Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Women: Mystery and Magic

TALIA, a different profile of ADHD:

-Blacksmith, Jeweler. A modern day witch. Using empathy and kindness as ways to better the world.

-A degree in Japanese literature thats inspired my interest in ancient stories and modern translations thereof. During the protests, helped organize to feed protestors and houseless people in Seattle. Currently working in tech and trying to better worker’s conditions.

ADHD has long been imagined as a plague on boys, depicted in media as class clowns and rule-breaking balls of energy. However, there is more to this picture, particularly in women:

IMAGINATION and creativity are just as defining. A 2020 study by Martine Hoogman et al not only found that creativity, specifically divergent thinking is more prominent in people with ADHD, but that despite popular belief there are no detrimental effects on creativity with stimulant use. However, the most important facet of this study is the notion that ADHD is more than just deficits. Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey, authors of the ‘Driven to Distraction’ series contest even the name we apply to ADHD due to the pathologization of deficits instead of a more holistic view of cognitive differences.

ADHD is overrepresented in GENDER VARIANT POPULATIONS. That means that many people who have gender identities that depart from the expected social norms of their biology are more likely than average. I suspect that many social justice innovators are able to liberate themselves from oppressive social norms due to the powerful creative drives that Hoogman et. al. have quantified.

An important realm where experience of ADHD diverges by sex is INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA. While struggles are expected in all families, there are higher rates of parental conflict with untreated sons, while environment appears to have a larger impact (versus treatment) with daughters. These differences may be biochemical, but also may be social. Parents may report more generously on their sons, for example, and be more willing to accept that they are ‘naturally’ rambunctious in their treated or untreated state.

Talia has this to say about ADHD presentation in feminine versus masculine people:

’I think it has less to do with differences in genders and more to do with how they are treated. Girls have to bear more emotional maturity, younger, whereas boys bad behaviour is encouraged or playfully ignored’


1. Aron Janssen, Howard Huang, and Christina Duncan.Transgender Health.Dec 2016.63-68.
Published in Volume: 1 Issue 1: February 18, 2016

2. Kate J. Lifford  Gordon T. Harold  Anita Thapar. Parent–child hostility and child ADHD symptoms: a genetically sensitive and longitudinal analysis. 05 November 2009

3. Martine Hoogman, Marije Stolte, Matthijs Baas, Evelyn Kroesbergen,
Creativity and ADHD: A review of behavioral studies, the effect of psychostimulants and neural underpinnings,Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews,Volume 119,2020,
Pages 66-85,ISSN 0149-7634,