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Women With ADHD: Late Diagnosis, Hormonal Changes, and Symptom Management | Dr. Maggie Sibley

Women With ADHD: Late Diagnosis, Hormonal Changes, and Symptom Management | Dr. Maggie Sibley

Episode Summary

In this fascinating episode of Fempower Health, Georgie Kovacs is joined by Dr. Maggie Sibley, a renowned women’s ADHD specialist and researcher. As a clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Sibley shares her research-based knowledge and unique perspective on the often overlooked and misunderstood topic of ADHD in adult women. 

Listen as we discuss the complexities of ADHD beyond childhood, the relationship between ADHD and hormones in women with attention disorders, and practical strategies for managing ADHD symptoms across different life stages.

Key Discussion Points:

  • Common misconceptions about ADHD being a children’s condition and the reality of how symptoms persist into adulthood.

  • Research on the trajectory of ADHD from adolescence to adulthood and why it’s so important to recognize ADHD in adults.

  • How ADHD symptoms in women manifest differently than men, including internalized symptoms like inattention and executive dysfunction. 

  • Connections between societal expectations of women and why ADHD often goes undiagnosed in women until later in life.

  • How women’s hormonal changes impact regions in the brain that are associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

  • Ways to treat and manage adult ADHD, including lifestyle modifications, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and personal coping strategies. 

  • The importance of structure, routine, exercise, and healthy diet for effective ADHD symptom management. 

  • Tips for navigating the healthcare system during the evaluation stage and treatment plans after diagnosis to ensure specialized care for women with ADHD.

  • The importance of community support and further research for women with ADHD.

“Estrogen interacts with dopamine in the brain, which can significantly impact ADHD symptoms, especially during hormonal transitions like perimenopause.” - Dr. Margaret Sibley

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Guest Bio

Dr. Margaret Sibley is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She has authored over 120 scholarly publications on ADHD in adolescence and adulthood with research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Institute of Education Sciences. She is Secretary of the American Professional Society for ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD), a Professional Advisory Board Member for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Attention Disorders. She is the author of Parent-Teen Therapy for Executive Function Deficits and ADHD: Building Skills and Motivation published by Guilford Press in 2017.


The information shared by Fempower Health is not medical advice but for informational purposes to enable you to have more effective conversations with your doctor.  Always talk to your doctor before making health-related decisions. Additionally, the views expressed by the Fempower Health podcast guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.


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