Recent research shows that about 60% of adults with ADHD have comorbid psychiatric conditions including: mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and personality disorders. The presence of these other conditions can often complicate the process of diagnosing and treating ADHD in an adult. Early recognition and treatment of ADHD and its comorbidities has the potential to change the trajectory of these psychiatric conditions later in life.
Lisa Ling is an award-winning journalist who discovered she had ADHD while reporting on a story about ADHD. She earned her success as an Asian woman in an industry where her ethnicity was a rarity, and has been able to tap into her ADHD “super powers” to build a career as one of today’s top journalists.
One of the ways that women with ADHD may cope with the difficulties of having the condition is to withdraw emotionally from those around them. This can negatively impact all their relationships, but especially with those closest to them, who could be a source of emotional support and understanding. If you are a woman with ADHD and suffering from emotional withdrawal, one of the most important steps you can take is to seek the help of a therapist. They can help you understand the why of your withdrawal, validate your feelings and develop better coping strategies.
Katherine Ellison has achieved many things in her life. She has been a foreign correspondent in Latin America, the author of 5 books on practical neuroscience, and a Pulitzer Prize winner at age 27. She also has ADHD. One of her most popular works, Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, was a memoir and journalistic overview of a year spent coping with ADHD after both she and her 12-year-old son were diagnosed with the disorder. In fact, it was her son’s diagnosis that ultimately led to her own.
In addition to the typical cognitive burden that ADHD can bring, women with ADHD also have to deal with an ever fluctuating hormone environment. Changes in estrogen can intensify the symptoms of ADHD, particularly during the menstrual cycle, puberty and menopause. It is important for women diagnosed with ADHD to be aware of how estrogen affects their condition, and to take steps to lessen the impact.
Researchers are now beginning to understand that ADHD manifests differently in adult men and women. ADHD in women is often difficult to spot. For this reason, many women unnecessarily suffer the feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, depression and inadequacy that come with ADHD. There are signs which may indicate whether a woman has the condition, and steps she can take to get a diagnosis and treatment to improve the quality of life.