Skip to content
randi and Jess podcast

Listen to Episode 1 Now Launched!

Unmasking ADHD in Women: Late Diagnosis and Beyond

Are you struggling with self-identity and seeking mental health resources? In this eye-opening episode of Unmasking ADHD in Women: Late Diagnosis and Beyond, we delve into ADHD in women, late diagnosis, and its impact on women and the female population.

Join Randi Owsley LMSW and Jessica Bullwinkle LMFT, two licensed psychotherapists with 22 years of expertise in women's mental health, as they uncover the hidden world of late ADHD diagnosis and share invaluable coping strategies. Whether you're a new mom, an empty nester, or feeling alone, this episode is a must-listen for anyone navigating the complexities of ADHD in women.

Get information on the signs and symptoms of ADHD in women, and learn more about diagnosis and treatment options. Find resources to help manage ADHD in women.

Things we talk about: Women ADHD Symptoms, Women's Mental Health, ADHD Symptoms in Women, ADHD in Women, Women and ADHD, ADHD Awareness for Women, Women's Mental Health Podcast, Self-Care for Women with ADHD, ADHD Support for Women, Mental Health for Women with ADHD. #WomensMentalHealth #ADHDinWomen #ADHDAwareness #SelfCareForWomen #MentalHealthSupport #ADHDSupport #ADHDTreatment #ADHDChallenges

More Important Topics we cover in upcoming podcasts: ADHD in women checklist, ADHD in women test, ADHD in adult women: symptoms, ADHD in women test free, treatment for ADHD in women, ADHD in older female symptoms, ADHD in adult women treatment, living with a woman with ADHD.

Also included in this episode – We’ll answer the questions you are trying to get answered in your search bar, as well as answering questions from the audience. You can ask your own questions by going to our form and submit your question (anonymously is totally an option) about women's mental health.

Transcription of Episode 1 Unmasking ADHD in Women: Late Diagnosis and Beyond

[00:00:00] Randi: 1, 2, 3, 4, hi friends. It's Randy and Jess, and we're gonna cut

[00:00:07] Jess: the bullshit and let's get into women's mental health.

[00:00:13] Randi: So do you think you have ADHD? Well, so do we, we're

[00:00:17] Jess: gonna talk about how women get overlooked when it comes to ADHD.

[00:00:21] Randi: Have you ever thought I'm so scatterbrained? I don't know how to focus. My mind is all over the place. I'm

[00:00:28] Jess: so overwhelmed.

[00:00:29] Randi: My anxiety is so freaking high. I can't get

[00:00:33] Jess: a damn thing

[00:00:33] Randi: done. I can't find my keys.

I can't find my phone. These are all

[00:00:37] Jess: phrases we hear by so many women in our practices and among our friends, shit,

[00:00:42] Randi: we use them every day and you know why

[00:00:45] Jess: it's because we have ADHD majorly. . And that's the problem. When it comes to women in ADHD, it often goes undiagnosed because it's of outdated symptom, criteria, lack of awareness and so much misdiagnosing.

[00:01:00] Randi: So huge misdiagnosing. The truth is that women can have ADHD and it isn't uncommon for them to live without knowing they have had it because many of their symptoms gun go unnoticed or misunderstood.

[00:01:16] Jess: the reality, both Randy and I were misdiagnosed as practitioners. We missed the signs as well. Yes, we are both therapists and we missed our own signs.

Yep. So it goes to show you how little ADHD is known in regards to women. No wonder practitioners, therapists, et cetera, miss all of these signs.

[00:01:38] Randi: So I did some research and I saw that 50 to 75% of girls go undiagnosed. So what is that saying to us as women?

[00:01:51] Jess: One practitioners, therapists, psychiatrists, all of us.

We don't know enough about ADHD and we don't know how it manifests in women.

[00:02:02] Randi: Yeah. So why are women so often missed with this D. Well,

[00:02:08] Jess: you know, I'll talk about how I got diagnosed. Um, my daughter's ADHD know that got her tested. Great. I was having anxiety. I think I was 42. I was having anxiety. I went to my purse to get my little happy anxiety pill, and accidentally took one of her ADHD pills.

And I thought, oh crap. Well, cuz a, you know, I don't have my glasses on. I can't see crap. Yeah. and then I thought, oh shit, I'm gonna die. I just took her ADHD pill. Let's see what happens. Right. There's gonna be a really bad trip or it's just gonna be an interesting experience within 15, 20 minutes. My whole world just went whoosh and I.

Okay. I'm no longer anxious. I feel pretty, pretty focused. Fuck. Excuse me. Crap. I have ADHD. I was 42 and a therapist for like what? 10 years? Yeah.

[00:02:56] Randi: So same with me. I was diagnosed at 40. So what happened was that I thought my son is so ADHD. I need to get him diagnosed. And he was like falling a little bit behind in kindergarten.

And I thought like my dad's ADHD, my son's ADHD he got his diagnosis and I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Like I do all of these things. Like I fit it. I can't sit still. Like I don't have focus. I. very, very academic, but it was still very hard for me. And so that's why I was missed because I was high performing like my whole life, but it was always a struggle, like always a struggle to be that high performing.

And so when I finally got on the medication, I was like, oh my gosh, all the puzzles and my brain started fitting together. and it was like my brain kind of congealed and actually became like one, like I could like think straight and see things in a way I had never saw them before.

[00:04:10] Jess: Yeah. It's, it's really interesting when you have, when I spent the first 42 years of my life being ADHD.

Not being diagnosed. And then all of a sudden being diagnosed. And for me, I had to go tell my family doctor that, oops, I actually took my daughter's amphetamine pill. And instead of my anxiety pill, right. I'm not a pill popper. I swear. I, she really has ADHD. Right. And thankfully, I had a good relationship with the doctor who believed me.

A lot of doctors would think that you're drug seeking because they're so hard. These medications are so hard to get right.

