More Women Diagnosed with ADHD Now
Is it life, work, or something else entirely?
You can’t keep track of the kids and your spouse. Your house is in total disarray. Your mind can’t stay focused on anything for more than a few seconds. If this is your life, don’t feel alone; more women are being diagnosed with ADHD than ever before.
Women who are diagnosed later in life often think their messiness, lack of focus, and poor organization are just habits they learned over the years, but it could be much more serious than that.
“The number of Americans taking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medicines rose 36% in 2012 from 2008, led by a surge among women, according to drug-benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co.
Use of the medications grew 85 percent in 2012 from 2008 for women ages 26 to 34, and women 19 and over now outnumber men in use of the medicines, according to the report released yesterday.” (Source Newsday).
How does one explain the incredible increase in ADHD medication use especially among women ages 26 to 34? Is it due to increased stress? The demands of home and work? Better marketing among these women? Can a pill fix these problems?
Boys are diagnosed far more often than girls.In some areas of the country boys are diagnosed 5:1 over girls. Many experts attribute this to boys being more boisterous; they express frustration and act out far more than girls. Of course, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so more boys are diagnosed than girls. Additionally, the majority of tests for ADHD were developed for hyperactive white males, so girls were by standard, omitted from that group.
Girls are often told they just aren’t performing up to par. They hear remarks from teachers like, “Stop daydreaming,” or “Get organized.” But many times it’s not just a matter of organization or daydreaming. Their ADHD just doesn’t get diagnosed until they are older. By then, their world may seem like it’s falling apart.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Young women diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as girls, particularly the type with early signs of impulsivity, were three to four times more likely to attempt suicide and two to three times more likely to report injuring themselves than comparable young women in a control group, according to the findings, published online in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology®.”
“ADHD can signal future psychological problems for girls as they are entering adulthood,” said the study’s lead author, Stephen Hinshaw, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “Our findings reinforce the idea that ADHD in girls is particularly severe and can have serious public health implications.”
Recent research has also shown that menopause can produce ADHD like symptoms due to hormonal changes.
The more you understand your life, the better you can manage it, but it won’t happen without you becoming your own best advocate. Don’t wait until depression sets in. Don’t wait until you feel like your life is out of control or falling apart.