Ellipse graphic

Women with ADHD

Yes, women have ADHD too. But ADHD in women often presents differently than it does in men, is frequently overlooked and, studies show, chronically underdiagnosed. Here are some things to look for and, more importantly, ways to get the help you need to thrive.

blue diamond b
ellipse and diamond

Defining ‘women’

‘Women,’ when used on this page, refers to people with vaginas or those assigned female at birth so that we may deliver important information to the population of women who have been disregarded or undiagnosed.

yellow diamond

What are the signs of ADHD in adult women

When we think of ADHD, we think of hyperactivity and impulsivity – and these are definitely symptoms. They just present more often in men. Women are more prone to inattention, distraction, and disorganization. 


Why are so many women underdiagnosed?

We could go on and on about this. We won’t,
but here are a few of the top reasons to be aware of.

orange diamond

Noticeability of symptoms

Now that you know the way ADHD presents in women, it’s easy to see that ADHD symptoms in women can be, well, harder to see. The hyperactivity and impulsivity we see in men and boys is harder to obscure than the inattention and disorganization that is more common in women.

orange diamond

Bias and criteria flaws

Symptoms in men and boys are easier to see. So more men and boys are diagnosed. So less research is done regarding ADHD in women. So the criteria for diagnosis begins to skew. So doctors and educators may not look for symptoms in girls and women. And the cycle continues. 

orange diamond

Women hide symptoms

Many typical ADHD symptoms, even those more prevalent in women, are more socially acceptable in men and boys. Women therefore work hard to suppress, hide, or overcome their symptoms.

How does ADHD impact women?


Your family and friends love you. But some of your symptoms, if left uncontrolled, can add tension to your relationships. This is about more than losing your keys every morning. When loved ones don’t feel as though they ever have your full attention, that your low frustration tolerance will result in an outburst, or that they can’t count on you to follow through, the relationship overall may suffer.

Emotional toll

Let’s face it, women are expected to have it all together, all the time. It’s an impossible task even for the most mentally healthy among us. So when you struggle with that level of organziation, and don’t have the coping skills to manage those feelings, you can quickly feel out of control. Keeping those feelings in, as women are often conditioned to do, can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.

Females with ADHD tend to have a harder time coping at work, school, or home and feel a general lack of control over situations. These internalized feelings can manifest with symptoms of depression, including headaches, stomach aches, and sleep problems. Even so, depression is often masked by hyperactive behaviors and can remain undiagnosed.

Physical toll​

Keeping emotions in and striving for impossible perfection takes its toll on your body. Disordered eating, headaches, stomach aches, exhaustion, and more will begin to manifest in your physical health.


Studies show that approximately half of parents with ADHD have a child with ADHD. There is even some research that suggests there are genetic markers associated with ADHD development. Getting a diagnosis for yourself might just be the first step towards helping your children thrive.

Explore our Resources for Women with ADHD

Looking to take our assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

ADHD Online will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

Live support will be unavailable on Monday, May 27. Send us an email or leave a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible when we return on Tuesday, May 28.

Please note that each clinician sets their holiday hours and may be processing your requests during this time or may also be out.

The system is experiencing technical issues scheduling new appointments.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We understand the importance of making an appointment, and this issue is our top priority.

Please reach out to us via chat or call us at 888-493-ADHD (2343) and we will assist you. If we are not available, please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The ADHD Online Team

Provide this form to your local practitioner. You could:

  • Send this link
  • Email the pdf
  • Print it out and bring it to your appointment

Ask your practitioner
to complete the form

In this form, your practitioner will request that ADHD Online continue to provide uninterrupted care

Return the form to us

You or your practitioner can return this form to us via email or fax it to 616-210-3118