[00:04:43] Randi: Since they're a controlled

[00:04:44] Jess: substance. Absolutely. And once we got it, you know, got me on the right medications, it was like, this explained so much about my childhood, my early twenties.

Oh my God. My early twenties. Oh yeah. Scary. The stupid stuff I did. Right. I mean, my favorite we'll get to that later, right? Oh my gosh. So what does this mean for other women with ADHD?

[00:05:08] Randi: So it is really important to let women know that ADHD is a neurological disorder. It is not your fault. It is not something that you can control.

also that we, as women have a very high level of empathy and we can very much internalize our feelings so often when we go and seek help, they latch on to like you're having a mood disorder. And so they're not looking or ruling out all these different. Symptoms that you're having

[00:05:45] Jess: right? Most of the time, especially in my practice, the women that come to me, cuz I specialize in anxiety.

They come to me cuz they're having anxiety and everyone's saying you're having anxiety and they're on these anxiety pills and it's not helping them. And the reason it's not helping them is because they're actually ADHD.

[00:06:02] Randi: Yep. And that happened to me too. I got diagnosed with anxiety in my twentie. And then depression and I had been on anxiety and anti-depression medication, most of my adult life, but it never seemed to help.

And I was always struggling. And once I was able to find the right medication and therapy for my ADHD, I was able to get off my anxiety and depression medication because that wasn't the base. Cause my ADHD was causing my anxiety and depression because of the way that my brain is hardwired.

[00:06:41] Jess: Well. And if you had had a provider who could say, okay, this is what I think is actually going on.

This would've been something in your twenties that you would've had a handle on. Right? But it's important to also kind of like pinpoint here that ADHD, isn't a choice. It's not like you say, Hey, I'm gonna have a mental health disorder or, you know, it's not something that you can change by just being more organized.

There's so many people that say, well, if you were just more organized, right. Or if you could just focus mm-hmm right. It's not a character flaw. It's, it's, it's having a condition. It, and it doesn't mean you're not you're lazy or undisciplined.

[00:07:16] Randi: Right. And I always felt that about myself too. I was always so frustrated because I was never organized.

I could never keep track of things. I was always losing things. Like I didn't always hear like the full picture when people were talking to me because of my symptom of being inattentive to things. It just made me feel like a failure over and over again. I would try to implement different organizational skills, different tools, different planners.

And I was like, why does none of this work for me? Like, I see, you know, picture perfect, you know, organized houses on Pinterest and Instagram. And I was like, I cannot achieve that. Like why? And like, I felt like a failure because like I kept trying and trying, but it's like, my brain did just not think that way and just did not see things that way.

[00:08:08] Jess: Well, and my thing is, I'm always late. I was late to the studio today and always late. And, and you know, when I first met my husband, we have this time thing, right. Like for me, I'm saying I'm leaving at two o'clock, I'm gathering up my shit and trying to get out the door by two mm-hmm for him leaving it two means he's driving down the street.

Right. And so we really had to merge our time thing because for me, you know, he's driving off without me. And so that's part of my ADHD and he doesn't.

[00:08:36] Randi: Yeah. And it's interesting to see like how other people who aren't neuro divergent, like us like operate and they expect out of this and we. Come to think that we expect that of ourselves because like, that's what we see as mainstream, but I feel like we need to be a lot gentler with ourselves with that kind of stuff.

And I've learned to be more accepting of what I thought were character flaws, but they're just who I am, because like you, my friends used to say, oh, we're on Randy time. Like they would tease me. I would just be like, yeah. Yeah, because I would always be late. Like I could never be on time. Like I literally have to like, if I need to be on time, like I need to be ready, like two hours, like before I need to be someplace.

And it's just good to know that. When you have ADHD, it affects the way you think and process information. And sometimes it's just hard to understand time. We have time blindness and, um, we can live in our head like a lot of the time with ADHD and, um, It's okay. It's okay to be that way and to learn that, um, that's

[00:09:46] Jess: normal, absolutely normal.

And I wanna go normal. Funny. cut that out. Absolutely normal. And so what I wanted to also say is there's the difference between neurotypical neuro divergent? We threw that word out. Oh yeah. Neurotypical are mainstream people who do not have ADHD, neuro divergent just means our brains think differently.

That's typically people who are ADHD or even on the autism spectrum. Yes. Is neuro diver. So ADHD is real. It has some serious consequences for women. Um, and some of these consequences are things like we had talked, Randy was talking about right. Lower self-esteem mm-hmm , um, higher levels of anxiety, um, experience of depression and moodiness.

Oh my gosh. You were talking about, you know, being on depression, meds and anxiety meds mm-hmm yep. Um, most of this will lead to negative impacts in relationships and even in careers, cuz Lord knows I can't do an eight to five job cuz I'm never gonna be on. Right. Never, um, feeling a lack of control over situations.

Right. Having a difficulty coping with home life. Oh my gosh. If your kids are ADHD.

[00:10:52] Randi: Oh, that, that just, yes. And we both have, I have two ADHD kids and I'm ADHD myself. And just also has an ADHD daughter. So we're on the thick of

[00:11:03] Jess: it. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and some women, I didn't, I don't know if I've really experienced this, but some people have the physical symptoms such as like headaches and stomach aches.

Um, I do get the sleep problems where like my brain doesn't shut off at night. Yes. Um, and just keeps going and

[00:11:18] Randi: going and going. I get that too. Yeah. I used to say like, um, my mind is like a stock market, like ticker. It just like goes and goes and goes and goes. And I didn't realize like that. Wasn't how everybody else's mind worked.

I was like, I just can't shut off. Like I have to read for like one or two hours at night to like slow down and like, um, relax because it's hard for me to shut off my brain. Well, and I call

[00:11:43] Jess: reading my ginger whenever I call it, like, you know, when you get sushi, you have ginger to kind of clean your palette.

