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ADHD in Women

Not sure if I have ADHD

Hi I am new to this site.  I am 42 and did a study for a course I was doing at work on ADHD. It was to understand it better to support students. To be honest I didn’t know much about it.  When I started to read up on it I thought “oh my goodness. I think I have this”

I have had a nightmare at work, feel overwhelmed, can’t focus, always busy but never seem to get the job done and feel in chaos.

I thought I was just forgetting stuff because I have such a busy job but it seems like the busy chaotic job has triggered it.

I would welcome your thoughts.  A few people have looked awkward around me when I say funny things in serious intense settings. I just can’t help it, I hate intense pretentious atmospheres.  It seems to have gotten worse since I gave up smoking too. 

I would appreciate your thoughts as Dr isn’t so helpful.


Just from those few sentences you typed makes me think Yes you do have add/adhd.  I didn’t find out until I was 45.  Went to the doctors for other reasons and his assistant started questioning me and said I have add/adhd.

You should google it or look around this site for information on add/adhd and see if more of it applies to you and your personality type.  But once again, yes you do have some of the traits, even your wording in your message signals add/adhd.

Look up diet for the add/adhd adult, that’ll be the first start then you can make an appointment at your regular doctors office.  Remember add/adhd medications are a lot like a meth style drug and are very addicting but it some cases its a life savor and can change your life if proper diet doesn’t.  Good Luck. Im sure you’ll get much better replies than mine wink Keep us updated please..

Posted by BexIssues on Dec 14, 2013 at 5:30am

I always recommend this book to people because it changed my life. It’s called “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? Authors Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramando who are Dr.s that also have ADHD.

One theory is that there are 5 different types of ADHD, of which I have parts of all 5, which make it difficult to diagnose. That is why you need to do your own research so you know what you are dealing with. In my experience, many doctors are not updated on the latest information and many people get misdiagnosed, like I did. I hope this helps you to start figuring things out. One more thing, listen to your instincts.

Posted by Tinybluemoon on Dec 14, 2013 at 6:23am

Thanks for the response ... I read some things on the Internet and noticed things about myself.  It is also because a lot of my friends say I am such a nice person and in the workplace I always support people, I am Balt to think before I speak (usually) so I think I have self-control, although I think perhaps this is something I have had to work on.  But…. I have left a few jobs now as there is always someone who winds me up in the same way.  I never think I have done anything wrong and I have been thinking it always happens to me.  What has set alarm bells ringing is that I have been in a job with no structure and for the first time I have realised I do actually need structure. I get distracted and have to do lists.  I need to really shut out noise around me otherwise I get distracted and lose focus.  I just thought this was normal and it was because work keep piling too much on me for a human to possibly do but the manager says ‘other people seem to be coping, but you don’t’ it’s so hurtful when people don’t understand.  Thanks for your replies, the main thing is I need to get tested but my Dr won’t help.

Posted by Sarah-Jane on Dec 14, 2013 at 4:20pm

You are going to need to find someone who can do the testing. I was seeing a psychologist and she tested me. Then when I was looking for a psychiatrist to prescribe meds. for me, it made it easier for him to diagnose me. You do not have to use medications to treat ADHD, if you have it. There are natural ways also.

Posted by Tinybluemoon on Dec 14, 2013 at 7:23pm

Sari solden - women with attention deficit disorder.A must read.  That Will Tell u.  I knew l was different but at the age of 50 l found out.  That was 5 years ago and l would Not change me 4 the worlddespite all the crap b4 l knew.

Posted by fudgee on Dec 15, 2013 at 6:32am

Oh Dr.! They all have their own opinions and areas of expertise. My family practitioner is great except when it comes to mental health. Know your physicians background! Mine is OB-Family practice. I find myself repeatedly more informed about ADHD than her.

I was diagnosed (by a psychologist) after my 3rd child was diagnosed with Dyslexia. Dyslexia and ADHD (inattentive as well) often post (or display) similar symptoms and are both hereditary. This may be an issue for you as well. Seek out a professional who is knowledgeable about these anomalies. I know it may be difficult to find, but it’s worth the work. If you have either, you need as many informed folks on your team as possible!!

My recommended reading will be anything on the subject written by Dr. Russell Barkley. If you work with children or struggle with ADHD yourself, his materials are must reads.

Posted by Gothope! on Dec 16, 2013 at 7:49pm

Hi Sarah-Jane!

