MedicineNet.com reports that there are at least 4 million adult women with ADHD with up to 75% who have not been properly diagnosed yet. In a separate study the Daily Beast, a highly regarded online e-newspaper, supports the data that adult women with ADHD between the ages of 24 to 36 are the fastest growing population undergoing treatment for ADHD – in fact, between 2008 and 2012 the use of ADHD medication by this age group of women increased by 85%.
Diagnosis of Women With ADHD Often Missed
Girls that are not diagnosed with ADHD typically grow into adult women who continue to avoid proper diagnosis as they are not seen displaying the stereotypical symptoms and behaviors. Many girls and women tend to fall into the inattentive type of ADHD, and even when they do display episodes of hyperactivity, these bursts of energy are funneled into dealing with the multiple tasks involved with, for example, household duties, work, school, raising children, running errands, spending time with their partner, and maybe finding some “me” time along the way.
Women With ADHD Aged 26 to 34 Show Biggest Increases
It has been a common finding that women with ADHD tend to cope until they become unable to do so anymore. Women between the ages of 26 to 34 find themselves facing multiple life changes and responsibilities such as college, employment, working on a permanent relationship and becoming a mother for the first time. Career, time constraints and financial demands require greater attention as well as add on to the stress of juggling the many hats that a woman wears. Women with undiagnosed ADHD find that they can no longer cope as the pressure and stress of daily life add up and reach a breaking point.
The Personal Cost of Undiagnosed ADHD in Women
There are many significant impacts of adult ADHD on women. The most common personal price that is paid is in developing a low self-esteem or poor self-concept. Women with undiagnosed ADHD are more likely to suffer through divorce and periods of unemployment. These women often have difficulty in making social connections, or in “living up” to their standard of what they think a good wife, mother or partner should be like. They often find themselves frustrated and under attack even when things are going well in their work or home life.
With an increased awareness of how adult ADHD affects women, the numbers of those seeking help is growing at a significant rate. With proper diagnosis and treatment often comes relief with the understanding of how ADHD has impacted their life.
Dr. Darvin Hege is ready to help you change your life now and for the future. Dr. Hege’s flexible office hours include evenings and weekends to better fit your schedule and needs. Call us today!