Topic: Women with ADD Presentation Notes and Links by Christine
November 22nd 2005 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group
Return to Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Previous Notes Page
with ADD was the topic for November's Vancouver Adult ADD
support group meeting. We were fortunate enough to have Christine, an active member of our group, to give the presentation.
was very instrumental in helping us out for our ADD Advocacy
booth we had at Techvibes last March. Here are her notes from the presentation, along
with some links to online articles about women and ADD with
also want to look at my Women
and ADD article links
Some women have the stereotypical ADD: fast-taking, hyperactive,
non-attentive, bouncing off the wall- but many more women
have ADD without hyperactivity.
• Usually overlooked in school if doing poorly as being
withdrawn & quiet – appearing disinterested or depressed
in stead of ADD.
• Difficulty screening out unneeded information –
can’t filter out distractions – therefore becoming
flooded - bombarded – assaulted – and overwhelmed.
• Can affect relationships and self esteem
• Unusual twist and turns in career path – life
• Hypoactive – extremely under active have trouble
beginning to move and can only concentrate on one thing at
• Have trouble with small talk
• Felt confused and in a fog can’t stay awake
for the entire day.
• As young girls (women) – were prone to addictive
behaviours- sexually acting out, eating disorders, in an attempt
to self soothe, to stimulate - as a way to seek structure
• People pleasers- as girls try hard to conform to expectations
but after a day are exhausted and then their ADD comes out
in full force. (Interrupting others, reacting too quickly,
getting angry at the wrong times.)
• Commonly under diagnosed – will have been treated
for something else – depression, eating disorder, addiction
to drugs or alcohol.
• Lots of time spent hiding the symptoms pretending
that they are fine as they try to be normal.
• Women with ADD who say they are very organized are
often obsessively – centering their entire lives on
keeping it all together, if not they will be lost, everything
in place to function, disorganization is taking a toll, as
imbalance of focus or this area keep us from areas –
creativity, recreational pursuits and productive lives.
• Inability to filter out distractions – feel
bombarded by excess information sounds, smells, noises, movement,
internal ideas from one’s own mind.
• Women with ADD also suffer from more sever then other
women form - PMS, menopause, eating disorders, obsessive symptoms,
substance abuse, sexual relationships.
on your life
• Emotional Reactivity
• Under – Achievement
• Low self-esteem
• Impaired Relationships
Christine's Online Articles Links on Women and ADD with some
Solden's website. Sari is the author of Women
with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journey's
and AD/HD. How does Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
affect your life?
by Carol Watkins, MD
with AD/HD may discover that the disorder has its positive
side. Her generosity, spontaneity and energy may make the
household a Mecca for neighborhood children. Her high energy
may enable her to keep up with a demanding job and a busy
Sometimes, marriage between a spouse with AD/HD and a partner
without AH/HD may work well. The husband may provide stability,
structure and organizational skills. At the same time, the
wife's creativity and quest for novelty may provide color
to her husband's life and help him explore new horizons."
husband without AD/HD may misinterpret his wife's disorganization
and procrastination as deliberate offenses."
took a long time for each family member to learn their behavior
patterns and it may take time to make lasting changes. The
AD/HD may be an explanation, but no one should use it as an
excuse. Instead, understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses
can help her to develop creative coping strategies."
Latest in the Treatment of Women with ADHD
by Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW. Terry is the author of Survival
Tips for Women with AD/HD: Beyond Piles, Palms, & Post-its
some women, just holding their own in a conversation can be
a real challenge. Others avoid social gatherings because they
miss social cues, making them feel out of step, thereby shutting
down in order to save themselves possible embarrassment.
Many feel unable to entertain at home because the piles of
clothes, papers and assorted knickknacks keep them away from
inviting people over."
impacts Women differently then Men
- Responsibility that requires organizational skills
- Have multiple roles – mother, wife, secretary, co
- Women with children have more responsibilities for structure.
- What’s the matter with me???"
Update on ADHD
ADD Consults article. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral
Pediatrics, 1998, vol. 19, pp. 77-83. Arcia, E., & Conners,
"It was indeed interesting that despite the fact that
objectively speaking, males and females with ADHD looked similar
on cognitive and neuropsychological measure at any age, by
adolescence and adulthood, the females perceived themselves
to be having more problems. They perceived themselves to be
having more problems not only with ADHD symptoms such as concentration
and restlessness, but also with associated factors such as
anger, self-confidence, feelings, and family relations. "
Differences in Depression By Bob Murray, Phd
irritability, ego inflation
sad, apathetic, worthless
(eg. sex performance)
use of internet/TV/email
Question. Do adult women experience different
symptoms of ADHD from men? Could you describe a typical presentation
of a woman with ADHD?
Response from Michael J. Manos, PhD, Head, Section of
Behavioral Medicine, Division of Pediatrics, The Cleveland
Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
difference is in the varied expression of symptoms in the
daily life of men and women. Brain functioning, in many ways,
is the same whether one is male or female; actual behavioral
expression of brain functioning, however, can be very different."
level of organization needed to manage families, to juggle
multiple activities of family members, and to maintain the
demands of the workplace make symptoms of inattention and
disorganization even more pronounced in women with ADHD because
symptoms of ADHD are exaggerated in the presence of significant
In conclusion, the brain's functions are similar enough for
all, but the expression of those brain functions in women
and men is likely to be different given cultural mores, practices,
that Women with ADHD Can Help Themselves
Resource Center on ADHD
woman with ADHD would benefit from the following strategies:
• Understand and accept your ADHD challenges instead
of judging and blaming yourself.
• Identify the sources of stress in your daily life
and systematically make life changes to lower your stress
• Simplify your life.
• Seek structure and support from family and friends.
• Get expert parenting advice.
• Create an ADHD–friendly family that cooperates
and supports one another.
• Schedule daily time outs for yourself.
• Develop healthy self-care habits, such as getting
adequate sleep and exercise and having good nutrition.
• Focus on the things you love. "