Oh yeah. So whenever I read, I read don't judge me. I read really crappy

[00:11:52] Randi: stuff. Oh, I read trash. Okay. Like trashy romance. Yeah. Trash. I need something to, you know, come down right off of all the work that I'm doing,

[00:12:02] Jess: mine's usually like murder mysteries. Mm-hmm . Yeah. And so I call it my ginger. It just kind of gets rid of my day and changes it.

So I'm ready to sleep. So, well, and I think you and I have two different types of ADHD. Mm-hmm right. So I just wanted to go over those cuz not everybody is familiar with that. So there's three types really? Right. There's ADHD, inattentive mm-hmm there's ADHD, hyperactive slash impulsive. And then there's ADHD combo, which is both.

So which

[00:12:34] Randi: one are you? Um, I am definitely inattentive. Okay.

[00:12:39] Jess: what does inattentive kind of, what is some of the inattentive?

[00:12:43] Randi: So I have a hard time paying close attention to details. I can make like careless mistakes. So like in school it was like, math was like really hard for me because, you know, it's like all in the little like details and like caring things and like putting.

Whatever. So, um, nobody needs a math lesson. nobody. Um, but so, you know, I would like miss, like those little tiny things. So like numbers and stuff were always like really hard for me. Um, and things that didn't hold my attention right away. I would definitely like lose focus on like, if the task was like way too long, I needed to like do something else in, um, the middle of.

Uh, my family always says, like, I don't hear them fully. mm-hmm and I'm like, it's not that I don't mean to it's just the way my brain short, short circuits, you know, in a way it's like, I can't hear it. Uh, my daughter says like, I, instead of like skimming, like while I read, like I skim while I listen and I'm like, uh, yeah, that's kind of right.

Accurate. Yeah.

[00:13:50] Jess: well, and I know I have some clients, like some of it is being indecisive trouble, making decisions. Mm-hmm , um, things like, uh, trouble making realistic go realistic and manageable. Oh my gosh. Realistic and manageable plan, like really saying I'm gonna be there at a certain time and being able to actually get

[00:14:07] Randi: there the follow through of it.


[00:14:10] Jess: Um, sometimes it's when people are tapping mm-hmm right. Being able being distracted by other noises. Yes. You're a noise

[00:14:17] Randi: person, right? I am a noise. Like, um, noise can be, uh, very triggering for me, very distracting for me. Um, a lot of people, like a lot of noise in the background, music, TV, uh, my sister's that way, like she has to have the TV on, like while she works and stuff like, I need silence.

Um, and especially like later in the day when I'm tired and stuff like that, like noise can be like very overwhelming for me. And like super distracting.

[00:14:44] Jess: When you say overwhelming, is that kinda like, um, does it trigger anxiety for you when it gets overwhelming? Like that? Yes. Okay. I, I get that towards the end of the evening as well.

Mm-hmm especially if my meds are wearing off. Yeah. Um, the other thing too, is difficulty, uh, regulating emotions. Like especially if stressed, everything feels so

[00:15:03] Randi: much bigger. Yeah. And I think that's why often women are diagnosed with, um, mood disorders instead because, um, they think that that. The main trigger when really it can be the ADHD symptoms, because I realized that too, like my moods were swinging like so, so high and low.

Um, and once I was on the right medication, I was able to stabilize that.

[00:15:30] Jess: That's good. That's good. So, I am actually the combo type. I am hyper and inattentive. So I am a bouncy squirrel. Mm-hmm . I am all over squirrel squirrel, squirrel, bouncy squirrel. I am hyper. Um, I like to do projects in my house. I am queen of projects finishing.

No, you're

[00:15:48] Randi: always remodeling your house.

[00:15:51] Jess: remodeling changing. I probably have a carpet in my, a carpet in my car right now that has to go back cuz I couldn't figure out which carpet I wanted. Um, very indecisive all over the place. Bouncing, starting projects, not finishing projects. Mm-hmm , which is my main thing.

Um, I'm a pile shifter. I shift different piles, so I clean one area. Another area gets messy.

[00:16:10] Randi: I do that too. I have what I call dump areas. Mm-hmm where I just like dump everything. My family calls it like mom's piles or whatever. Yeah. Mom's mom's piles of sh all over the place. Yeah. Or, um, I used to have like a doom drawer or like a doom closet that I would like shove everything into and it's like, don't open that drawer or that.

Um, and then I never think of it again. If I don't see it, it's not there. Like you have very much like time blindness and almost blindness to disorganization around you. I call that

[00:16:44] Jess: my Monica closet. Do you ever see that friends episode where Monica's like, don't go in this closet? Yes. Yes. I have a lot of those.

right. Two junk drawers in the kitchen. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:16:54] Randi: Yeah. And same thing with like crafts and stuff. Like I'll buy all the crafts, all the craft supplies. Yes. Like that's my hobby. And then like not actually follow through with them or like, I'll do one and then think like, oh, I'm gonna do like cutting vinyl today and making t-shirts and then tomorrow I'm gonna do, uh, you know, crochet.

I don't know, I just collect craft supplies apparently.

[00:17:15] Jess: So do I, we should go crafting. Yeah.

[00:17:18] Randi: at least shopping, at least shopping for crafts.

[00:17:20] Jess: Yes. I am a craft supply shopper as well. I could do any project, but I don't. Right. So some of the, some of the hyperactivity impulsive symptoms, um, that we see they're less common in women, um, cuz women typically will internalize them or hide them better than men.

One of 'em obviously is my talking excessively , um, having a hard time during leisure activities. Oh my gosh. My daughter is both as well. And during movies, I can't see a movie with her. We, we just cannot go to the

[00:17:48] Randi: movies. You know what, maybe I am a little bit of a combo too, because it's like, my husband is always saying like, I cannot watch a movie with you and our daughter, cuz we will like make commentary like back and forth.

Yep. While we're watching it. And he is like O M G stop. Like, and I'm like, you don't have to watch a movie with us. We like this back and forth cuz it's like stimulating to us for that.

