8 Ways ADD Affects the Female Brain


This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in females. I am a father of three daughters – two of which have ADD – and my wife, Tana, was diagnosed with ADD.

ADD is commonly thought of as a disorder of hyperactive, behaviorally troubled boys. Yet, it affects many girls who are often overlooked because they tend not to be as hyperactive and have fewer behavior problems.

In fact, although females have ADD in high numbers, males are diagnosed three to four times more than females. Missing ADD in women can have devastating lifelong effects on their health, mood, relationships, career, and finances.

I’m going to share with you 8 specific ways that ADD may be holding you back:

1. Disorganization

Most people with ADD tend to struggle with organization. You often struggle keeping spaces tidy, especially your room, book bags, filing cabinets, drawers, closets, and paperwork. Things are left half done, half put away, “organized” through piles, or dropped wherever. Other people often complain bitterly about the disorganization, such as bosses, teachers, children, and spouses.

2. Being Chronically Late

Challenges with the organization of time are also something that you tend to struggle with. You tend to be late and have trouble completing tasks on time. Tasks and duties tend not to get done until there are deadlines or someone else is mad at you for not doing it. Often, you agree to do too many things at once, not realizing the time commitment involved. The chronic tardiness lands many ADD people in deep trouble. For example, you get fired from jobs for being late to work, not once, but on a chronic basis.

3. Conflict Seeking

To feel more alert, folks with ADD often find themselves seeking conflict or excitement. You can be masterful at making other people mad or angry at you which can have a serious impact on personal relationships. Additionally, many people with ADD are in constant turmoil with one or more people at work. You seem to “unconsciously” pick out people who are vulnerable and begin to pick verbal battles with them. Conflict may follow you from job to job.

4. Short Attention Span

This is true for regular, routine, everyday tasks. People with ADD have a difficult time with boring tasks and need stimulation or excitement to stay engaged, which creates problems in terms of following through on things like homework, chores, or paperwork. The mundane is terrible for you and not by choice. Many people with ADD can pay attention just fine for things that are new, novel, interesting, highly stimulating, or frightening.

5. Easily Distracted

You tend to notice more in your environment than others, which makes you easily distracted by outside stimuli, such as light, sounds, smells, certain tastes, or even the clothes you wear. Your keen sensitivity causes you to get easily off task. This can completely ruin relationships because they require consistent attention over time.

6. Stress

You may experience chronic stress from the results you’ve created in life. Chronic exposure to stress hormones does not make ADD better. In fact, stress hormones damage the memory centers, and chronic stress causes the brain to become hyper-alert, leading to severe distractibility and an inability to filter out extraneous stimuli.

7. Sleep Problems

Sleep disturbances are very common in people with ADD. Thanks to having a busy brain, you may have trouble getting to sleep at night and getting up in the morning. Sleep cycle problems can interfere with relationships, work, school, and overall energy level. Sleep deprivation leads to overall decreased brain activity and makes ADD worse. To optimize brain function, proper sleep is essential. Be sure to practice good sleep hygiene.

8. Insecurity

You may often have what feels like a long list of failures. You have many experiences of trying hard and not succeeding. ADD coaching can be particularly helpful for this. It allows females with ADD to develop a greater sense of confidence in their abilities.  This, in turn, gives you the momentum to move forward with your goals.

The good news is that ADD is highly treatable. However, ADD, like many other conditions, is not just a single and simple disorder. Therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We have identified 7 types of ADD– and each requires a different treatment plan because of the diverse brain systems involved.

To begin treatment for ADD, it is critical to know which type you have so that you know how to implement the most targeted interventions possible for your specific type. Amen Clinics has developed a free and confidential questionnaire to help you know if you or a loved one has ADD and which type you might have.

Tens of thousands of people with ADD from all over the world have been helped by Amen Clinics, and we can help you, too. To learn more or schedule a comprehensive evaluation, contact the Amen Clinics Care Centeronline today or call (888) 288-9834.


  1. What can a senior or and a do to correct ADD

    Comment by Linda — July 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM

  2. I ask with Linda, what can a senior do to correct ADD? In years past, I would not have thought I had this, but looking through your list of symptoms, I have more of them than I believed…when I was tiny, my aunt-14 years my senior-was my babysitter and as punishment would put me in the middle of the floor and sit me there, thinking I would have nothing to do. She said I would pick lint out of the cracks between floorboards and play with it…and while I can at times sit still, it’s more likely I will fall asleep when still than not.

    Also, of my four sons, 2 of them were ‘diagnosed’ as ADHD by their teachers, and though I refused to take them to be medicated, these teachers had a challenge with them in the classrooms. Doctors also thought of medicating them, it wasn’t just the teachers! But I saw what medications did to my younger brother who has seizures after an accident, he went from a bright boy to a zombie on the medications…and I didn’t want that for them.

    I am also coping with Lyme, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and am care-give to my spouse, who is limited in life in other ways than I am. So, what can seniors do? Oh, and my sons are in mid-30’s and mid 40’s now, and they still are having challenges with this also. Thanks!

    Comment by De — July 18, 2018 @ 4:41 AM

  3. After a lifetime of struggling with being late. I was diagnosed with ADD. Time management and excessive talking seemed to be my main problems. My counselor figured it out after I got fired from a job I loved, for being late. Just had my dosage of Strattera increased to 50mg. My home was organized and clean in two days! I am 62 years old! I used to only imagine how my life could have been so different, had I been diagnosed sooner.

