Something is wrong with my brain!
Women over 45 are the fastest-growing demographic of those newly diagnosed with ADHD. However, my guest Diann Wingert suggests that the numbers are probably much higher than reported. Why? Because general practice physicians, therapists, and other health care providers address the symptoms rather than the underlying cause.
ADHD symptoms that bring women over 45 to seek help from health care professionals include:
- Brain fog and inability to focus
- Strained relationships
- Eating disorders
- Memory loss
- Erratic job history
- Depression and anxiety
Women and their doctors/therapists are also apt to blame all of this on menopause. We talk about that too.
“In my opinion, the vast majority of therapists, and many, many adult psychiatrists would not be able to recognize ADHD in a relatively functional adult woman.
And the reason why is because she’s had it all her life. She struggled with it all her life. she’s learned some workarounds and some strategies and she’s managing, usually with a lot of fatigue and overwhelm. But what happens along the way, when the actual underlying issue is an identified ADHD, is that she is going to develop one or more of the following problems by the time she makes it to a psychiatrist or a therapist: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictions, relationship problems, inconsistent work history, getting fired, quitting jobs can’t figure out what she wants to do with her life. And then that problem becomes the focus of clinical attention. And nobody peels back the layers to find the ADHD, which is what got the whole party started.
And that’s my concern that, like I said before, most of the women who have ADHD, they’re never going to know it. Even the ones who seek help, they ask their doctor for help and they go see a therapist. I have worked with women who have been in therapy for years for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, problems with alcohol and so forth. And the therapist never even once suggested they should take a look at ruling out ADHD.
I have had many of my colleagues say, “ADHD?, Why ? She has an eating disorder!’
I could tell you exactly how she came to have an eating disorder because she’s impulsive. Because eating is soothing. And, you know, that’s why most women with ADHD have what they call comorbid disorders. I don’t think it’s because when you have one, you have others. I think ADHD often leads to the others when it’s not correctly identified and dealt with. The good news is, it’s never too late even if you’re 50, or in my case, 60. If you can sort of unpack the emotional baggage of the delayed diagnosis, you can quickly make up for lost time by changing the way you think about it, and the way you deal with it. And now I have a shiny new podcast, which was never possible before because I didn’t know I actually needed to make it happen. And now I do.”
– Diann Wingert
In this episode, we discuss:
- ADHD or ADD?
- The ADHD spectrum
- How “hyper” presents in girls vs. boys
- Diagnostic testing
- Why you can’t get anything DONE
- Personality traits of ADHD
Links and Resources:
→ Join Mary’s email list for listeners specifically interested in learning about a future mastermind group with Diann and Mary for women with ADHD. Subscribe HERE
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About Diann Wingert
Diann Wingert is a life and business coach for creatives and entrepreneurs who identify with the strengths and struggles of ADHD/ADD traits, officially diagnosed or not.
During her 20-year career as a licensed psychotherapist, Diann saw far too many brilliant & capable women struggle with distractibility, procrastination, perfectionism, & self-doubt that held them back from expressing their gifts in the world and had no idea that the underlying issue was ADD/ADHD, including Diann herself.
After her own mid-life diagnosis & diving deep into learning everything she could about how ADHD/ ADD is expressed in women, Diann embraced coaching as a more effective and empowering way to move past limitations and live life to the fullest.
She is now on a mission to help other gifted, creative & entrepreneurial women of all ages to achieve their true potential through radical self-acceptance, leveraging their strengths and creating an ADHD friendly business and life.
→ Learn more: diannwingertcoaching.com
→ Check out her podcast The Driven Woman.
→ Diann’s FREE downloads for Experience 50 Listeners: 6 Steps to ADHD Mastery and The Driven Woman Roadmap HERE
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