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Understanding ADHD in Women - Philadelphia ADHD Testing & Treatment

Get an adhd diagnosis in Philadelphia from experienced psychiatrists. We evaluate symptoms in women, offering adhd quizzes and thorough medical exams.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests differently in women than men. The stereotype of the hyperactive, disruptive boy with ADHD means women often get overlooked and remain undiagnosed.

But ADHD presents real challenges for women. When untreated, it can negatively impact self-esteem, work performance, relationships, mental health, and daily functioning. Getting properly diagnosed and treated are critical first steps for women to better manage ADHD and thrive.

How ADHD Differs in Women and Girls

Inattentive presentation

Women with ADHD tend to exhibit the inattentive presentation more often than the hyperactive form. Symptoms include:

  • Trouble paying attention and staying focused

  • Chronic disorganization

  • Forgetfulness

  • Distractibility

  • Difficulty completing tasks

  • Losing track of time

  • Avoiding mental tasks requiring focus

These symptoms are often less outwardly observable in girls and women. But they still significantly impair functioning over time.

Internalized hyperactivity

While less common, some females do present with hyperactivity. But this tends to be internalized rather than external. Internal hyperactivity involves:

  • Constant mind chatter

  • Difficulty unwinding mind

  • Talking a lot

  • Restless thoughts

  • Multi-tasking

  • Fidgeting subtly

Internal hyperactivity is less disruptive but still exhausting. Girls with ADHD are less prone to behaviors like getting out of their seat or shouting out in class.

Emotional dysregulation

ADHD and emotional dysregulation frequently co-occur. Many women with ADHD struggle with:

  • Intense emotional reactions

  • Irritability

  • Low frustration tolerance

  • Frequent mood swings

  • Heightened sensitivity to criticism

Dysregulation and sensitivity complicates interpersonal relationships. ADHD emotional struggles are often mislabeled as anxiety, depression, or borderline personality disorder.

Social challenges

ADHD social issues include:

  • Interrupting frequently

  • Inattention during conversations

  • Poor reading of social cues

  • Difficulty perceiving nonverbal signals

  • Impulsive comments

  • Social rejection from differences

Women and girls with ADHD report more loneliness, bullying, and conflictual relationships.

Getting Diagnosed With ADHD as a Woman

Due to different symptom presentations, ADHD is underdiagnosed in females. Girls with ADHD are less likely to be disruptive and struggle academically early on. But they have underlying executive functioning deficits that build up over time leading to issues like:

  • Chronic disorganization

  • Forgetting tasks or appointments

  • Careless mistakes at work/school

  • Avoiding mental tasks requiring focus

  • Trouble managing time or finishing projects

  • Low self-esteem and confidence

Missed diagnoses

These lifelong struggles often get excused or misattributed to other causes like:

  • Laziness

  • Flakiness

  • Incompetence

  • Lack of motivation

  • Poor work ethic

  • Personality flaw

Many women only discover their ADHD in adulthood when symptoms cause more significant impairment. Seeking proper diagnosis and treatment earlier leads to better outcomes.

Adult ADHD red flags

Signs of possible undiagnosed ADHD in adult women include:

  • Chronic lateness and disorganization

  • Trouble finishing tasks at home or work

  • Frequently losing or forgetting things

  • Avoiding lengthy reports or paperwork

  • Restlessness and difficulty unwinding

  • Impulse spending and financial disarray

  • Interrupting others frequently

  • Emotional sensitivity and overreactions

  • Problems staying focused during conversations

Getting diagnosed

If you see your struggles reflected above, ADHD testing may provide clarity and direction. Our team at Renewing Mindsets offers comprehensive ADHD evaluations for women. We screen for the condition using specialized rating scales and clinical interviews designed to accurately identify ADHD in females.

Proper diagnosis requires assessing impairment over time in multiple settings. Confirming an ADHD diagnosis is the crucial first step toward effective treatment and learning to thrive with your unique neurology. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to explore an evaluation.

ADHD Treatment Options for Women

There are many myths surrounding ADHD treatment. Medication alone is often not enough to address the nuanced symptoms and challenges women face. Integrated treatment approaches prove most effective long-term.


Stimulants like Adderall or Vyvanse work quickly to minimize ADHD symptoms for most patients. But the ideal regimen requires customization based on your physiology and specific needs. Mood, anxiety, thyroid health, hormonal fluctuations, sleep habits and other factors help guide our physicians to the optimal medications and dosing schedule.


Ongoing therapy empowers women with ADHD to better understand themselves, build confidence and implement personalized management strategies. Talk therapy provides nonjudgmental support, validation and accountability.

Cognitive behavioral approaches help identify and reframe negative thought patterns. Mindfulness-based therapies teach emotion regulation skills. Group therapy fosters community and sharing of tips among females experiencing similar struggles.

ADHD coaching

Coaching provides targeted support with practical aspects of daily functioning like:

  • Organization systems

  • Time management

  • Goal setting

  • Task completion

  • Money management

  • Healthy routines

Coaches keep you focused on making incremental positive changes amidst life’s distractions.

