The Lost Generation: Women with ADHD Go Undiagnosed
It often appears as if those who are most affected by attention deficit disorders are boys; however, that is a matter of stereotype based on cultural and social expectations according to experts. While little boys are often expected to be squirrely and hyper, little girls are encouraged to hide their ADHD symptoms. For this reason, symptoms tend to go undetected, and people tend to believe that girls and women just don’t experience the condition.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggested that diagnoses of the condition among girls increased significantly between 2003 and 2011. Additionally, women over 26 began to take ADHD prescriptions more regularly. According to professionals, ADHD actually gets worse for girls during puberty. This commonly leads to poor self-esteem, emotionally abusive relationships, and even suicide. All too many women are never formally diagnosed.
Part of the reasons for this is that much of the early research focused on ADHD emphasized the role it played in the lives of boys, specifically very young white males. This also happened with studies in autism. Ultimately, this leads to several problems with diagnosis criteria in children–including the fact that girls are underdiagnosed and boys are overdiagnosed.
The consequences can be strenous, especially when women join the workforce and realize they are not able to cope with worklife. Many women experience panic when they begin new endeavors, and some are called lazy. Until researchers have a better idea of the symptoms women experience with attention deficit disorders, there will continue to be questions.
Some common symptoms include feeling low self-worth, hypersensitivity to criticism, and poor sense of time.