Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Women
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is most often diagnosed in boys and may be underdiagnosed in girls. This diagnostic gap can be partly explained by the fact that female symptoms are less evident than male disruptive behaviors. In childhood, the male-to-female ratio of ADHD is 3:1. In adulthood, however, this ratio is close to 1:1. Although the disorder is present since childhood, many women are diagnosed only as adults. Compared with their peers, girls with ADHD report increased anxiety, distress, and depressive symptoms. To some women, inattention, procrastination, and difficulty resuming a task after interruptions become more evident after they have children. If diagnosed late or not at all, ADHD is associated with lower levels of life satisfaction. Many women with ADHD make an effort to suppress disruptive, hyperactive, impulsive, and disorganized behavior because they understand that such symptoms violate norms of expected femininity. ADHD carries a strong social stigma, as do other mental disorders.
KeywordsADHD Women Adult Stigmatization Gender-specific issues Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Female Girl Sex
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