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Women with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Often Misdiagnosed

More and more women are being diagnosed with adult ADD or adult attention deficit disorder by mental health professionals due to the increasing awareness and public education. Even Dr. Oz recently discussed on air the topic of adult women with ADD with a board certified psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center, who reports that ADD in women is under recognized, under diagnosed and under treated.

Women with Adult ADD Struggle with Their Symptoms

ADD is a neurological disorder, often hidden and ignored which causes women to struggle with their ADD symptoms in silence. ADD often mimics and co-exists with many other conditions and mood disorders where symptoms are commonly diagnosed as depression, anxiety, low self esteem, or chronic fatigue syndrome. An experienced psychiatrist with a successful history of treating women with ADD would make the correct diagnosis, allowing proper effective treatment to begin immediately.

Adult ADD Diagnosis for Women Starts with Warning Signs

Women with ADD are often described as quiet day-dreamers, easily distracted, unable to complete tasks or assignments on time, periods of time where they are moody, anxious, frustrated or easily angered. Women with ADD are also more prone to develop eating disorders and may struggle with weight gain and obesity. These warning signs are typically explained away by the excuse “it is just the way I am,” or “it is just my personality.”

Furthermore, women and society view these “personality characteristics” as stemming from a busy stressful life trying to manage home, work, kids, and personal relationships — not from a treatable diagnosis of adult ADD. Women with ADD are often misdiagnosed as they may only exhibit subtle hyperactivity, quite unlike the typical hyperactivity such as thrill seeking impulsive behaviors displayed by males. A qualified adult ADD psychiatrist would uncover the “hidden” diagnosis during their comprehensive evaluation.

Common Experiences of Women with Adult ADD

Findings published in the Journal of Attention Disorders and the Journal of Clinical Psychology report common reported experiences of women who were diagnosed with ADD in adulthood. The majority of women are diagnosed with adult ADD in their 30s and 40s and report the following behaviors and beliefs:

  • Display a “learned helpless style,” often blaming themselves when “bad” things happen
  • Adult women with ADD begin to think they have no power to change a negative situation, which over time turns in to the belief they are unable to accomplish anything in life
  • Increased likelihood to report a history of anxiety and depression
  • History of taking prescribed psychotropic medications

Atlanta Psychiatrist for Women with Adult ADD

Obtaining the correct diagnosis is the first step toward the development of a treatment plan that will free you from the bonds that have prevented you from reaching your true potential. Call Dr. Darvin Hege, the Atlanta psychiatrist with a long successful history of treating adult women with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Change your life for the positive. Contact us today.