Gender differences in ADHD

Girls with ADHD aren’t usually hyperactive. Instead, they tend to have the attention-deficit part of the disorder.

The stereotype of someone with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a hyperactive little boy.

The reality? ADHD also affects girls and even adult women.

Parents, teachers and others often overlook ADHD in girls, because their symptoms differ from those of boys.

Girls with ADHD aren’t usually hyperactive, for example. Instead, they tend to have the attention-deficit part of the disorder.

According to researchers, girls with untreated ADHD are at risk for low self-esteem, underachievement and problems like depression and anxiety. They’re also more likely to get pregnant and start smoking while still in middle or high school.

What’s worse, girls with untreated ADHD typically carry their problems into adulthood. Women with untreated ADHD are also more likely to have children with ADHD. In fact, many women finally receive a diagnosis when their children are diagnosed.

Treatment options for women with ADHD include a combination of stimulant medication and ADHD-focused therapy. For girls, stimulant medication, family therapy and other intervention also help.