Living with ADHD is a lifelong journey that can have far-reaching implications. For women in particular, who are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to historical bias and misconceptions, these implications become even more nuanced.
One key area that hasn’t been extensively explored is the financial impact of ADHD on women. From the high cost of diagnosis and treatment to challenges with financial management and career progression, ADHD can pose significant monetary hurdles for women.
The Financial Burden of Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the initial financial impacts of ADHD for women is the cost of diagnosis and treatment. ADHD is not an easy disorder to identify due to overlapping symptoms with other conditions and a lack of definitive diagnostic tests. Women often also require multiple attempts to be assessed in the first place. (I had to try 4 times before I got assessed!) The high out-of-pocket costs, particularly in countries with private healthcare systems, can be prohibitive.
Once diagnosed, the treatment of ADHD often necessitates medication, therapy, and coaching, each contributing to the overall cost. Insurance coverage for these treatments varies widely, and those without adequate coverage often shoulder a significant financial burden.
Financial Management Challenges
ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, forgetfulness, and difficulties with time management can directly impact financial health. Impulsivity may lead to spontaneous and uncalculated spending, resulting in accumulated debt or inadequate savings. Forgetfulness can lead to missed bill payments, thus incurring late fees and negatively impacting credit scores.
In addition, the organizational skills required for budgeting and financial planning can be challenging for those with ADHD. Without the right strategies or tools in place, managing personal finances can become an overwhelming task.
Most people also don’t realize that time blindness impacts planning for our financial future. Time blindness is the inability to feel time passing or to estimate how long things will take to do. It isn’t just about being on time for appointments. It also impacts our ability to see the future. In ADHD world there is “Now” and “Not Now”. “Not Now” doesn’t exist in the ADHD brain. Coupled with poor working memory and lousy impulse control it can lead to low retirement savings, the inability to save for a home and more.
Career Advancement and Earnings
ADHD can impact women’s earning potential and career advancement, leading to further financial difficulties. Contributing to inconsistent job performance and hindering advancement opportunities are:
👉🏻 Time management challenges
👉🏻 Difficulty focusing
👉🏻 Struggles with organization
The stigma associated with ADHD can also result in discrimination in the workplace, affecting employment and promotion prospects.
In addition, many women with ADHD may be drawn to creative, flexible careers which, while fulfilling, may not provide the same level of financial stability or growth as more traditional career paths.
Strategies for Financial Well-being
While the financial impacts of ADHD can be daunting, there are strategies and resources available to help women manage these challenges:
- Budgeting Tools: Utilizing budgeting apps or tools that provide visual aids and reminders can help manage finances and develop responsible spending habits.
- ADHD Coaching and Therapy: ADHD coaches can provide personalized strategies for managing finances, work responsibilities, and daily tasks. Therapists who specialize in ADHD can also help you deal with the emotional component of your financial life. Both help in understanding one’s unique challenges and strengths, which can be a game changer in mitigating ADHD’s financial impact.
- Support Groups: Support groups, both online and offline, provide a platform to share experiences, learn from others, and gain emotional support.
- Accountability: Using outside accountability, whether it be an accountant, a financial planner, daily money manager or a trusted family member or friend can also help. The more accountability for people with ADHD the better!
ADHD’s financial implications for women are complex and multifaceted, influenced by healthcare costs, financial management challenges, and career-related obstacles. Recognizing these challenges is the first step towards developing coping strategies and policies to ease the financial burden. Whether it’s through using modern technology, seeking professional assistance, or joining support groups, women with ADHD can navigate these financial waters, fostering stability and independence. The journey may be challenging, but with the right resources and support, it is far from impossible.
For more information on life coaching for ADHD women go to https://joriehoulihan.com.
Content provided by Women Belong member Jorie Houlihan