[00:18:13] Jess: Well, and that's one of the signs. Right? Um, the other one is restless. I don't sit still like for me a movie we talk about a movie.

Yeah. I usually. Three times and get up and go do something else. Mm-hmm I can't watch a full two hour movie in a row in a theater. Drives me. Bonker.

[00:18:30] Randi: Yeah for me, I realized too, like when I was connecting the dots, like with my son and like how hard it was for him to like, sit still, just to like eat, let alone do homework, or like be in the classroom and stuff.

I realized that as a woman and as a girl growing up, I had really internalized all of that restless. And started thinking back, like I used to tap all the time and move my legs all the time. And I would doodle all the time while I was like in the middle of school, I needed those breaks, those fidget, that movement stuff.

Mm-hmm but I didn't know that it was okay to do that because I was like, You know, I was like a people pleaser, you know, so I was like, you need to, and we used to get in trouble, right. For like talking too much, moving too much. So like, you almost become fearful of doing those things, like as a girl. Um, and so I would just like try to control like my body and my movement while I was sitting like in class and I can look back.

See that now. Um, and now I have, you know, fidgets and like a fidget desk, um, mat and stuff that I can stand on when I work. So I've learned to like, utilize that stuff for good and that be okay with it. But I see like how it was like as a child and how I try to control it and internalize it. Well,

[00:19:53] Jess: and I was recently cleaning out some boxes at my mom's house of all of my stuff from childhood mm-hmm and all of my report cards, going back to like elementary schools said things like Jessica talks too much if Jessica could stop talking.

Right. Um, one of 'em my third grade teacher even said, Jessica is so pigheaded. I mean, pigheaded on a report card back then. I mean, granted, this was a long time ago, right. But

[00:20:15] Randi: still in black and white. And like, that's something that you have still carried with. Absolutely to today. Right? So it's like, same thing.

We carry those things with us. I do remember like being in like kindergarten and being told, like, Randy, you're talking too much, like, and I wanted my kindergarten teacher to love me. And so I felt like so horrible that I was talking too much. So I learned, I taught myself not to talk in.

[00:20:43] Jess: So I think you went the people pleaser route mm-hmm

I think I did the opposite when which was more the no bullshit. Screw you route. Yeah, right, because I'm like, I'm gonna do my thing. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Um, but again, I tend to lean more towards the impulsive hyperactive ADHD. Mm-hmm in women. Um, I don't know if I'm necessarily a people please.

Um, I have definitely have my moments

[00:21:06] Randi: of it. I'm not anymore, but I mean, I used to be

[00:21:10] Jess: I think I've always been kind of a screw you. This is who I am. Yeah. Um, I wish I had had some words to go with it, like screw you who, this is who I am because I'm ADHD, right. That would've been a little bit more. Uh, more better.

Is that the right word? No, I don't know. Do

[00:21:24] Randi: we need to label it though? Do we need to explain ourselves to other people? I feel like we shouldn't,

[00:21:31] Jess: I don't know. You know, it's one of those things, that's kind of a mixed bag. Right's like I teach my daughter to normalize her ADHD. We have normalized her ADHD since she was diagnosed in kinder mm-hmm right.

Especially second grade is that this is just my. It's not an excuse, but it is a reason why she does this. Right.

[00:21:51] Randi: Um, I think that can be empowering too, to know for yourself, like this is why it's been so empowering for me to be like, seeing why I did the things I did understanding my brain more and my personality more and, um, being a little bit more forgiving of why I am the way I am.

[00:22:12] Jess: Exactly. And so part of it is. You know, there's so much shame for women, especially for like us diagnosed in our forties. That there's so much shame for the things that we did. I mean, again, my favorite tagline as a, as a kid was it sounded like a good idea at the time, because they'd say, why did you do that?

I don't know, sound like a good idea at the time.

[00:22:32] Randi: Oh yeah. Like looking back in college, I was horribly impulsive and that led to, you know, being promiscuous. I'm not saying like that's a bad thing, like to explore your sexuality. Like, I think that's a really great thing, but like I put myself in a lot of.

Bad situations because I didn't have any impulse control. And, and my, I knew like I probably shouldn't be doing this, but like, my brain was like, do it anyways. You know, mm-hmm because there was like no stopping like me at that point. And so I was like constantly chasing that dopamine because I was, um, you know, undiagnosed and didn't have the right medication.

[00:23:15] Jess: So we are seriously all over the place. Let's go over what dopamine is. Okay. Okay. So dopamine is something that our brains, especially ADHD brains, we chase, um, there have been things like dopamine diets, those things consist of like bananas chocolate. Those are things that are like quick things that help our brain.

It's the instant gratification and satisfaction of, of needing the, the, the quick fix. I guess it's like a quick fix, which is why a lot of ADHD also go towards, um, you know, drugs, alcohol, um, those kind of impulses. Yeah.

[00:23:48] Randi: You're chasing a high basically because your brain is wired differently and you need.

Stimulus like constantly. And so you're seeking an outlet for that. Um, and you know, it is very common though, to be fearful of medications. Yes. And I was too, I was very nervous to have my son go on medication. Um, my daughter. Once we started connecting the dots. We saw that my daughter was, you know, ADHD too.

Um, cuz I was like, wait, my kids are just like me and then, um, but I was nervous to put them on medication and it's okay to be nervous. It's okay to question it. It's okay to research it. Um, but once I was on medication, like it was like all. Wires in my brain like connected. Um, but sometimes it does take a while to find the right medication

[00:24:41] Jess: too.

It does. In fact, I was laughing. I have a little baggy, I must have 10 different little bottles of different controlled substances at home. Don't say that. I know, I know. I'm actually waiting to take it down to the, you know, where you give back the pills to the cops thing. They destroy. Em. Yeah, I've got, 'em ready for that.

um, I know, I think there's one coming up here pretty soon, but. When we decide to put my daughter on medication. I mean, even as a therapist who recommends me medication, I cried, it was such a hard decision to put her on medication. Mm-hmm because it was, it took us three or four times to get the right meds.

