Restoring Wholeness-ADHD-Article


Restoring Wholeness for Women with ADHD

May 13, 2024 / by Ligia Hamada
Living with ADHD can feel like trying to find your way through a maze filled with hidden barriers. Women facing this condition often encounter obstacles stemming from norms and underlying prejudices. Dr. Patricia Quinn, an authority, in the field of ADHD, among women illuminates these challenges and offers insights into reclaiming a sense of Wholeness.

The Impact of ADHD on Women's Self-Esteem

In Understanding Women with ADHD, Dr. Quinn explains how women with ADHD often internalise negative feedback, leading to poor self-esteem. As a result, they tend to mask their symptoms, striving for perfection while feeling deeply inadequate.

“Girls tend to suffer silently for many years, developing poor self-esteem early on,” says Dr. Quinn. Their symptoms often sneak up on them, creating a cycle of anxiety and compensatory strategies that can lead to depression and perfectionism.

Women frequently feel anxious about meeting work expectations due to the fear of making mistakes or forgetting something important. This anxiety can manifest as behaviours where women spend excessive time organising and checking tasks repeatedly to avoid criticism. The pressure for perfection often drives them to overcompensate for their perceived flaws until it becomes overwhelming.

In college, women with ADHD often struggle with inattentiveness and organisation, which can lead to poor grades and, most likely, self-doubt. Have you ever felt like you were always playing catch-up with your classmates? Comparison with seemingly more organised peers can be disheartening, and the fear of rejection often causes women to withdraw socially, compounding feelings of loneliness and making them afraid to approach new people because of irrational thoughts like, “What if they find me weird?”

The challenges don’t end after graduation. In the workplace, women with ADHD often experience imposter syndrome, doubting their achievements and attributing success to luck, frequently feeling like they don’t deserve it. Balancing work, family, and personal life often feels like an impossible juggling act, leading to feelings of failure in both work and motherhood.

Restoring Wholeness

Despite the challenges of ADHD, restoring wholeness for women involves recognising their unique strengths and embracing their true selves. Dr. Quinn emphasises the importance of self-understanding and acceptance. By recognising how ADHD impacts their lives and challenging negative beliefs, women can shift their self-perception and rebuild confidence. Accepting oneself as they are, quirks and all, is a crucial first step towards restoring self-esteem.

Reframing internal dialogue is also essential. Replace self-criticism with affirmations like “I’m capable and strong,” and challenge perfectionist thinking by focusing on progress rather than perfection. Learning to show oneself kindness of striving for perfection is key to reducing feelings of inadequacy.

Creating a support network is another vital aspect of restoring wholeness. Surrounding oneself with people who understand and offer support can significantly boost self-esteem. Finding a community of like-minded individuals through ADHD support groups or counselling offers a secure environment for exchanging experiences and coping strategies.

Aligning one’s life with their strengths is also crucial. Choose roles and activities that complement natural abilities, and consider ADHD coaching to identify career paths that align with those strengths. Shifting to roles that allow the use of ADHD superpowers can make a world of difference.

Additionally drawing inspiration from role models can be empowering. Exploring the stories of women with ADHD who have embraced their attributes can serve as a source of encouragement. Learning about women, with ADHD instills self belief. Reinforces the notion that thriving despite challenges is achievable.

Restoring wholeness as a woman with ADHD requires self-acceptance, a supportive network, and embracing one's unique strengths. By changing internal dialogues, prioritising self-care, and finding inspiration in others, women can rebuild their confidence and live more fulfilling lives.
Looking for professional support to restore your sense of wholeness?


Understanding Women with ADHD: How They Feel and Why They Do What They Do. Advantage Books, 2002.

“Update on Girls with ADHD: An Interview with Dr. Patricia Quinn”, link here.

“Women and Girls with ADHD” by Patricia O. Quinn MD, link here