How ADHD Affects Women vs. Men Differently


ADHD Is Different For Women

First and foremost, I want to say hello after a bit of an absence to everyone at Tribal Dynamic. To make a long story short, I suffered what I thought was a bit of a back injury which it turned out was more involved than previously thought, so I was out of commission for the past few weeks although I am very happy to report I am very much on the mend and feeling great now!

Focusing back on the issues that concern our ADHD Tribe the most, this piece from The Atlantic Magazine, penned by Maria Yagoda, talks about the distinct differences in ADHD in women and men. This article caught my eye right away and I felt it was imperative to share it as the female members of the Pack have a whole slew of unique challenges they must deal with versus that of their male counterparts. It’s important to highlight this in order to achieve broader understanding, compassion and awareness so as to avoid any stigmatizing or shaming and to make sure women are properly diagnosed and able to enjoy a much more fruitful quality of life, i.e. getting a grapple on their ADHD.

In society, as Maria Yagoda points out, women are less likely to be taken seriously or properly diagnosed at an early enough age which is crucial so that a regiment and system is in place to mitigate those aspects of ADHD, which can make life more frustrating and cumbersome. Like their male counterparts, women suffer from the flightiness, forgetfulness and lack of concentration and the disorderliness that accompanies all the other wonderful pros of this double-edged sword; hyperfocus, drive, determination, creativity, not being confined to a linear way of thinking, etc. This is why it’s so important that a spotlight be shined on women and their ADHD so as to properly channel the aforementioned pros and not let the cons overshadow their innate ability to succeed in every area of their lives.

Once a person is given a diagnosis and armed with the proper tools and blueprints, they are very much empowered and feel as if they have a brand new lease on life because everything makes sense now where it didn’t before. Many women are not offered this opportunity and unfortunately, continue to live out lives where they are repeatedly told they are failures or not living up to their full potential; belittled, diminished which further  feeds a vicious cycle of feeling hopeless and self-defeatist.

Arguably, women have many more expectations placed on them than men in society, so this added pressure, coupled with not having a game plan to positively channel and harness their ADHD talents can be devastating and impact self-esteem, feelings of self-worth, and as mentioned, affect their overall quality of life.

Because women have so many more expectations placed on them, re-tooling their inner gift of ADHD gives them the ability to excel and be creative in many ways their male members of the ADHD family wouldn’t. As often talked about by this author, this is seen in the fields of science and medicine and entertainment where the best and brightest are those incredible women that use their gift to enrich the world and those around them. On a micro versus macro level, these incredible women also include “soccer moms”, mothers whose endless pool of energy lets them participate in their kid’s plays as well as other extra-curricular activities, and the single women that are absolute bosses in the corporate world in a myriad number of industries who more often that not dominate and outperform their male counterparts.

This is why it’s imperative that women be given the same attention and seriousness in order to have the next generation of female pioneers spring forth and to not let their talents fall to the wayside.

To sum it up best, I quote Beyonce’s hit song “Who Rule the World?”

You know the answer!