There’s No Way I have ADHD! To the Woman In Denial

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5 Signs of ADHD in Women

Six years ago, I sat across from my social working clinician Mother while she read this giant book titled Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a guidebook to diagnosis and treatment By Russell Barkley.

As she’s reading, I ask “ADHD? Isn’t that just made up?”

Yes. Me. ADHD advocate. ADHD mom. ADHD adult said ADHD was possibly made up. 6 years ago. Pre-diagnosis. Pre- my children were attending school. Pre- a lot of things.

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“No, Lacy. It’s not. Actually, I’m fairly sure you have it.”
My then husband sitting at the other end of the couch, chiming in “Oh yeah, you definitely have it, Lace.”

“What?! I don’t have ADHD.”

Open mouth. Insert foot.

I thought I was quirky. I knew I was forgetful and a naturally late person. Wasn’t that just being Type B? Maybe a little. I didn’t realize most of my life struggles were signs of ADHD in women.
But the inability to stick to long term goals. Like, significant ones? Like being able to make the grades to graduate high school? What about finishing college? If I had known that the reason my first apartment could NEVER stay clean. I mean, never was because of ADHD, how different would my life be?

Maybe you’re in denial too. Perhaps someone has suggested to you that maybe you have signs of ADHD in women and you’re insistent that it’s anxiety or perhaps depression but not ADHD.
Maybe you don’t think ADHD is real. Let me tell you, it is. It’s the most researched developmental disorder, and even before it was called ADHD, it was still a viable diagnosis. Under Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder.

Five signs of ADHD in women that you probably didn't expect. I never knew these were all signs of ADHD in women.

Here are the signs of ADHD in women:

1. You lose stuff. And often. Like, every day.

Sunglasses. Keys. Hairbrush. If it’s smaller than 10 square inches, you’ve lost it within minutes of seeing it. The thing you swear you just had in your hand, your phone maybe? Missing. Again. These instances don’t just happen here and there, they happen all the time. Everyday. Enough that they impact your life sometimes.

2. You suffer from Time Blindness

Has your significant other told you that you are late, all the time? Frustrated with you because you take so much longer to do anything? Maybe you know this about yourself, so you overcompensate and get to everything super early. Regardless, naturally knowing how long a task will take is relatively tricky for you.

3. Sometimes your mood swings, make PMS look like a walk in the park.

Many people are still under the impression that ADHD only affects your ability to focus and learn, nothing could be further from the truth. ADHD is a regulation disorder. We struggle to regulate ourselves. Including our emotions. So sometimes our anger is explosive when provoked, and our sadness is deep and heavy.

We feel things on a much deeper level. Ever found yourself crying over something super silly? A sarcastic comment that you take just a little too personal? And yet, the waterworks just won’t shut off? Yeah, could definitely be ADHD.

4. Your thoughts never take a day off.

This is an overlapping symptom of both ADHD and anxiety. But it happens in ADHD because we struggle to self-regulate. It’s like our thoughts are all stuck in a bounce house and no one’s regulating the gate. They all come in at once, bouncing and jumping around and never calming down. When we were kids, perhaps this came out in a hyperactive way. You spoke fast, or you always had extra energy. Often, as we get older, our bodies slow down, but our brains don’t.

Women with ADHD, signs of ADHD or ADD in women. Women with ADHD diagnosis
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

5. Someone has suggested to you that you have ADHD.

Could’ve been a therapist, your best friend, a colleague, or your spouse. It could’ve been your mother like it was in my case. Regardless, whoever it was they were only trying to be helpful and recognized that perhaps the symptoms were unmanageable for you.

I get it. ADHD might sound like a bandaid for adults who can’t handle their kids. But the fact is, more and more adults realize they have it and untreated it can wreak havoc on your life. It’s not fun when your house is a mess, and you can never seem to get ahead of it. It feels embarrassing. You’ll ask yourself if you are just a lazy person.

Other ADHD Signs could be:

  • You struggle to keep your car clean, or your house clean. No matter how much organization you do, it always ends up a mess and you can’t explain how.
  • When faced with bills, mail, or paperwork you avoid it. So much so, that you don’t open the mail until you are getting a shut off warning notice.
  • You exhibit some impulsive behavior, like frivolous spending, gambling, unprotected sex, binge drinking, and the like.
  • You struggle to make what should be daily habits like showering, brushing your teeth, and balancing your checkbook stick. Even though you are an adult and feel like these should all be second nature, they aren’t.
    Side Note: Struggling with ADHD and Dental issues is more common than you think.
  • When you find a new interest, you become obsessed with it to an almost unhealthy level. You have to know everything about it, all the time and it’s all you want to talk about (It’s called Hyper focus and it’s actually pretty cool but is definitely a sign of ADHD).

If you like this post, you might also like:

Confessions of an ADHD Woman after 35
Top 10 Favorite Signs of Adult ADHD (with Gifs!)
What to Ask your Doctor about Your ADHD Diagnosis
9 Tools You Need to Manage Your Life with ADHD

Untreated ADHD as an adult woman can plant seeds of self-doubt that erode at your self-esteem throughout your life. It’s not something to overlook and stay in denial about simply because you don’t understand it.
Get familiar with the Symptoms of ADHD. Learn them, research them. Then reach out to a professional who can help.

LacyEstelle with Empowered Mom Life and Blogger Lacy estelle naturally combatting ADHD

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