Finding Hope: Living Well With Bipolar Disorder And ADHD As A Woman

Living with a mental disorder, specifically bipolar disorder or ADHD presents many challenges as it affects the quality of life.

The purpose of understanding the behavior of women with bipolar disorder or ADHD is the following: 

1. To understand symptoms that vary with gender

2. To improve diagnosis and treatment 

3. To promote gender equality in research and healthcare and

4. To inform public health policies and improve access to mental health services

In this article, we will explore the differences between bipolar disorder and ADHD, the signs of ADHD in women, and the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

We will focus on adult women since there is limited research that explores the effects of mental health issues on gender.

What Is The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder And ADHD?

Bipolar disorder and ADHD are two different types of mental illness that need medication and treatment as they hamper and interfere with a person’s daily functioning and development. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder or manic-depression is another mental health illness observed by unusual shifts in mood (mood swings), energy levels, activities, and concentration.  


On the contrary, ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a continuous the behavioral pattern of impulsivity, inattention, or hyperactivity.

The Signs Of ADHD In Women

A considerable number of women who have ADHD receive their diagnosis at a later stage of life, usually during their late thirties or early forties.

This delay may stem from overlooked symptoms by parents, teachers, or pediatricians during childhood, as ADHD symptoms in girls may not be as apparent.

However, here are the signs of ADHD in adult women:

Disorganized Thinking

Individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may experience challenges in organizing their thoughts, leading to a manner of speech that appears scattered and unstructured.

This can manifest in a tendency to frequently shift from one topic to another during conversation.

In particular, women with ADHD may be more prone to these difficulties in thought organization.  

Time Management Issues

Managing time can be a challenging task for women with ADHD as they face difficulty in concentrating on a single task or idea.

This lack of focus makes it hard for them to have a sense of urgency and anticipate rewards and consequences, which further contributes to their struggles with punctuality and meeting deadlines.

Feelings Of Being Overwhelmed

Women, the same as men with ADHD, commonly feel overwhelmed or exhausted.

Most often they feel that their lives are in disarray, and this thought contributes to their feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

History Of Receiving Treatment

According to recent studies, women diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) reported experiencing a higher incidence of depressive episodes compared to the general population.

Additionally, these women also have a history of seeking treatment from mental health professionals for anxiety and depression.

These findings highlight the importance of addressing the mental health needs of women with ADHD and providing them with appropriate care and support.

Issues With Financial Management

Women with ADHD often exhibit symptoms of impulsivity, which can manifest in various ways, including impulsive buying and poor financial management.

This behavior can be challenging for them to control, and it can have a significant impact on their overall financial well-being.

What Are The Symptoms Of Having Bipolar Disorder In Women?

Given below are some of the major symptoms experienced by women:

  • Mania – the state or manic episodes of being in an elevated mood, overly high-spirited, creative, and extremely energetic for weeks or even longer.
  • Hypomania – lesser intense episodes than mania but is more likely to occur in women than men.
  • Depression – the condition of experiencing profound feelings of low mood or sadness, accompanied by lethargy or decreased energy persisting for a minimum of two weeks, is more prevalent among women.
  • Rapid cycling – a specific pattern of bipolar disorder, manifests when an individual experiences a minimum of four manic or depressive episodes within a single year. This phenomenon is associated with heightened risks of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide, and hypothyroidism.


You can live well and find hope despite suffering from a mental health disorder.

Remember that you’re not alone, and you can find support to help you get back on your feet and reclaim your life.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help; you need not battle this fight alone.

If you know someone suffering from any of the mental impairments described above, listen to them, and ask their thoughts about seeking professional help.

Many online clinics offer professional psychiatric services that can be conducted virtually or in person.

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