Skills training

Certain skills may not come easily for women with ADHD. Training can teach techniques to compensate in areas like:

  • Focusing and listening

  • Impulse control

  • Planning and prioritizing

  • Task initiation

  • Emotional regulation

  • Problem solving

Lifestyle adjustments

Optimizing daily habits and routines boosts success in managing ADHD:

  • Regular sleep schedule

  • Exercise

  • Time blocking schedules

  • Organization systems

  • Proper nutrition

  • Stress management

  • Mindfulness practices

  • Sufficient support

Holistic treatment approach

Each woman requires a personalized approach combining the treatments above for optimal symptom management and well-being. Through our streamlined process at Renewing Mindsets, we make it easy to access the multi-faceted support you deserve to thrive with ADHD.

Typical Struggles Women With ADHD Face

Relationship challenges

ADHD symptoms like inattention, distraction, forgetfulness, emotional sensitivity, mood swings, and impulsiveness strain intimate relationships. Partners often feel ignored, disrespected or resentful over time. Learning to communicate openly, stay present, and manage reactions is essential.

Parenting difficulties

For mothers with ADHD, parenting brings profound challenges:

  • Remembering appointments and tracking activities

  • Household disorganization

  • Difficulty structuring consistent routines

  • Quickly losing patience with kids’ behavior

  • Co-regulating emotions during conflicts

Parent training and support helps minimize related stress and bolster confidence.

Workplace impairments

Many women with undiagnosed ADHD struggle professionally:

  • Disorganization and chronic lateness

  • Mistakes from rushing or failing to read instructions

  • Forgetting tasks or skipping steps

  • Distractedness during meetings and trainings

  • Avoiding administrative or mental tasks

  • Restlessness persisting over time

Seeking ADHD workplace accommodations and treatment alleviates these issues.

Mental health issues

ADHD commonly co-occurs with:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Low self-esteem

  • Perfectionism

  • Emotional dysregulation

  • Substance misuse

Ongoing therapy and medication provide critical support for overall mental health.

Health problems

Impulsivity, disorganization and distractions lead to inconsistent self-care. Women with ADHD face increased risks of:

  • Erratic sleep and eating habits

  • Skipping exercise

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Drug or alcohol abuse

  • Financial problems

Developing structures and routines prevents these potential problems.

Finding an ADHD Specialist for Women in Philadelphia or the Main Line

If you identify with the symptoms and struggles discussed here, seeking answers could vastly improve your life. Renewing Mindsets offers specialized clinical services to empower women living with ADHD.

Diagnostic assessments

Our neuropsychology team has extensive training in the unique presentations of ADHD in females across the lifespan. We conduct thorough evaluations using gold-standard clinical interviews, rating scales, testing measures and progress tracking.

Gender-informed treatment

Our compassionate providers design integrated treatment plans tailored to the needs of women and girls with ADHD. We take a holistic approach addressing medication, therapy, coaching, skills, lifestyle habits and more.

Supportive environment

You deserve to feel heard, understood and accepted. We cultivate an open, nonjudgmental atmosphere ideal for sharing your challenges and goals.

Renewing Mindsets has an office conveniently located in Havertown near Philadelphia. We are out-of-network provider. Please reach out to learn more about our specialized services for optimizing life with ADHD as a woman. Together we can help you renew your mindset and build confidence.

Tips for Thriving with ADHD

Living with ADHD as a woman presents daily challenges. But numerous strategies and supports can help optimize your functioning and lead a fulfilling life.

Leverage strengths

Reflect on your natural abilities - creative thinking, hyperfocus when interested, boundless energy, charisma, empathy, and persistence. Build confidence through pursuing activities in alignment with your talents and passions.

Foster understanding

Educate loved ones about your ADHD struggles and needs. Open communication, patience and compassion on both sides eases tensions. Consider couples counseling to navigate specific issues.


Make managing ADHD a regular discussion with a partner. Brainstorm strategies and divide responsibilities in areas like parenting. Approach it as working together against the condition, not each other.

Schedule regular self-care

Carve out time to recharge alone. Women tend to get consumed meeting others’ needs. Prioritize exercise, meditation, relaxing hobbies, healthy food and sleep. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Try behavioral strategies

  • Use visual reminders like whiteboards, calendars, and notes.

  • Break bigger tasks into mini-steps.

  • Schedule focus time when you’re most alert.

  • Reduce clutter to ease distractions.

  • Listen to music or ambient noise to stay on track.

Ask for accommodations

Disclose your ADHD at work or school to qualify for helpful aids like extended time limits, noise-cancelling headphones, workflow checklists, reminders and flexible schedules.

Practice mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness train your brain over time to stay calm, focused and constructive. Make it part of your daily routine.

Radically accept yourself

You are not lazy, flaky or scatterbrained. ADHD is simply part of your neurology. Release shame and build self-compassion.

Track symptoms

Use apps to record ADHD symptoms day-to-day. Review patterns monthly to find triggers and fine-tune treatment.

Connect with community

Find others who understand the female ADHD experience through in-person or online groups. Share strategies and validation.

Celebrate small wins

Give yourself credit for efforts, not just flawless outcomes. Redirect negative self-talk to be more encouraging. Progress takes time.

Ask for help

Communicate support needs clearly to family and providers. Speaking up gets you the tools required to manage symptoms and shine.

The ADHD journey has ups and downs like any other. But knowledge, skills, medication, therapy, coaching, and self-care make thriving possible. Please reach out to Renewing Mindsets’ women’s ADHD services if you could use guidance and empowerment.

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