Today would have been my adopted grandmother's 109th birthday.
She would not have associated ADHD with me, even if she had known about ADHD. She did know I got bored easily, that keeping my hands busy in the summer time placing apples on bread trays to dry outside, putting laundry on the line to dry, or shelling peas and butterbeans would entertain me for hours. When those tasks were done, she knew I would lose myself in summer reading assignments and attend to nothing else. She never thought to be concerned or question why I might choose to read for hours rather than engage with anyone, why I could sit outside and stare at the clouds for hours but TV shows were boring for the most part.
For so long, ADHD was thought to be a boy's childhood disorder. It caused boys to run and jump and be generally out of control in classrooms and homes. They would grow out of it and girls didn't have to worry about it. But they were wrong. Unfortunately, that allowed girls to go unnoticed, accused of daydreaming, laziness, flightiness or stupidity. Some of us were extremely intelligent, obsessively persistent or determined to find coping mechanisms that let us get by. And many of us did - until we didn't. When we could no longer cope or those coping mechanisms failed us, we may have fallen with spectacularly damaging results allowing professionals and family alike to label us as depressed, anxious, distracted, menopausal, unmotivated, unorganized, un-, un-, un-.
Today we know more. Today we know ADHD affects women and girls at alarming rates whether they are formally diagnosed or not. How has ADHD affected you? What's your story? And how will you write the next chapter?
For more information about the prevalence of ADHD among women and girls, check out some of the following resources:
Symptoms of ADHD in Women and Girls: https://chadd.org/for-adults/symptoms-of-adhd-in-women-and-girls/
ADHD in Women: https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adhd-in-women
ADHD in Women: A Symptom Checklist for Adults: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-symptoms-in-women/
ADHD in Girls - The Symptoms That Are Ignored in Females: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-in-girls-women/
Why is ADHD Missed in Girls?: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190530-why-is-adhd-missed-in-girls
4 Women who live with ADHD tell their stories: https://www.today.com/health/mind-body/adhd-girls-women-3-people-share-diagnosis-stories-rcna18883