Symptom Tests for Adults

[Self-Test] ADHD Symptoms in Women

Symptoms of ADHD and ADD often manifest differently in men and women, many of whom grew up being called lazy or dumb while inattentive attention deficit was ignored or mislabeled as hormones or anxiety. Take this self-test to see if you exhibit the symptoms of ADD most common in women and girls. Then share the results with your doctor to seek a diagnosis.

Symptoms of ADHD in Women

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not gender biased. ADHD symptoms exist almost as often in girls as they do in boys, and the majority of kids with ADHD never outgrow it. What’s more, scientific research strongly suggests that ADHD is hereditary. Which means that, if you are the mother of a child with attention and impulsivity problems, you may have ADHD, too.

This comes as a surprise to many women who assume that ADHD is a diagnosis for hyper little boys. Indeed, it is not. ADHD in adults is very real; and ADHD diagnoses among women are on the rise.

According to the 5th edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ADHD symptoms may fall into three categories: predominantly hyperactive, predominantly inattentive, and combined type. Inattentive ADHD symptoms are still often misunderstood and misdiagnosed by medical professionals who mistake them for stress, anxiety, or another related condition. Inattentive ADHD is also more common in girls and women than it is in boys and men.

If you suspect that you have symptoms of ADHD, complete the free female ADHD test below and share the results with a health care professional — the only person who can diagnose ADHD.

[Related Self-Test: The ADHD Test for Girls]

NOTE: This self-test is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.  Only a doctor or mental health professional can diagnose ADHD based on clinical evaluation.

Are you called "a slob" or "spacey?"

1 out of 18

Are you clueless as to how others manage to lead consistent, regular lives?

2 out of 18

Does time, money, paper, or "stuff" dominate your life and hamper your ability to achieve your goals?

3 out of 18

Is your time and energy taken up with coping, staying organized, and holding it together, with no time for fun or relaxation?

4 out of 18

Do you shut down in the middle of the day, feeling assaulted?

5 out of 18

Do you feel overwhelmed in stores, at the office, or at parties?

6 out of 18

Do you feel as if life is out of control, and that it's impossible to meet demands?

7 out of 18

Do you feel that you have better ideas than other people but are unable to organize them or act on them?

8 out of 18

Do you start the day determined to get organized, and end the day feeling defeated?

9 out of 18

Do requests for "one more thing" at the end of the day put you over the top emotionally?

10 out of 18

Do you feel like you are "passing for normal," but you are really an impostor?

11 out of 18

Do you feel like you're always at one end of a deregulated activity spectrum — either a couch potato or a tornado?

12 out of 18

Do you despair of ever fulfilling your potential and meeting your goals?

13 out of 18

Do you watch others of equal intelligence and education pass you by?

14 out of 18

Do you have trouble balancing your checkbook?

15 out of 18

Is it impossible for you to shut out sounds and distractions that don't bother others?

16 out of 18

Do you hesitate to have people over to your house because you’re ashamed of the mess?

17 out of 18

Have you ever been thought of as selfish because you don't write thank-you notes or send birthday cards?

18 out of 18

(Optional) Would you like to receive your ADHD in women symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.

Attention Deficit Disorder in Women: Next Steps

1. ResearchWhat ADD Looks Like In Women
2. Take this TestRejection Sensitive Dysphoria Symptoms in Adults
3. Read: “That Explains Everything!” Discovering My ADHD in Adulthood
4. Take this TestDo I Have Inattentive ADD?
5. Read More About Women, Hormones, and ADHD
6. Take this TestFull ADHD Symptom Test for Adults

Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT, is a member of the ADDitude ADHD Medical Review Panel.

37 Comments & Reviews

    1. The higher the percentage(the more questions you answered in the affirmative), the more likely you are to be demonstrating the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. This self-test is not a diagnosis. A mental health professional can make a diagnosis based on clinical evaluation. Print out your results and take them to you clinician for diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Its interesting the test mentions thank you notes and other types of greeting cards. Why are these so hard for us, so easy for others? I’ve struggled with this my whole adult life. My friends will whip out a thank you note within a day or two, while for me its an epic project that may take months yo get to, if I ever do. It makes us seem unappreciative or uncaring, but we are not. Would love to finally get to the bottom of this weird struggle…..anybody have ideas or ever read an article on this? I haven’t been able to find anything.

  2. For two years CPS harassed and stalked me, showing up whenever to inspect my house for it being messy. They made me quit my Masters degree to stay home and clean my house. Then chastised me for not having a job. I almost had my children taken away. Nobody understood. At the time, I was also writing a screenplay which I did not dare tell them about for fear of them making me quit that. They scarred my children emotionally. Even now if there’s a knock at the door we have a twinge of anxiety and it’s almost two decades later. I wish I could sue them. They labeled me as a bad, neglectful mother and accused me of doing drugs or drinking. Meanwhile, I was working my butt off to better our lives! It was like forcing someone with a broken leg run a marathon. I wish I could sue them because we are still traumatized. If it weren’t for my psychiatrist at the time, I’m sure I would have lost my children. She argued with the ignorant uneducated ‘social workers’ that they knew nothing about my afflictions. They promised her they wouldn’t threaten me with taking my children away, but then threatened me. Of course I went back and told her. She then wrote a letter to them stating that she has never in her 15 years of treating seen any evidence of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. And no substance abuse. She said I was extremely involved in my children’s lives and care for them dearly. And she’d be willing to go to court and say that. Still, they harassed us for another year or so until we finally moved from the neighbourhood we were in. Turns out CPS was having my landlord come in to our apartment whilst we weren’t home and take photos and they had the school reporting on all my children’s behaviour without my knowledge. They also interviewed my neighbours and asked them (ordered them) to report back or they’d be charged. It was complete Nazism in modern times. My doctor and I have since parted ways, but I will never forget how she fought for me when we were all alone. She also taught us how to stand up for ourselves.

  3. Many of these questions are about what other people think. Or whether other people are rude enough to say things to you. I am not put together like others, but people don’t tell me I’m a slob. It also asks about emotions or feelings of shame. My house is a mess, but I don’t hesitate to invite people over because my self worth isn’t hinged on other’s thoughts of me. I found a pile of unsent thank you notes in my basement – from my wedding a decade earlier. I’ve also found others that were never sent, but no one has ever told me I’m selfish. So I check never. I’ve never felt I was selfish for not sending them. The question was about selfishness and other people’s thoughts. – not whether or not I was capable of writing a note, putting it in an envelope, addressing it, and getting a stamp, and getting it to the mailbox.

    If ADHD is about how you feel about yourself, then I guess I don’t have it. However this assessment is useless at trying to determine whether a person has the executive functioning to be orderly, tidy, etc.

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