I mean, one of 'em, it did this thing where it dumped out of her system and like at, by five o'clock she was this really grumpy

[00:25:23] Randi: bear. Oh, that happened with my son too. Like he just. When he was trying the medication at first and like, he just like spazzed. Like, and I was like, oh my gosh, like what's happening.

I was like freaking out. And I was like, what did I do? You know?

[00:25:40] Jess: Right. That's called rebounding them. Right. And I knew that because I'm a therapist, I feel bad for parents who don't know this. Right. And then we tried another one and it gave her restless leg syndrome. And this poor thing, she was what, third grade, second grade, second grade mm-hmm

And we're sitting there and she was like, mom, there's ants in my, in my. And I'm like, no, baby, there's not, I didn't know what was going on the next day. I'm getting my hair done. I mean, like literally highlights, tin, foils, all this stuff. Oops, tin foils, all this stuff. And like, I get a call from her teacher's personal cell phone that says, Hey, um, she's having a really bad experience.

And, and you're like, oh shit, what? Oh shit. And she goes, there's she thinks there's bugs on her legs. And I was like, I'll be right there. And I ran down. Literally she's like this girl's tripping well. And you know what? I tell parents all the time, if you're gonna start meds, make sure their teachers know mm-hmm because had that teacher not known, she wouldn't have known to call me.

Right, exactly. So I said, Hey, she's having a bad reaction to medication. I'll be right there. And this poor little thing, she went there and went into the, the nurse's office and took off her pants. It was like, I'm not wearing those pants anymore. whatever was in those pants. She was like, Nope, tossing mom.

I'm never wearing them. Right. And thankfully, There was some pants she could wear, but I was like, okay, we need to switch this. Yeah. This is a bad, bad

[00:26:58] Randi: side effect. Yeah. And it's important to know if you do have a provider and they're giving you medication and stuff like that, that they are on the same wavelength as you.

And if you are having symptoms, you can call them right away. Absolutely. Find out what's going on and decide if you need to change that medication. A good provider. Yes, therapist.

[00:27:22] Jess: Primary care physician, your neurologist. Yes.

[00:27:24] Randi: Psychiatrist, psychiatrist, med management, whoever they should be like, we do not want you having, um, Symptoms like this.

Yeah. So if you do call us and we'll get right on it, change it, don't wait around if you're having symptoms and stuff like that. Especially like when you're an older woman and you're in the middle of things working and it's like, and you're having like this symptom and you're like this isn't right. Like you can't don't leave that stuff like unchecked.

[00:27:54] Jess: Well, and don't wait two weeks. You know, because they're gonna check up in two weeks. Don't wait two weeks. I least recently they had me try Adderall. I tried it for two days and I'm like, no, no, this stuff is brain foggy. I don't like this. Oh, that's right. You

[00:28:07] Randi: were over at my house. Right. The first day you were on it.

Yeah. And I could

[00:28:10] Jess: totally feel it coming in and out and I'm like, mm, I don't like this. I'm gonna go back to what I like. It's fine. I'm I'm not gonna try it.

[00:28:17] Randi: Yeah, exactly. And like, when I first started medication, like I started a very low dose and like just worked my way up, like every couple of months so that I didn't have any huge, like, um, you know, In what I, what's the word I'm looking for?

I don't know. Inflections. Yeah. Swing swings, reactions. Yeah. Reactions and that. So I could like pinpoint stuff, like if it was happening and if the medication was right or wrong for me and things like that. So, um, Yeah. And so there's lots of things to consider when you're seeking treatment. Like we were saying, you need to find a provider who is familiar with not only ADHD, but like the symptoms you are having.


[00:29:05] Jess: Absolutely. And we threw out a bunch of different names earlier. Um, there's so many different routes that you can go. I always tell people, start with your primary care provider. Um, they can help you get started. However, they typically only have like the basics, right? For, they have the idea. They can give you some medication.

You know, you can also go to a neurologist, a neurologist can help you. They can do the testing. They always also wanna do sleep testing. Uh, you can go to a psychiatrist, your psychiatrist, they're harder to get. But they are the people for the medications, right? Yeah.

[00:29:39] Randi: And I feel like I skipped because I had been misdiagnosed by so many ki primary care physicians.

I was like, I am going to somebody who, this is what they do. 24 7 it's deal with medications because there are so many medications out there. And even us as therapists, like we know that it can be really overwhelming. To understand all the different drugs that are out there. So I'm gonna go to somebody that has the education and the background and utilizes this on a daily basis with people.

So they know all the nuances of what this medication does, how it can look like, what symptoms it can create, if any. And so I went straight to somebody. Dealt specifically with ADHD and medication management for that. So a psychiatrist or their physician, a.

[00:30:34] Jess: So, right. It's just, sometimes people have a hard time getting into them.

They do, depending upon where they are. Um, and that's why I always say, start with your primary care, but that it doesn't have to end there. No. Um, and as we're talking about medications, a lot of people are so against medication mm-hmm um, there are other options, obviously, as therapists, we say, get therapy, right?

Learn the tools. That you can use. Uh, we talked about a fidget. In fact, I've been playing with a fidget for the last 20 minutes. Mm-hmm um, while we're doing this right. It's, it's learned the tools to help you, um, right. If you're against medication or you're not, not ready to start it. Um, so what are tools that help you Brandy?

[00:31:12] Randi: Well, definitely learning coping skills, like. Cognitive behavioral. Well, that, that

[00:31:19] Jess: CBD CBD CBD,

[00:31:21] Randi: well, those help too CBD gummies. I'm just gonna throw that out there. Um, before I was, you know, diagnosed and my anxiety was so high and like no medication was working for me, like I did, um, My husband was like, you need to try something, dude was like,

[00:31:38] Jess: well, and not all CBD has to have THC.

