Why is ADHD often overlooked in adults, especially women?

drawing of a head with words ADHD
ADHD is a common diagnosis in children. But many adults with ADHD are overlooked, especially women.
Tara Winstead via Pexels

The last few years have been heaped with uncertainty and tough on our ability to focus. Brain fog, distracted attention and the inability to just sit down and do the thing feel like the new norm.

But for some adults, this overwhelming feeling isn’t situational. It’s brain chemistry.

ADHD — a condition we often associate with kids — is being diagnosed in a growing number of adults, who are often both surprised and relieved to find out they have a reason for the lack of focus.

Women, in particular, are being diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adulthood because we’ve learned the way ADHD shows up in girls can be different and less visible than how it shows in up in boys.

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Listen back to a conversation that MPR News host Angela Davis had earlier this year with a woman who was diagnosed at age 30 with ADHD and a psychiatrist who pioneered treating ADHD in adults with mindfulness techniques. They’ll talk about the signs of ADHD in girls and women, how it’s diagnosed and some tips to help manage the condition.   

If you’re looking for ways to understand and manage ADHD, here are a few more resources: ULCA Mindful App, ADDitude magazine, The ADHD Women’s Wellbeing Podcast, short mindfulness videos from Dr. Lidia Zylowska’s YouTube channel, MindfulRxADHD and mindfulness community classes from the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing. You can also listen to Refocused, which is a podcast produced by ADHD Online that explores how adults with ADHD can work with their diagnosis, instead of it working against them.

Guests:  

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.  

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.