Symptom Tests for Adults

Female ADHD Test: Symptoms in Women and Girls

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 female ADHD 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.

Do you hesitate to have people over to your house because you’re ashamed of the mess?
Do you have trouble balancing your checkbook?
Are you called "a slob" or "spacey?"
Is your time and energy taken up with coping, staying organized, and holding it together, with no time for fun or relaxation?
Do you feel like you're always at one end of a deregulated activity spectrum — either a couch potato or a tornado?
Do requests for "one more thing" at the end of the day put you over the top emotionally?
Do you despair of ever fulfilling your potential and meeting your goals?
Do you watch others of equal intelligence and education pass you by?
Does time, money, paper, or "stuff" dominate your life and hamper your ability to achieve your goals?
Do you feel as if life is out of control, and that it's impossible to meet demands?
Is it impossible for you to shut out sounds and distractions that don't bother others?
Do you feel overwhelmed in stores, at the office, or at parties?
Do you start the day determined to get organized, and end the day feeling defeated?
Do you shut down in the middle of the day, feeling assaulted?
Do you feel like you are "passing for normal," but you are really an impostor?
Have you ever been thought of as selfish because you don't write thank-you notes or send birthday cards?
Do you feel that you have better ideas than other people but are unable to organize them or act on them?
Are you clueless as to how others manage to lead consistent, regular lives?

(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.

40 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. I am at a point that I fear talking to a psychiatrist. After being “told” by people or simply an acquaintance that I must have ADHD, and my family accepting my absent mindedness, forgetfulness, inability to follow directions whether to make something or go somewhere, I finally bit the bullet as I’ve had more time these days to be aware of my clumsy, flustered self and stupidly called one of those zoom psychiatrists that advertise that they help those with adult adhd and anxiety. It was really hard for me to blurt out my chaotic life to someone because to me it’s normal and I did t want to sound crazy. I took their “test” and talked first to a “consultant “ who said I sounded like someone they could help. I was so flustered I can’t remember what I said, and I couldn’t speak in a way that was really descriptive of how my brain seems to work. But I tried to give examples of my day to day life now and how other people and my parents commented on my fidgety person and my complete lack of comprehension on tests etc.. but as she rushed me to stop talking and got agitated at me for not understanding yes and no questions, because I couldn’t answer just yes and no, she ended by saying that since I got my Masters degree, (Masters of Fine Arts) which is hardly a degree that takes much detail taking focus, that I somehow managed well enough, and I wasn’t diagnosed as a child (even though I had plenty of life examples) that she couldn’t treat me . All of this with her tests pointing to the symptoms of ADHD, and generalized anxiety which to me is caused because I live in a flustered brain…. She ignored what her tests said, offered to treat me with a antidepressant which is too scary to me as I’m not depressed in the least. I don’t know if anyone else has been belittled by a psychiatrist as if I was not being truthful, was drug searching like some kind of addict… which is far from the truth. I was so shaken up by her disregard for what I was saying that I actually thanked her for her time ( that I paid $275 for) and hung up dejected… but when I read the symptoms and frustrations of other moms that have been diagnosed I relate so much. I had always been offended by those who teased me saying that I must have adhd, those who were taken aback by my energizer bunny energy, but it was bothering so much that I truly wanted someone to listen to me. I’m 54 and grew up in a small town. No one went to psychiatrists . My mom I’m sure was agoraphobic and always seemed flustered and angry, getting overwhelmed so easily. I learned to cope with how I am after stopping drinking and getting involved with AA…although I can accept me, that doesn’t mean it’s not draining and difficult everyday. I just wanted to say all of this. I guess I want to be heard and know if other women have had a similar experience about being told that they couldn’t have ADHD because they are relatively successful and weren’t officially diagnosed as a child.

  4. 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.

  5. This is all very well, but I don’t invite people over because I don’t really like people over, not because it’s messy – which it is, people find me as they find me and I’m ok with that. And at 51 I am so over stressing about extra jobs others think they can put on me….and I live in the U.K. where people don’t tell others, generally, if they think they’re being rude about unsent thank you notes so expecting me to read their minds – especially if I am neurodivergent – seems a bit unfair.

    I’m assuming by ‘balance your checkbook’ you mean manage your finances, since no one writes cheques any more do they?

  6. I’m afraid I don’t understand question 8. Nobody uses cheque books since 1990 so I’m guessing it’s something else. Also it’s spelled differently. Also how would balancing a cheque even work?
    Does it mean making sure you have the money in the bank when you write the cheque? But again, why would anyone write a cheque?
    I’m probably being thick here but hey, I’m honest!

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