Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Girls with ADHD Deserve Attention

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Girls with ADHD Deserve Attention

Article excerpt

Too often, girls with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are overlooked. As mental health professionals, we must not allow this lack of attention to continue.

Certainly, boys are diagnosed with ADHD far more often than are girls. Just 10 years ago, the ratio between boys and girls with the disorder was commonly accepted by clinicians to be 9:1. Other epidemiology research shows, however, that boys are only twice as likely to have the condition (J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 1996;35:978-87 and J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 1999;38:966-75).

One of the variations of ADHD that is more common among girls and women is called "ADHD, predominantly inattentive type." This is an internal contradiction, because many of these patients lack the hyperactivity component--although officially, the "h" remains in the title. Inattention and distractibility are the predominant debilitating symptoms of this variation.

Inattentive symptoms--characterized by a lack of focus, disorganization, and poor energy--are not prominent in this type of ADHD and may not be detected until adolescence or young adulthood. For this reason, patients with inattentive type of ADHD are less likely to be referred to a physician for an evaluation. This accounts for the underdiagnosis of girls ("Psychiatry Update and Board Preparation," New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004, p. 33-41).

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to negate impairment and minimize later life complications. Stephen Hinshaw, Ph. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.