We're gonna put that in there. So we're in Idaho where that is, that is not allowed. Right? So there are definitely CBD options that don't have. Yes, the,

[00:31:48] Randi: the illegal good stuff. And that's something else we can talk about too. There's different, like high spectrum ones that are like better that have like third party, like lab testings and stuff.

And anyways, we've done. We've done that route too. So we know about that, but. That's a great, like natural, like alternative, but pairing that with therapy, I feel is like the most imperative because. If you don't have medication, or if you run outta medication or for some reason you can't afford the medication, you need to have a toolbox of resources that you can lean on when you are having, you know, impulse control or like, um, you're living in your head or like, you're just super restless.

Like what are things you can pull out like a fidget, like I have like a standing desk and like my, um, fidget mat that I can stand on while I work. And it's like, and then I. Learned, um, cognitive behavioral therapy and worked on that, like with a therapist and stuff like rewiring my thought process so that I understood things a different way.

And I could lean on that, like as a resource.

[00:32:52] Jess: Absolutely. I like fidgets. I have a desk where if I need to stand, I can raise it so I can stand mm-hmm um, usually I'm fine sitting, but I have this chair that I love that lets me rock just enough that it's not annoying, but enough that I can move. Yeah. Or like a

[00:33:07] Randi: ball chair, like one of those yoga ball chairs.

Like I also have like a wiggle seat. That I can like sit on and move on. Like, those are great tools for me. Like when we do need to be focused and get shit done, you know, like it's like, how do I help myself focus? Like how do I stay on task? Like those resources, or like using a timer too. Mm-hmm like, um, to keep myself on task, like, okay, I'm gonna do this for like, you know, 15, 20, 30 minutes, whatever it is.

And then I'm gonna take a break and get up and move and, you know, repeating that also. Jessica. And I both have our Alexa set up with daily reminders to shout out at us to do things because we forget. All the freaking time. So, and

[00:33:54] Jess: it's funny when I'm over at her house, we are, we are sitting there doing some work and all of a sudden her Alexa starts talking and I was like, oh, it's like being at home.

Yeah. It's time for me to do something. I know what it's what it is. Yeah.

[00:34:03] Randi: It's all Randy do this. It's all Randy, tell your kids to do this. Like Randy, like you need to check your grocery list cuz like I will forget stuff all the time too. Like when I'm at the store, like why did I come here? And like another lifesaver for me has been, um, What is it?

The apple tags? Cause like I lose my keys all the time and my wallet. So I keep a tag tracker on my keys and in my wallet and then I can find it as long as I haven't lost my phone, which tracks it. Right.

[00:34:32] Jess: You lost your phone. You're out. So we do a drop spot. Um, so typically in our house, we have an organized where you walk in, we have a drop spot.

I should show you guys a picture. And in this drop spot, everybody has a place to put their backpacks, their purse, their, you know, wallet. So we know where it is now, phones. That's that? That's typically where's my phone. But again, Alexa helps me find my phone too. Yeah.

[00:34:55] Randi: We do. We have that too, like where I have the kids put like their stuff and we have like baskets and stuff and we can post pictures of that on our blog so we can show like how we utilize those things to help us.

So us do it a little bit differently. Yeah. Mm-hmm yeah. And that's okay. You can do it whatever way works for you. You just have to keep like, trying different things and being kind to yourself while you're doing that. Because I, my inner monologue to myself was like, not kind over the years over, like, why can't I do this?

Why can't. You know, find things like, why am I so disorganized? Like, why am I this? And it's like, you're not alone in that when your inner monologue is like, so mean. And like we as women, like, especially do that. And I have to tell myself like, stop, like stop Brandy. Like that's one of the things I learned and like, um, C B T was like, I put up a big red stop sign, like in my mind, like.

Stop thinking this, or stop doing this, like let's rethink, like let's flip the script on this and think of how we can handle like this differently.

[00:35:58] Jess: Well, and that's why I like the like daily affirmations. Mm-hmm right. It is so hard. Especially for most of my clients. The, you are worthy is one that most people cannot tell the.

They cannot or just, I like myself. Oh, I like myself. I am worthy of love. Oh my gosh. Giving

[00:36:16] Randi: yourself a compliment. How hard is that? We can't hardly accept a compliment from an outside source as women mm-hmm and it's like, wow. Like,

[00:36:28] Jess: well, we are doing our pictures for the website. I was like, oh, this is a cute one of you.

And you were like, mm. Right. I don't like that one.

[00:36:35] Randi: Well, even when we were taking pictures and stuff, Jessica was like, I don't wanna see any of them because I'll tear myself apart. Absolutely. And I was like, you look like so gorgeous. Like, are you kidding me? And like, it's so interesting. Like how we do internalize stuff extra when we have ADHD as women and that like our friends and family see us.

So differently, like so beautiful, like so wonderful, like so accomplished. And we're like,

[00:37:02] Jess: eh, right. We both have masters and we're both like, eh, we're okay. Right. Even here we're like, eh, well, you know, do we know what we're doing? Right. Do we

[00:37:10] Randi: know what we're doing enough to do this? Right. It's like, I run two companies and I have employees and I'm like, I don't know what I'm doing.

And I'm like, yes, I do.

[00:37:17] Jess: well, like you're a badass. You absolutely know what you're.

[00:37:22] Randi: yeah, we both do, but it's like hard as women. We just don't give ourselves enough credit. Well, and

[00:37:27] Jess: that goes back to some of the things I kind of wanted to like, redo and like go over. I wanna actually listen to this, have women.

I can't talk to today. Oh my gosh. have women listen to some of these things that come up because women with ADHD. We present differently than boys and men.

[00:37:46] Randi: Right. Right. And that's why 50 to 75% of girls go undiagnosed.

