ADHD Symptoms in Women and Common Treatments

Signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Ways to Manage Symptoms

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause different symptoms in females than males. Contrary to males, who exhibit higher levels of hyperactivity and impulsivity who suffer from ADHD tend to be more susceptible to being distracted. ADHD symptoms for females include difficulties in managing or completing tasks, following directions, and paying attention to specifics.

This article describes the signs of ADHD seen in women and girls. It also outlines the different treatments for this common neurodevelopmental disorder.

Gender Definitions

In the article, “female” refers to those with vaginas “male” refers to people who have penises, regardless of the gender or gender they are identified with. The gendered terms used in this piece are the same as those used in the source.

How ADHD Differs in Females

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by high levels of hyperactivity, inattention, and the tendency to be impulsive.

Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders released by the American Psychiatric Association, there are three types of ADHD. Most often, it is an inattentive type.

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type

Combined type (where both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms are present)

While females with ADHD can fall anywhere within this spectrum, they are more often diagnosed with predominantly inattentive type ADHD instead of the hyperactive-impulsive kind more often seen in males. There are a variety of psychological and physiological theories as to the reason for this.

It could be due to the shape of the female brain, where the hippocampus is typically more significant than in males. The hippocampus is integral to memory and learning and is susceptible to damage or impairment from a range of stimuli or substances.

Anxiety and depression are more prevalent in females who have ADHD since girls are generally taught to feel their feelings rather than express them in the way boys do. The tendency to internalise instead of externalise ADHD symptoms can result in an emphasis on the resulting depression and anxiety and an incorrect diagnosis of the underlying disorder.

Who Gets ADHD More?

While ADHD is often thought to affect men more than females, however, recent evidence suggests isn’t being diagnosed in women (in part because attention is not as disruptive as excessive impulsivity and hyperactivity). If so, the incidence of ADHD for females could be higher than previously thought.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Females

While ADHD typically begins in the early years of childhood and usually continues until adulthood, it may appear differently at different times throughout a woman’s life.

While predominantly inattentive type ADHD is more common in females, it is also possible to have predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD or combined type ADHD.

ADHD Symptoms in Girls

Signs and symptoms of inattention to the environment and the developmental age of the child influence ADHD. For girls who have inattentive ADHD, they may show symptoms by exhibiting behaviours like:

Inattention to the most minor details

Unintentionally making mistakes on schoolwork

It isn’t easy to stay focused

Being easily distracted

Disorganised or messy

The habit of ignoring routine tasks, such as chores for the home

It appears that they need to listen when he is spoken to.

In the absence of following instructions

It isn’t easy to organise and complete the tasks

Failure to adhere to deadlines

Refraining from or disliking jobs that require constant concentration

Sometimes, things are lost, like keys, books, or school documents

Symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD in girls may include:

Fidgeting continuously

It isn’t easy to remain seated

Talking too much

It isn’t easy to play in silence

It is difficult to wait for their turn, like in the line

Disrupting or blurting out answers

Speaking or acting in a way that is not thought-provoking

It isn’t easy to stay on topic.

Losing and making friends quickly

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Click Play to Learn All About Fidgeting and What Causes It

This video was medically evaluated in the presence of Huma Sheikh, MD.

Girls with ADHD have a higher risk than men who do not have ADHD to have troubled interpersonal relationships, especially during puberty when their actions could be perceived as uninterested, arrogant, or uninterested.

Girls who have ADHD typically do well in school. However, they often experience more stress and feel less than their peers.

This means that girls who have ADHD can overcompensate and eventually begin to become sexually more active in their teens or end up in unhealthy relationships.

ADHD Symptoms in Women

For women suffering from ADHD issues, signs of attention deficits are typically more apparent in a structured setting, like working or at college. The strategies for compensating for the absence of attention in elementary school might be more challenging to sustain in these environments.

Women who are not attentive to ADHD are often afflicted with symptoms such as:

Receiving a constant reminder of errors made by careless people

Inability to manage multiple tasks or relationships

Missing deadlines

Doing nothing and trying to finish work until the very last moment

“Spacing out” at meetings or during conversations

Trouble keeping things organised and tidy at home, school, or work

Sometimes, you lose or misplace things, for example, glasses or your phone

Sometimes, appointments are missed, or people forget to call back

Problems making decisions or creating viable strategies

Although hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours are more common in females who have , They can be manifested in a variety of ways, including:

Fidgeting and restlessness

The ability to jump from one topic or assignment to the next

Excessive talk

Talking over or interrupting others

It isn’t easy to sit still or relax with other people

It isn’t easy to maintain friendships

ADHD and Depression

Females who have are more likely to have difficulty getting through school, work, or at home and experience that they lack control over their surroundings. These internalised feelings may manifest as signs of depression, such as stomachaches, headaches, and sleep issues. Yet depression can be disguised by excessive behaviour and may be undiagnosed.

Can ADHD Cause Memory Issues?

Treating ADHD in Females

Girls and women who have who aren’t treated are at risk of suffering adverse effects like low academic achievement, behaviour issues as well as low self-esteem issues with self-image, and co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety. It is crucial to determine the appropriate diagnosis and plan of treatment. ADHD is treated similarly for males and females with medication and psychotherapy.


The medication is usually the first treatment option for for females and males. They include stimulants and non-stimulants, which treat the signs of in various ways.

The use of stimulant drugs is more frequently prescribed and generally is more efficient. There are a variety of options to choose from:

Non-amphetamines include Concerta (methylphenidate) as well as Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)

Amphetamines include Adderall (dextroamphetamine)

Non-stimulant drugs are commonly used when stimulants don’t alleviate pain or are taken similarly. This includes:

Strattera (atomoxetine)

Kapvay (clonidine HCL)

Tenex (guanfacine)

Studies suggest that females who have ADHD have a lower chance of receiving medications for ADHD as compared to males who have ADHD. This may be partly due to the fact that symptoms are usually not recognized or are attributed to conditions like premenstrual or menopausal syndrome (PMS).


Alongside medication treatments for , these therapies address various problems, such as self-esteem, family and interpersonal relations, anxiety, and managing life techniques.

Based on the symptoms and signs of , Psychotherapy can involve:

The therapy that is offered focuses on the identification and modification of negative thoughts and behaviour. It helps increase self-control and control of impulses. Recently, CBT programs have been specially designed for adults who have .

Neurocognitive psychotherapy: This blends elements of CBT with therapeutic techniques designed to maintain concentration and focus for an extended period.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT designed to improve self-acceptance, mindfulness, and self-esteem by group or one-on-one discussion.

A treatment plan for ADHD should begin when the confirmation of is made, even for children.

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