ADHD in Women

“Women with Attention Deficit Disorder”

Overcoming challenges unique to women.

by Sari Solden
Underwood Books, $14.95
Purchase Women With Attention Deficit Disorder

Sari Solden’s Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embracing Disorganization at Home and in the Workplace was published in 1995. At the time, it was the first book to focus on the unique challenges faced by women with ADHD. The second edition, now bearing the subtitle Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life, highlights how much has changed over the past decade.

Women have long known that fluctuating hormones affect the way we feel. What we didn’t know 10 years ago is that estrogen affects the same neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine) that contribute to ADHD. Thus, when estrogen levels rise or drop with pregnancy, menopause, or PMS, ADHD symptoms appear to get better or worse. If you’d been wondering why your medication seems less effective at certain times of the month, Solden’s book will help you understand.

In the chapter titled “Are You Friendship-Challenged?” Solden addresses Dr. Thomas Brown’s recent “ADD Syndrome” theory, linking common relationship problems-and solutions-with impaired executive functioning. To overcome problems with memory, Solden recommends keeping a list of friends on your bulletin board or by the phone, so you’ll actually remember to call them or drop them a note. She also urges us to find our own ways to stay connected. Just because one of your friends invites you to a dinner party for 12 doesn’t mean you can’t reciprocate with an afternoon tea for two.

Solden, who has been a therapist for 16 years, makes her book highly readable by weaving in case studies of clients. And in this edition, she’s broken the material down with more subheadings, making it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. Both are good things when there’s so much useful information to be had.