    Comment by Gayle Hammond — July 18, 2018 @ 4:43 AM

  4. My daughter has a spect scan 8 years ago. We are still struggling with many of the above behaviors. She is unable to take stimulant meds due to anxiety. She is 25 and still has melt downs and periods of intense mood issues. Is there a possibilty to consult with a doctor from the clinic becasue we have the scan. I am sure there is new information and/or medications on the market which we may be unaware of at this time. Thanks!

    Comment by kim destefano — July 18, 2018 @ 5:37 AM

  5. What about info for us males???

    Comment by alan david — July 18, 2018 @ 6:09 AM

  6. Look into Neurotherapy, as sometimes what appears to be ADD is actually one’s brain waves not in balance.

    There are medications available, as well.

    You might find meditation, such as ZEN or Transcendental Meditation to be helpful. I found ZEN works body and mind. TM works more with mind.

    I hope this helps you find the solution you seek.

    Comment by Jonathan — July 18, 2018 @ 6:20 AM

  7. Although I can check off many of the characteristics that are mentioned in this article, I found that it was overly negative in several places and may provide a mischaracterization of the majority of women who are and have been able to have positive, successful relationships, careers and lives. Yes, I struggle with organization, deadlines, attention/over attention, time management, over committing and at times being misunderstood both professionally and personally. However, I have found that having ADHD can also lead to very positive characteristics and outcomes that were not mentioned in this article. For instance, I have been blessed to have many diverse jobs, friends, volunteer, service and recreational experiences. Therefore, I am very marketable, have a wide variety of skills and expertise as well as a well rounded and broad knowledge base. I am NEVER bored and can entertain others at the drop of a dime as well as provide information and help problem solve in a great many areas. Many of us are creative as well and come up with a wealth of ideas and options at work and in service areas. Even though we may procrastinate or put off tasks that don’t stimulate us, we are generally great in a crisis and can accomplish miracles when under tight timelines. When we are offered freedom and flexibility as well as understanding, acceptance and accommodations we can be awesome employees, friends spouses and parents. Medication and the use of personalized strategies help tremendously. I, personally, have not experienced the chronic relationship or employee conflicts mentioned above and open communication and education can assist others who have to resolve this issues and be successful in future endeavors. I enjoy all the information provided on this website. Please provide a more balanced, positive and hopeful view of ADHD in the future. Providing tips, resources and strategies to cope with some of the more problematic symptoms and characteristics mentioned would be helpful as well.

    Comment by Jennifer Elliott Meadows — July 18, 2018 @ 6:39 AM

  8. As an adolescent I fell head first off a horse headfirst on to concrete. I was unconscious for over an hour. I was taken to the hospital by private car. My neck was never stabilized and I was subsequently at doctor’s orders taken unconscious to the medical center. There I briefly regained consciousness and remember seeing the x-ray machine. I stayed home from school for approximately a week, but after that life went on as usual with horses, sports, etc. I have always battled the classic symptoms of ADD, both in school and as an adult. I am 70 years old and otherwise in good health. Is there any type of therapy from which I might benefit?

    Comment by Jacqulyn Ashcraft — July 18, 2018 @ 6:49 AM

  9. I was diagnosed with ADD 17 years ago. I am on Concert which has helped a lot however I am still easily distracted at home, can’t keep my house or ar clean, can’t seem to keep a romantic relationship for more than 6 mos. to a year. Is there anything else I can take-do??? I make lists etc but still difficult.

    Comment by Catherine Castle — July 18, 2018 @ 7:48 AM

  10. Hello Kim, yes we’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you to follow-up and re-evaluate the scan that your daughter had. We’ll email you, and if you’d like to reach us please call 888-288-9834. Thank you!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — July 18, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

  11. The main symptom for male ADD is frequency of losing the remote control and when they find it, how many times they change the channel. Just kidding! My son has it…just trying to add a little humor to something that’s not really funny! #momproblems

    Comment by Linda Fritz — July 18, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

  12. Hi! My company has a patented Brain Health Supplement that helps with focus, recall, memory, energy & boosts your immune system. This supplement is a result of 20 years of research on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, & other degenerative Diseases. Pleas contact me for more information. Diana

    Comment by Diana Haley — July 18, 2018 @ 2:09 PM

  13. These articles and comments are excellent! Thank you! I am 73 and was “diagnosed” at 50 with ADHD’s long list of symptoms. Later I was tested but since both parents were gone, I didn’t have it since it had to be passed down and meds didn’t work. Music through piano and singing saved me. My music degree got me teaching jobs that I lost cuz I couldn’t handle discipline problems, so I teach piano and love it. I studied piano technology. too many details, tools, exacting work. Awful experiences. Tuning is ok. Singing in groups and quick wit, laughfter, listening to books as I clean my messes and my faith and friends all help.

    Comment by Sandy Northrop — July 19, 2018 @ 4:55 AM

  14. One of the positives of ADD is sharing the Gospel…I love to share Jesus and because of my high energy, creativity, and love of being around people–I have written pages and pages of lists of people for years I pray for and have tried to share the Gospel. Romans 8:28!

    Comment by Pamela Walck — July 19, 2018 @ 6:38 AM

  15. What is the current cost of the SPECT test and consultation….do people ever get refunds from Medicare after the fact? Have multiple issues

    Comment by veronica say — July 20, 2018 @ 1:29 PM

  16. You may want to look into either Myofascial Release or CranialSacral therapy. They may help. John

    Comment by Maury — August 3, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

  17. Can u send me a link to your product??
    Thx so much

    Comment by Kim Montgomery — October 15, 2018 @ 6:59 PM

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