Hello, my wonderful readers! Today, let’s talk about a topic that, thankfully, is gaining increasing attention but still needs a brighter spotlight—adult women being diagnosed with ADHD, particularly after the age of 40. If you’ve recently received a diagnosis, or perhaps you’re supporting someone who has, then this blog post is for you.


In your 40s, you’ve probably navigated career shifts (career hopping anyone?), family dynamics, and multiple phases of self-discovery. Adding an ADHD diagnosis into the mix might feel overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! It can also be a positive turning point, a step towards understanding your unique brain chemistry and making it work for you.



Before we dive into thriving with ADHD, let’s tackle why some women are diagnosed later in life. ADHD symptoms typically manifest differently in girls and women compared to boys and men. Some traits are viewed more as character traits, or more often character flaws, such as ditzy, messy, careless, chatty, etc., making them less noticeable to teachers, parents, and even healthcare providers. Many women have learned to mask some of their symptoms or misattribute them to other factors like stress, hormonal changes, or just everyday chaos. As I was told in a variety of ways over 30 years, “You have too much on your plate.” Yet I didn’t have more than anyone else in my life.



Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life may actually bring relief. Finally, you have an explanation for certain challenges you’ve faced—be it inattention, impulsivity, or difficulty with executive functioning. Instead of seeing this as a setback, consider it a new baseline from which to start a more targeted approach to managing your well-being.




Understanding your symptoms is the first step to managing them effectively. Your brain operates in a distinct way, and that’s absolutely okay. The better you understand how you think and operate, the more efficiently you can navigate various aspects of life. Each person with ADHD is different. It is a spectrum so there is no one-size-fits-all solution but that means that our solutions are unique as we are!



It’s the little victories that lay the foundation for self-confidence. Did you finish a task that you’ve been putting off? That’s progress! Did you remember an important date because you started using calendar alerts? Awesome! Small wins begin to create a sense of accomplishment and adds to your self-confidence. It gives you momentum!



Surrounding yourself with a supportive community can be a game-changer. Whether it’s friends who understand your journey, finding a support group or working with a therapist and/or coach who has working knowledge of ADHD, a supportive network is key.



Post-it notes, planners, and phone alerts can be your best friends. These tools can help you manage tasks and make room for more pressing cognitive functions, like creativity and problem-solving. Whenever you find yourself saying, “I’ll remember that. I don’t need to write it down,” IMMEDIATELY write it down! 😂 No pen and paper handy? Put it in a voice note or in a notes app on your phone with a reminder to look at it. Or ask Siri to remind you of whatever it is you need to remember with a date and time or for when you get home.



Physical activities like walking, swimming, or even dancing can do wonders for your mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which naturally elevate your mood and help with focus. Cardio comes in second, behind stimulant medication, as an effective treatment for ADHD.




Here are some quick tips to help you tackle those executive functioning skills you may find challenging:
  • Chunking: Break tasks into smaller, manageable parts.
  • Prioritizing: Learn to identify what needs immediate attention.
  • Scheduling: Allocate specific times for tasks, including leisure activities.
  • Mindfulness: A touch of mindfulness can help you become aware of distractions and help you refocus. Yes, even people with ADHD can do meditation.


Getting an ADHD diagnosis later in life might feel like you’ve just been handed a whole new rulebook, but you’ve got this! It’s never too late to understand yourself better and build a life that plays to your unique strengths. I have had clients in their 80’s ready to take this on! Take each day as an opportunity to refine your skills, boost your self-confidence, and thrive with ADHD.


Remember, the journey toward a better you is not a sprint but a delightful stroll through the park. Enjoy the scenery!


Until next time, be kind to your wonderfully unique self! 🌟



If you would like to learn more about how you may be able to get help with the day-to-day aspects of your ADHD and more please schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see what might work for you: Free Consultation Call
Content provided by Women Belong member Jorie Houlihan