by Tara Walls, a Doxa Counselor.
Women are Under-Diagnosed for ADHD
Procrastination is just one symptom that comes with having attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, or ADHD. Being an extremely common diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 3 million cases in the US per year. Despite such statistics, women typically go undiagnosed in comparison to men. Why? Much of the stereotypes women face are symptoms of ADHD.
There can be a sense of internal chaos along with a pressure to perform well, even when things are going haywire. The societal norms that were set in place suggest that asking for help is a weakness and this goes for both men and women. Hiding or suppressing symptoms only prolongs your journey to healing. Many people suffer and go undiagnosed for years. An unfortunate thing about not knowing what is happening to you can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
Symptoms of ADHD for Women
ADHD affects people differently, but for some women, symptoms include:
- mood swings
- lack of concentration
- difficulty staying on tasks
- being easily distracted
- being easily angered
- avoiding tasks that seem “daunting”
- staying in unhealthy relationships due to a fear of rejection
- constant fidgeting
- excessively talking
- having issues with impulsivity
The majority, if not all, of these symptoms are part of stereotypes attached to women and girls. Yes, you may be able to multitask, but have you asked yourself why you feel the need to do so? Sure, everyone has difficulty focusing on things from time to time, but when are you going to be honest with yourself and take note how this is impacting your work or social life?
“Does your brain have too many tabs open?”
Let’s talk about it. Even though at times you may feel alone in this battle, you are not. I understand that validation from hearing, ‘you’re superwoman – you can do it all’ may feel amazing. It may even be the driving force to continue ‘doing it all’ but as you complete all the little things on your checklist, are you checking in with your body? Your mind may be running a mile a minute, but your body may be running off fumes. The inattentiveness and impulsivity you are experiencing does not equal laziness or defiance. Take a second to stop and rest. That validation from others is something that is fleeting, but your ability to take back control of your time management skills or being able to manage your stress is priceless. Let’s free ourselves from the fear of rejection and shame and get some help!
Ways to Get Help for ADHD
Get Tested for an ADHD Diagnosis
If you have been experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD listed above, please reach out to Doxa to get tested. We have an amazing Clinical Psychologist here that would love to help you get the answers you’re looking for.
Find a Counselor
Sometimes just talking to a counselor will help you process things much better. We could explore things like the importance of incorporating exercise & eating well to your daily routine. We could create a plan to set realistic goals and draft out how to manage your time better. There are so many avenues that you and your counselor could navigate through.
Consider ADHD Medication
I know… this one can throw some off, but hear me out—it could be helpful for you. You can be someone with a diagnosis of ADHD, function ‘well’ and not even need medication. But for the ones who have the diagnosis, have sought counsel but something still feels out of control, this may be your next step.
Ladies, here at Doxa, we would love to help you learn to navigate any ADHD difficulties you are experiencing. We want to assist you in closing some of those tabs your brain may have open. Reach out to get tested or to schedule an appointment with a counselor!
Ready to Talk?
Schedule a Session with TaraTara Walls