[00:37:53] Jess: Absolutely. So I just want you guys out there. I want you to count on your fingers. Just, just hold your fingers up.

If, if any of one, what I'm saying sounds like you, okay. Difficulty paying attention, uh, to details or making careless mistake. okay. Trouble focusing on long tasks, especially things that, you know, require a lot of your mental energy or you don't like, uh, difficulty listening closely when someone's speaking trouble, following instructions or finishing tasks.

Lord knows I can't bake for crap cause I can't follow directions. Um, difficulty with organization, right. It could be cleaning the house or, you know, organizing your bills. Yeah. I hate clean. Right. Um, frequently losing your shit, like your keys, your wallet or Randy's phone. Oh

[00:38:39] Randi: yeah. And back to the bills too.

Like in my twenties and early thirties, I was horrible. I, I saw a bill, I just set it down and I would forget about it. It wasn't like, and it, it affected my credit and stuff like that.

[00:38:50] Jess: Absolutely. Um, easily distracted by, you know, unrelated thoughts or stimuli when, like, I don't know, you're middle of having sex and all of a sudden you're like, oh, I need to think about this.


[00:39:01] Randi: You think like, oh wait, that's not normal. Like that. I'm like making a grocery list while I'm having sex. Like right. No, that's not normal. And this is why we're all over the place.

[00:39:09] Jess: absolutely, um, forgetting daily activities. Oh my God. I forgot my kid at school. Once when it was early pickup, she will never let me forget.

Been there, done that. Right? Forgot. Trouble making realistic and manageable plans. um, trouble making decisions. That's the indecisiveness I talked about. Mm-hmm , uh, procrastinating doing things at the last minute. Uh, difficulty relating. I'm sorry. Regulating emotions, especially when stressed, how many did you get on your fingers?

Oh my

[00:39:35] Randi: God. All of them. All of them. Right? Yeah. And so that's what I kind of did like a self test and then I was like, okay, all every single self. Like I took and you guys can go to our, um, website too and take like a self test on there, but like was pointing me in the direction that I had ADHD. And like, I shouldn't ignore this.

And like, when I went, um, to the psychiatrist and he was like, oh yeah, like a thousand percent, like you are totally ADHD. Um, so it's important to like, take those like steps. Like if you feel, or if you think like you are having some of these symptoms, like. Take a self test, um, then get tested, then do some reading on it and, um, normalize kind of like what is happening and what you're feeling and seek therapy for

[00:40:22] Jess: it.

right. And you know, the other thing is I tell people, tell your family and friends that are close to you that, Hey, I just got diagnosed, or I think I'm ADHD, help them understand. In fact, you know, I'll, I'll post some links for, um, the favorite books that I like to recommend, because this is part of it is normalizing that you are not dumb.

You are not lazy. You are not stupid, but you. And your brain works a little bit different than most people's and that's okay.

[00:40:50] Randi: Yeah. And like maybe too, they could connect the dots too and be like, oh, that's why, you know, Randy or Jess is like this way. Like I see it now too. And like maybe if that's something that's like a frustration point and like one of your relationships too, like same thing, like normalize it and like give yourself like that lead way to like, have them understand it and have you understand.

[00:41:15] Jess: Absolutely drives my husband nuts that I have to watch TV and play on my phone at the same time. Oh yeah,

[00:41:21] Randi: absolutely. Or mine's always like put your phone away and I'm like, I it's, there's like lulls in the show and it's like, I need to be keeping, I need to keep doing something mm-hmm like in the process or

[00:41:32] Jess: it's hard to sit and if I can play with something, then I can sit and watch

[00:41:35] Randi: TV.

Right. Then you can fidget and you can relax a little bit

[00:41:39] Jess: or mine will check on me and go, Hey, Jess, the, uh, Oven's on and you're in the garage. Right. Are you cooking? I'm like, oh crap. Yeah, I

[00:41:46] Randi: was but was burnt

[00:41:48] Jess: yes. Oh, thank you. Letting me go grab what I was actually

[00:41:50] Randi: going to do. Yeah. Done that. Like, I can hop from like task to task, to task and it can like make it like really hard to like finish something and follow through.

So, um, yeah, constantly having to, like, I write myself like notes all the time. Like do this, do this, stay on task, right. Alexa's

[00:42:06] Jess: like, Hey, are you cooking? Are

[00:42:07] Randi: you cooking? Right? Uh, yeah, I'm cooking.

[00:42:10] Jess: I really want people to remember that ADHD is real. Right, right. It is not your fault. It is something you're typically born with.

It is something that's neurological. Like Randy said it probably runs in your family. Yes. Right. Um, it can also coexist with anxiety and depression. Mm-hmm right. Cause I know Randy, you talked about when you said you went on ADHD meds. Same for me. That most of it went away. Yeah. It doesn't always go away.

The friends, they like to hang out. Yeah.

[00:42:39] Randi: Yeah, they do. And it's like, well, especially as you get older, like I'm heading towards, oh my God. Like premenopause oh girl. And so, um, my moods are starting to swing again. And I was like, okay. I thought I like had this under control, but I'm realizing like, that's like a hormonal thing, but we'll talk about that some other day.

[00:42:58] Jess: Oh my God. That leads into like PMDD and all the other stuff. And that is a whole episode itself. Yeah. PMDD and, and menopause with ADHD is. So special, right? There's

[00:43:08] Randi: lots of co-occurring things that can happen when you're ADHD. Um, and they like to hang out together and cause lots of issues.

[00:43:17] Jess: Well, they're friends, they're like, you know, they're friends, you shouldn't hang out with.


[00:43:19] Randi: Exactly. The bad influences.

[00:43:21] Jess: Well, and you know, people think that when you get older, we talked about being older that your ADHD should go away. It doesn't go away. In fact, no, it sometimes gets worse. As you go into different hormonal changes. Yes, definitely. And that something to be aware of is that yeah, it can get worse.


