October is ADHD awareness month!
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exists in women and girls but often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed, leading to consequences of low self-esteem, substance use challenges, unemployment, and higher rates of mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety. Yet ADHD is the most treatable psychiatric disorder in Canada.
Here are some facts you may not know from CADDAC, Canada’s only national charity for ADHD:
- Boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
- Misconceptions about ADHD have led many to believe that ADHD is just for ‘hyperactive young boys’, which is not true. ADHD occurs in girls and adult women. When women are undiagnosed, they lack opportunities to understand their ADHD and implement the right management strategies.
- Research indicates that up to 75% of girls with attention problems are undiagnosed.
- Girls with ADHD are often referred to as too spacey, too chatty, overly sensitive and “smart but won’t go far if they can’t get their act together”.
- Women with ADHD often feel scattered, disorganized, overwhelmed, forgetful and struggle to be on time.
- Women and girls with ADHD are 3.5 times more at risk of developing an eating disorder.
- Adults with ADHD are 20% less likely to be employed and earn an average of 16% less than their counterparts.
- 1 in 4 women with ADHD has attempted suicide.
- ADHD requires multi-modal treatment which may include but are not limited to psychoeducation, accommodations, medication, coaching, support groups, and/or cognitive behaviour therapy.
Learn more about the signs of ADHD among women and girls for ADHD Awareness Month at caddac.ca/women-and-girls/.