Why Many Girls With ADHD Are Left Untreated


The Problem With Girls and ADHD

According to the CDC, boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with a minor change in percentages over the years. Over 6.4 million children diagnosed yearly. Boys will typically act out while girls will usually suffer in silence.

Symptoms of ADHD

girl-adhd-quite-playground-social-psychiatry-top10md-blogSymptoms may actually present themselves a little differently in girls. While a boy might have problems concentrating, find it hard to sit still, act impulsively without thinking things through, interrupt others during a conversation, daydream excessively or have problems focusing on the task at hand, behavioral issues tend to be more subtle for girls. This shouldn’t be overlooked – if not addressed it may lead to problems in the future. Research suggests that undiagnosed ADHD can affect their mental health, even lead to self-esteem issues. If girls are holding in their pain and anger at a young age, just imagine how that bottled up emotion manifests into adulthood. It can increase their risk of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders and are likely to have problems with social settings and in relationships.

Keep an eye out for the following signs

  • Forgetfulness or trouble focusing
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawn in social situations
  • Trouble with academic achievement
  • Outward verbal aggression (teasing, arguing, name-calling)

These are all common symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unlike a broken bone, ADHD or ADD does not show physical signs or be diagnosed with a blood test. Many times these symptoms overlap with those of other psychological disorders.

Causes of ADHD

adhd-girl-boy-diagnosis-cause-psychiatrist-top10md-blogThough the cause is unknown, parents should not blame themselves your child is suffering from this mental disorder. The important thing is to focus on getting your child help. Possible causes have been said it may be a genetic disorder; Currently, researchers are investigating many different genes, particularly ones involved with the brain chemical dopamine. Children with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine in the brain. The Environment may play a role such as being exposed to smoke or even lead exposure. Nutrition and food are also being research such as overutilization of food additives and sugar. Whatever the cause the important thing is to have your child tested by a professional and make the changes necessary to improve both their life and yours.

Diagnosing ADHD

Diagnosing is a complicated process, especially when it comes to diagnosing girls. The official criteria for ADHD state that the symptoms must occur beyond the extent that is normal for the person’s age, and must happen in a variety of different situations. For a diagnosis, symptoms must have appeared by the age of 7 (for childhood), and have continued for at least six months. While boys often show signs of hyperactivity, girls will display more inattentive problems. They are more likely to miss school assignment deadlines or come across as “spacey” in general. Look for signs of forgetfulness and make sure a learning disability isn’t the case.

Sometimes it’s an adult who first suspects your child may have attention deficit disorder, such as a teacher or a babysitter. Upon consulting with a specialist, the right diagnosis and treatment plan can be administered.

Reach out to a Top10MD board-certified Psychiatrist today.