Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Common Symptoms of Women with ADD/ADHD

Have you ever considered that you might just have ADD/ADHD? Oh sure we joke about it, loosing our train of thought and getting easily distracted by shiny things. But what are symptoms we should be looking for?

  1.    Difficulty with Boring, Repetitive Tasks:  Is your house a mess because you hate and avoid doing chores? Completing repetitive tasks like laundry is hard for women with ADD/ADHD.
  2.    Spending Time Ruminating: Getting lost in your thoughts or daydreaming are common among women with ADD/ADHD. This ties in with distractability.
  3. Difficulty Making Decisions: Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk? Regular or soy? Grocery shopping is often painful with all the choices available in stores today.  Seemingly simple tasks require too much thought or commitment to a singular idea, leading to distraction.
  4. Difficulty Sitting Still: Easily burnt out? Or do you often fidget? Tiredness and restlessness both are signs of ADD and ADHD.  Though not so much an issue of a "running motor" as it is in children, fidgety and hyperactive behavior are still prevalent in adults.
  5. Difficulty Falling Asleep and Waking Up the Next Morning: Many women with ADD/ADHD experience sleep disorders. Insomnia gets worse during menopause.
  6. Poor Sense of Time: Time management is often an issue for women with ADHD. They are often running late.
  7. Starting Projects but Seeming Unable to Finish Them: Do you have piles of empty photo books? Heaps of unfinished sewing projects? Focusing and following through on a project is difficult with ADHD.
  8. Taking on Too Much: On top of work and parenting, there is often the need for women to take on even more like volunteering, helping out with school-related functions, making meals from scratch, etc.  This symptom goes hand-in-hand with time management and difficulty finishing projects.
  9. Engaging in Addictive Behaviors: Shopping, TV (reality shows!), and eating are common types of addictive behaviors.  Impulsivity is a key symptom to ADHD, including in adults, and an addiction to shopping - often irrational in practice - is a sign of this symptom.
  10. Feeling Low Self-Worth: Women may feel they should be able to "do it all" and feel defeated when they can't keep up. Juggling parenting and work responsibilities can simply be overwhelming.
  11. Hypersensitivity to Criticism: High expectations since childhood of being a "good girl" can make women with ADHD more vulnerable to these sensitivities. 
  12. Being Emotionally Charged and Easily Upset: Easily upset or frustrated? Emotions are exacerbated during hormonal changes.  Emotional issues, including depression and anxiety, are also related to ADHD.  It is estimated that one in four adults with ADHD also has symptoms of depression.
  13. Difficulty Remembering Names: Difficulty remembering names often gets worse before, during, and after menopause.  This is also a sign of inattention, a common symptom in ADHD.
  14. Problems with Word Retrieval: Difficulty remembering words often gets worse during menopause. And when the problem is not cognitive-based, it could just be an issue of inattention of spinning too many thoughts at one time.
  15. Saying Things Without Thinking: Many social issues follow aduts with ADHD.  Prone to "foot in mouth" moments? Saying things without thinking often leads to hurting others' feelings. 
  16. Appearing Self-Absorbed: Do your friends get upset with you for interrupting them in conversation or bailing out on plans at the last moment? Appearing selfish is a sign of ADD/ADHD.
  17. Seeming to Not Want to Hear What Others Are Saying: Appearing aloof is especially difficult for women, who often want to connect socially but have difficulty doing so.  Impulsivity (in one's own statements) and inattention (while others may be conversing) can emphasize this issue.
  18. Poor Math and/ or Writing Skills: Not a numbers person? Some women with ADHD exhibit poor math and reading skills.  This could be a product of difficulty during schooling, possibly due to ADHD.
  19. Poor Handwriting: In addition to poor math or writing skills, poor handwriting can be an embarrassing symptom of ADHD.
Pretty interesting stuff.. The question is what do you do with this information? I would have to say, if you have several of these symptoms get to your doctor and discuss options. If you are like me and really hate to medicate things.. then seek out alternative options. Exercise, Sleep, Diet.. see what methods you can apply to your life...

For me I am just thrilled to learn that failure to have a clean house can be diagnosed... here I just thought I was domestically challenged all of my life! Of course I am the laundry natzi, so even there I don't quite fall into the symptoms... But really do all of us have ALL fo\\of the symptoms? NO!!! Could you imagine how psycho we would be then? 

I would seriously like to suggest that if you feel you fall into these parameters and have over half of these symptoms, get to your doctor.. see if he can help you work with these issues instead of allowing them to control your life... They have mine for years.


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