the time they finally understand their condition, they have internalized painful emotions and experiences. Women with ADHD find themselves in relationship, financial, or career trouble. Years living without a diagnosis damages a woman’s psyche leaving self-doubt, shame and inferiority to set in where there once may have been curiosity and a zest for life.
Women with ADHD may:
Fidget or have stimming behaviors.
Act impulsively or speak before thinking.
Appear to daydream but will tell you her mind is racing and it's hard to stay focused.
Easily make friends but have a hard time maintaining friendships.
Engage in self-harming behaviors like cutting.
Adopt compensatory strategies, leading to working two to three times hard as her peers to be successful.
Fear rejection by peers or friends.
Women with ADHD are at greater risk for:
Depression and anxiety,
Risky behaviors like becoming sexually active at a young age,
Reduced life expectancy,
Sexual violence, and
Completing or attempting suicide.
The good news is therapy can be an important step in managing your ADHD. Learn more about how to work with me by clicking here.