Perhaps your daughter has been having trouble in school, or she’s been down on herself for not reaching unrealistic high standards. She might be struggling to hang on to her friendships, and sometimes, it can seem like she’s lost in her own world. You might be tempted to chalk these symptoms up to simply being a teenager. Yet for many young women, issues like these are actually symptoms of ADHD.
People often assume that teenagers with ADHD come across as hyperactive, extroverted, and easily excitable. However, teenage girls often present a different set of symptoms, which can be overlooked. Here are a few symptoms to keep an eye out for if you have a teenage daughter.
Young women with ADHD are prone to daydreaming. They might seem like they’re zoning out during important conversations or in the classroom. People may assume this is because they simply don’t care about what’s going on, but this couldn’t be further from the truth for many girls.
Teen girls with ADHD aren’t trying to be rude when they daydream. It’s simply significantly harder for them to pay attention to one thing at a time, and their condition means that they can be easily distracted.
Trouble Maintaining Friendships
Lots of people with ADHD have trouble keeping up with their friends. They might forget about plans they agreed to, neglect to text or call their friends back, or remember important occasions and celebrations too late.
These slip-ups can be especially frustrating for young people with ADHD, who might blame themselves for having smaller social circles or worry about being viewed as unreliable, even when they’re trying their best.
Academic Troubles or Perfectionism
It’s easy to think that teen girls with ADHD would automatically struggle in school. In some cases, this is true. Teen girls with ADHD may have lower grades, and parents might worry about their academic performance slipping.
On the other hand, some teen girls with ADHD can turn into perfectionists when it comes to academics. They might put in far more effort to keep up with assignments than other students, and they may feel exceptionally anxious if they do poorly on an assignment. Teen girls with ADHD often put unhealthy amounts of pressure on themselves to succeed in school.
Struggles Being Taken Seriously
Many teen girls feel like they aren’t taken seriously in general. This phenomenon can be even worse for teen girls with ADHD. They might worry that other people view them as ditzy or inattentive, or that their opinions don’t carry much weight.
Teen girls with ADHD may be especially concerned that their teachers don’t care to hear their perspectives, even when they’re doing their best to keep up in the classroom. Furthermore, they may worry that their parents assume that they’re “faking” their problems, and feel nervous about asking for help.
Anxiety and Depression
ADHD can often be co-morbid with other conditions. Teen girls with ADHD might experience high levels of anxiety and stress. This can be especially true for teen girls who happen to be forgetful due to ADHD, as they may worry about forgetting important things.
Additionally, teen girls with ADHD can be especially susceptible to depression. This can occur for a number of reasons. They might feel disappointed that they don’t meet certain expectations, or they may feel left out because they struggle to make friends. Teen girls with ADHD and other conditions like anxiety or depression may need more support through therapy.
Do you suspect that your teenage daughter is struggling with ADHD? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.