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Impulsivity in ADHD and Black Friday sales

An often overlooked topic that may affect a significant number of women, especially during high-stress, high-stimulus events like Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales is women who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is not solely a childhood disorder and not solely a male disorder. For many years, the focus on ADHD in women has been overshadowed, leading to underdiagnosis and undertreatment. Other things about ADHD being a “trend.” This lack of recognition and understanding can lead to the misattribution of ADHD symptoms as character flaws or other conditions.

One key area of concern is impulsivity, a behaviour commonly associated with ADHD. For many women with ADHD, and indeed people in general, impulsivity can becomes especially apparent during events that lead to high stimulation levels, such as Black Friday sales. These events, with their frenzied marketing and time-limited deals, saying NOW NOW NOW can trigger impulsive behavior in even the most disciplined person - buy now, think later.

Then there’s afterpay, Klarna and zip pay. Don’t get me wrong - if you use them wisely, they’re great! It’s just when you don’t have the funds to buy them to begin with - buy now, think later.

For women with ADHD, this behaviour can appear more profound. The bombardment of ads, numerous choices, and the pressure of “exclusive” and limited time only” deals may work together to heighten impulsivity, leading to impulsive purchases made without careful consideration. These impulsivity 'spikes' could also exacerbate feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, making the shopping experience more stressful. This time of year always heightens my normal feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, as we head into Christmas.


Many resources offer strategies to manage ADHD traits like impulsivity. These can be especially useful during heightened periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Implementing a structured plan, avoiding triggers where possible, and enlisting a supportive friend or family member to provide a second opinion on purchases can help manage impulsive behaviours.

Recognising and understanding the challenges faced by women with ADHD is a crucial step towards offering them support and the tools they need to navigate experiences that might otherwise exacerbate their symptoms.

Again, we’re not saying that Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales are the bad guy here - it’s just about recognising that impulsivity is a behaviour commonly associated with ADHD and then the impulsive spending happens, which then gets us into trouble. Once we recognise that, we can use tools and strategies to manage our spending and make sure we’re not spending above our means.

Happy shopping!

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