ADHD in Women

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that is not limited to childhood but can also affect women throughout their lives. In this section, we delve into the distinct aspects of ADHD in women, exploring the diagnosis criteria, symptoms, assessment methods, and available treatments.

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Diagnosis

At Berkeley Psychiatrists, we follow UK practice guidelines for diagnosing ADHD in women. We assess symptoms and determine if they meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. To receive a diagnosis, symptoms must have been present since childhood, significantly impact daily functioning, and be present in multiple areas of life.

Symptoms

ADHD in women can manifest differently across different stages of life. It is important to recognise the sociological and psychological effects ADHD can have on women, taking into account gender differences and biases that exist within society. Symptoms may vary and include difficulties with attention, organisation, impulsivity, and emotional regulation.

Diagnosis Criteria

In girls, ADHD may be diagnosed less frequently compared to boys. This could be due to gender biases in symptom presentation and diagnostic criteria. Girls with ADHD may exhibit more internalising symptoms, such as daydreaming and inattentiveness, rather than the externalising behaviours commonly associated with boys. These gender biases can lead to delayed or missed diagnoses, resulting in challenges without appropriate support.

Assessment

Our assessment process considers the unique experiences and challenges faced by women with ADHD. We take into account the gender-specific factors that can influence symptom presentation and ensure a comprehensive evaluation to provide accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans.

Similar Conditions

During the diagnostic process, we carefully consider other conditions that may share similar symptoms or overlap with ADHD. It is essential to differentiate ADHD from these conditions to ensure accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans. Some examples of conditions that can exhibit similar symptoms include:

  • Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
  • Mood Disorders: Conditions like Depression or Bipolar Disorder can sometimes present with symptoms that overlap with ADHD
  • Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities, such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia, may manifest with challenges in attention, reading, writing, or problem-solving, which can also be present in ADHD.
Treatments

At Berkeley Psychiatrists, we believe in a personalized approach to ADHD treatment in women. Our comprehensive treatment plans may include psychoeducation, therapy, and, if appropriate, medication. We emphasize the importance of supportive environments, self-acceptance, and inclusivity in fostering overall well-being and success for women with ADHD.

Resources

We understand the importance of accessing reliable information and resources related to ADHD in women. For further insights and support, we recommend exploring reputable websites and organizations specializing in ADHD, such as the following:

Female ADHD Psychiatrists
Dr Indraja Velickiene

Special Interest in the effect of ADHD and ASD in Anxiety

Specialist Associate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Registered with the GMC 7065373

Consultant Psychiatrist

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Dr Hollie Hearfield

General Medical Council (GMC) registered No 7037650

Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Special interest in ADHD and ASD in Females

Consultant Psychiatrist

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Dr Joanna Woodger

Experienced in Perinatal Psychiatry and diagnosing ADHD in females

Past Clinical Director for Central and North Norfolk at NSFT

General Medical Council (GMC) registered No 4710583

Consultant Psychiatrist

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Dr Anudha Dutta

Associate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

General Medical Council (GMC) registered No 6032197

Special Interest in neurodiversity in Females (ADHD)

Consultant Psychiatrist

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Dr Catherine Durkin

Joint Presidential Lead for Women's Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Clinical Lead for the female service line in Central & North West London Foundation Trust

GMC Registered No 6155920

Consultant Psychiatrist

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Dr Francesca Fatteri

Specialist Associate of  Royal College of Psychiatrists

Registered General Medical Council (GMC) 7999473

Experienced in Adult ADHD and Sleep Disorders

Consultant Psychiatrist

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