Decades of failing to recognize ADHD in girls has created a “lost generation” of women
Girls are closing one gender gap we don’t want: diagnoses of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Between 2003 and 2011, parents reported an increase of ADHD diagnoses of 55% for girls, compared to 40% for boys, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
And yet girls continue to be misdiagnosed in spades, with alarming consequences, Dr. Ellen Littman, clinical psychologist and co-author of Understanding Girls with AD/HD, tells Quartz. “The outcomes for girls are horrendously negative compared to boys,” she says.
ADHD materializes dramatically differently in girls.
“Anxiety and depression turn into low self-esteem and self-loathing, and the risk for self-harm and suicide attempts is four-to-five times that of girls without ADHD,” 2012 research shows.