them later in life. “This really underscores the importance of teacher, parents, and pediatricians paying attention when girls aren’t doing as well as one thinks they should be,” she says. “The longer these problems go untreated, the worse kids feel about themselves, the more social difficulties they have, and the harder life becomes for them.”
Some adult women appear in her office with cases of ADHD that have been undiagnosed since childhood, Kaslow says. “They didn’t know they had it, but they knew they struggled more to organize their work and their thinking. Sometimes teachers would say these kids weren’t that smart, but it’s not an intelligence issue. It’s about an ability to organize it, and get it all together.”
The good news is that ADHD drugs appear to work as well in girls as in boys, Hinshaw says. “ADHD is a serious, but treatable, problem in girls.”
If you’re a woman or young girl suffering from ADHD, know that you have options and treatment available to you. Consult with a healthcare professional to explore your options. Find out more on ADHD here, on BlackDoctor.org.
SOURCES: Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., professor, psychology, University of California, Berkeley; Nadine Kaslow, Ph.D., chief psychologist, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; October 2002 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology