Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD) is a mental health problem that starts in early childhood, but can also continue into adulthood. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of ADHD broadly cover two specific areas: inattention and hyperactivity. Understand the most common symptoms of ADHD in women so that you can carefully consider potential treatment options and other issues related to the condition in adulthood.
Incidence. According to the Mayo Clinic, all adults suffering with ADHD had the condition as a child, even if it went undiagnosed. This is not a condition that develops later in life. Around a third of people with ADHD in childhood grow out of the condition, one third continues with less severe symptoms and the remaining third continues with significant symptoms. According to the UK National Health Service, however, adult symptoms are harder to define due to a lack of research in that population.
Inattention. The adult symptoms of ADHD can be different to those seen in children, but there are still common signs of problems with inattention. Women with ADHD often suffer from poor organizational skills and difficulty in completing tasks. They also may find it difficult to focus or concentrate on a single task for any period of time and are frequently restless.
Hyperactivity. Hyperactivity also affects women with ADHD, albeit in a slightly different way to children. According to Health Central, women with ADHD often take on too many commitments, balancing parenting with volunteering and helping out others. They have a tendency to become engaged in addictive activities such as shopping or eating. They also may have difficulty sleeping, particularly during menopause.
Hypersensitivity. Health Central also reports a number of examples where women with ADHD suffer from hypersensitivity. They may become emotionally charged or upset very quickly and easily, especially if they are undergoing other hormonal changes. Mothers with ADHD can find that they are very sensitive to noises and smells, often around their families or small children. Women with ADHD also tend to be more sensitive to criticism and may appear to not want to hear what other people have to say.