[00:43:37] Randi: And I think like a lot of times, like I thought like, oh crap, like I have ADHD. Like how did I survive this long? And like, worried about like my kids having it and like how it was gonna up. Impact them. And I felt like so negative about it. And I was like, wait, no, like this is a superpower for me as a woman.

Like, and like, how do I harness this and use it, um, and move forward, like knowing I have this and use it for good, because it's like, you know, like same thing. Like, I was always like procrastinating stuff and that's fine. Like I just learned, like, I'm better at doing things last minute and that's okay.

[00:44:17] Jess: it is.

Okay. Um, there are other opportunities I'm laughing there. There are other ways to learn that, right. Taking a final and studying the night before. That is definitely how I got through most of my grad school. Right. Um, but yeah, I mean, there are other ways and other tools that can help you. So I really want people to realize that, you know, you're not alone.

You know, women are struggling with this daily as we speak. And really, I think we don't think that our struggles are actually problems cuz we're like, no, no, no. It's all me. It's intern. . But once we realize that it's, that's true a problem, then we can, we can acknowledge it and then start to work

[00:44:51] Randi: towards it.

Right. And I think like we have a lot of blindness to our symptoms. We are taught or shown like in society that ADHD is for boys, like ADHD is like super hyperactivity like that. It only looks one way and it's important to know, especially in women that it just looks so different for us as a population.

[00:45:15] Jess: Absolutely. And so, you know, and in fact, let's post that we'll post that on our, uh, website, unapologetically Randy and And we'll do like a quick link, so you can look and. is this what my ADHD is? And then this way, you know, what, print it, take it to your doctor and be like, Hey, I think I checked some of this stuff.

Can we look at it?

[00:45:33] Randi: Yeah. And if you're nervous, like we can put bullet points up of like things to say to your doctor. And I feel like it's really important to kind of like stay on task when you do that stuff and be heard yes. By your practitioner, you know, doctor primary care therapist, you know, psychotherapist.

What, whoever you wanna call, but advocate for yourself and be very clear, like this is what's happening. This is how I feel. This is what I wanna know. And so, um, we can give you like a little like bullet point to like, okay. Cover these topics, like with my provider to make sure that I'm getting the information I need to find out.

If. Is, or is not happening facing

[00:46:18] Jess: these challenges, head on can bring about major changes in the way you live day to day. Um, those changes will make your life so much better and make you feel better. And it's, it's time to do some self-care and take care of

[00:46:29] Randi: yourself. Yeah. It's life changing and it can be really hard to.

Make it a priority. I know, like as a woman and like, as a mother and as, um, a business owner, like I often always put my health and my mental health on the back burner. Yes. Even as a therapist. Oh know, I know. Um, it's hard to always practice what you preach, but, um, it's important because this really does affect every aspect of your life.

And I can see that like, So, um, it's,

[00:47:05] Jess: it's crazy. Well, and as I, and for the mama's out there, I always say, if you don't take care of yourself, your house will not be the same, right? Once mama takes care of he, health takes care of herself and makes herself a priority. The rest of the house starts like being smoother and, and flowing better.

Mm-hmm , um, it's really interesting how our ADHD affects our entire.

[00:47:29] Randi: Right. Yeah, definitely. And like, even if you don't have ADHD, like that's just great, a great life lesson, like overall that like when you are happier and healthier and more centered, like as a woman, like, I feel like then you're able to give more to other areas of your life.


[00:47:49] Jess: friendships. Relationships, right? Your family, marriage, your community, your church, all of it. Yeah.

[00:47:56] Randi: All of it, whatever it is like when you are feeding yourself, then you're able to feed those other areas of your life. So, whatever that looks like, you know, like taking a bubble bath or like getting medication for ADHD or just going to therapy and making that time, like, even if it's we understand, like it can be a barrier to get these resources, um, and with finances and stuff too, but it's like maybe just go, you know, once a month or once every other month or whatever you can afford or make work.

We we'll also put up some resources for. Um, more affordable options and things like that for therapy and stuff, um, you know, or find somebody that can do pro bono work too. There's lots of, a lot of therapists. Um, I know I personally like do too, like I reserve a certain amount of therapy sessions per year that I can give to somebody who is struggling like financially.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so don't


[00:48:54] Jess: afraid to ask for that. Yeah. Ask, ask all the way. Don't be afraid to ask. if you haven't squirreled out yet, and you're still listening to us, I, I really want to thank you and encourage you to, to seek help, um, to learn more about your ADHD. You can go to our website, unapologetically Randy and for a transcript of this podcast, as well as the informational sheet that Randy talked about for women in ADHD.

[00:49:23] Randi: Yeah. We'll have like a worksheet on there and some bullet points and things for you guys to go over that can help you get started if you're on this journey and struggling. And we just want you to know that you're not alone and we're here to normalize the shit out of this

[00:49:37] Jess: stuff. Absolutely. Catch you guys next episode, where we're gonna normalize the shit out of more women's mental health.


[00:49:46] Randi: 2, 3, 4. Thanks for listening and normalizing mental health with us.

[00:49:51] Jess: Don't forget to check out our free resources and favorites on our website, unapologetically Randy and

[00:49:57] Randi: like, and share this episode and tune in next week.


Self-Care Guide for ADHD

Visit our Fav Sh*t  for all the books and info mentioned on the podcast.

ADHD Self – Exam

Get updates with our Newsletter

You can ask your own questions by going to our form and submit your question (anonymously is totally an option) about women's mental health.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at talk space or head space

Try Headspace For Free

Sign Up Today! Get $100 off your first month with code SPACE at!

Where to Find Us

Where to Find Us on Social Media Instagram or Facebook hashtag for the podcast isĀ #RandiJessRealAF

Stay Connected

Is there a topic you’d like covered on the podcast? Submit it at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Episode 1 – Unmasking ADHD in Women: Late Diagnosis and Beyond