Feature Archive

Suffering in Silence: Women With Adult ADHD

ADHD can silently follow adults for years but there is help if you know the signs.

By Dulce Zamora
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Cynthia Haines, MD

Adult ADHD is a sly condition that can secretly affect people for years without their knowledge. Lori-Lynn Dale knows first hand. In her senior year in college, she not only completed her studies, but also managed three jobs and cared for a new baby boy. Dale seemed to handle herself beautifully, but inside the young mother felt alone, tired, and overwhelmed.

Besides staying awake for days to finish projects, Dale admits to alcohol and drug abuse to ease frustration, and to using "underhanded tactics" to get her way. Her manipulative behavior and fear that someone would find out that "something was really wrong" with her made it difficult to make and keep friends. She did not want anyone to know about her shortcomings.

"I was out to prove that I was just like everybody else," says Dale. "It was a huge cost to my personal development and my self-esteem."

Dale did not feel relief until she was in her 30s. That's when she became sober and was diagnosed with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Could ADHD be Affecting Your Life?

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