Doctors Don’t Understand What ADD Looks Like in Women
Psychiatrists aren’t trained to recognize our ADHD symptoms. They’re familiar with the trope of the hyper little boy and the angry older man. They don’t see the girl in the back of the classroom daydreaming through class, playing with her erasers instead of doing her math problems, not remembering to put her homework in the right place. They don’t see the woman who blurts out unrelated comments during conversations, who spaces out when her friends talk.
Only 4.9 percent of women will be diagnosed with ADHD during their lifetimes, compared to 12.9 percent of men. The fact that so many fewer women get a diagnosis has dire consequences for our mental health. One-third of us with ADHD suffer from anxiety disorders — real ones, not misdiagnoses stemming from psychiatrists determined to stick a label on us. And half of us with anxiety disorders have thought about suicide, a staggering one-sixth of all women with ADHD