The average age when an individual receives an ADHD diagnosis is seven, unless the individual is a woman. In fact, most female-identifying patients don’t receive an accurate diagnosis until they are in their 30s or 40s.
If you’re a woman who suspects you may have ADHD, it isn’t too late to work with a therapist in Tampa to confirm your diagnosis. The first step is understanding the unique way that ADHD manifests in both women and younger girls. This knowledge can help you gain control and stop the stigma that prevents so many women from seeking professional support.
We’ve created this guide to ensure that women struggling with neurodivergence get the help they need to thrive. Learn what to look for and how to take the first steps toward wellness.
Common Signs of ADHD in Women
You may think you’re familiar with the signs of ADHD. Due to stigma, many of the symptoms we commonly associate with the disorder are those found primarily in men. The symptoms found in women tend to differ due to unique brain chemistry, personality traits, practitioner bias, and social conditioning.
Women are more likely than men to experience the “inattentive” form of ADHD, which impacts organizational skills and memory. Thus, they have fewer outward behavior problems. Their tendency to hyperfocus also means their grades are less likely to suffer, raising fewer early red flags.
The Burden of ADHD in Women
Even if they had an easy time in school, it’s common for women with ADHD to struggle when they enter the workplace. They may have issues focusing, organizing materials, and prioritizing tasks.
Occasionally, women with ADHD may struggle with social relationships because of their inability to remember dates and coordinate activities. Unfortunately, friends and partners may construe this as the woman just not caring, which then leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in the relationship, causing the relationship to suffer.
Women tend to engage in a lot of “masking” behavior in professional and social settings. They exert energy trying to hide and compensate for their deficits. This can cause exhaustion, irritability, and even symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Seeking Help for ADHD
Women with ADHD tend to have excellent outcomes after pursuing counseling and beginning medication. The process starts with testing and diagnosis. A Ph.D. licensed psychologist will administer a series of non-invasive assessments that will yield personalized recommendations for next steps.
ADHD is frequently comorbid with learning disabilities or ASD. You can pursue psychoeducational testing in Tampa at ICPS. If we suspect you may be on the autism spectrum, we’re also an excellent source of ABA therapy in Tampa.
Find ADHD Support With Your Therapist in Tampa
The first step toward conquering the effects of ADHD is awareness. Now that you’re familiar with the signs and symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with a compassionate therapist in Tampa, FL. Dr. Campos and her associates will help you reclaim your life and develop new skills.
ICPS offers ADHD and autism testing in Tampa, plus associated counseling to help you move forward after a diagnosis. Reach out to book a consultation with an experienced ICPS psychologist in Tampa.