There is an online ADHD self-test over on, found here: This will help you decipher your experiences as they relate to ADHD on a general level. If it still looks like ADHD, make an appointment for an evaluation to find out for sure.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 18, 2013 at 9:02pm

I usually don’t respond but your email hit a soft spot and brought back memories.  Being born in the mid sixties to parents who had a strict upbringing my spirit, creative imagination and need to know why didn’t work so well with their parenting theories.  When I was told to do something and asked why I really wanted to know why-they viewed it as back talk.  School bored me and as grade school came to an end the teachers comments suggesting I pay attention, apply myself and follow instruction were all my parents needed to answer my “what’s” when they decided to ground me for a month to cure my “laziness”.  When that didn’t work the belt came out.  When that didn’t work they gave up trying to shape me into the person everybody could relate to.  I left home at 16 never looked back.  I spent the next decade pursuing the next best thing at work and with relationships.  No direction but forward…never in the moment.  Fast forward to my early thirties, marriage and my first precious baby girl-being a former free spirit routine, 2do lists and planning ahead became a requirement to keep everyone happy.  I knew something was off but put it down to being a new mom, living in the suburbs and suspecting my husband was having an affair.  When my second daughter was born I connected to her differently than my first but wasn’t able to really describe how.  She was a zero fuss baby and a spirited toddler-always smiling…happy. When she was six the smile faded and her teachers recommended reading support to being he;r up to grade level.  I went one step further and has a psychological assessment done to understand her learning style and an accurate assessment of her skills.  The report came back with a diagnosis of mild adhd-combined type…and the mystery about feeling different than and unsettled explained why the antidepressants I was prescribed for depression didn’t do any good.  Being in the middle of a nasty divorce getting an appointment with by psychologist was fairly quick. She said adult add often goes undiagnosed and can easily be mis-diagnosed as depression…especially when womens hormones have a similar affect on concentration and mood swings.  There isn’t a scientific test to confirm adhd-the criteria works on probability and cognitive therapy is recommended along with life management skill development.  I was lucky to have a professional who’s husband and children also had various forms of adhd.  She said one sure fire way to know for sure is to see if medication helps or not and although I’m not a fan of meds I was eager to find out.  Ritalin made me hyper and fuzzy   , concerta lowered my tolerance - low and emotional.  Last shot-adderal.  Within 2 days I felt at peace with me and the days that followed were less frantic….I actually knew where my keys were and remembered to pick up milk before I got home.  Over time I managed to prioritize my own needs and focus on taking care of me along with everyone else.  Its a journey unique to each individual-I still get bored, dred mundane tasks and household chores and often wish I had not made the off hand comment that only I found ammusing.  The difference in my life compared to 9 years ago is that I compete the boring and mundane because when all is done I have more time to be at peace and think about what I could say the next time my humor kicks in to avoid another awkwar moment in time.  What works for me.might not work for someone else…the only way to find out is to search for as long as it takes to get the answers you’re looking for.  You’ll know when you get there…you’ll feel whole and your laundry will be done.  Good luck!

Posted by SES on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:33am

I love this reply SES.
Thank you.
You have beautifully articulated and validated my (exceedingly similar) struggle over the past 9 years since my first was born!

Posted by Carandtruck4 on Aug 23, 2014 at 4:18pm

One of the big problems with getting o a diagnosis is finding a competent doctor to help you.  While most MDs and DOs have had some exposure to these things, that is not where they concentrated their efforts, which is why they have a different area of focus for their practice.  Unless your insurance coverage requires you to get a referral from your primary doctor, I would look for a psychiatrist on your own.

The other thing to understand is that not every psychiatrist or psychologist is as well versed on ADD as they may think they are.  If what is tried does not work, then you may need to change doctors to find one who will work with you to find the answers. 

In addition to medication, consider therapy with a therapist who is also well versed in dealing with ADD.  Therapists cannot prescribe meds, but they can provide you wish some ideas on how to deal with the areas of your life that are not helped by medication. 

My therapist and I looked at my life.  What things did I do well?  Which things gave me trouble?  How could I bridge the gulf between them?  It started with using a planner and developing a plan.  I found Flylady to help with the things needed at home.  I found software for the computer.  I have a smartphone and the apps that help me.  COZI Family Organizer is a terrific tool for me. Google has an online calendar, too.  Find one that works well for you and what you need to do with it. 

I got my diagnosis on my 50th birthday and will soon be 68 years young.  It is never too late to get diagnosed or try new things.

Best wishes to you as you start your journey,  Come back and let us know how you are doing.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:29am

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