Watch for Different ADHD Symptoms in Girls
Untreated ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) can have long-term consequences, including an increased risk for mental health problems, high-risk behaviors, low self-esteem, and academic underachievement. While symptoms of this disorder are usually hard to miss in boys, ADHD often manifests differently, more subtly, in girls, increasing the risk for underdiagnoses and undertreatment.
Interestingly, while ADHD is diagnosed three times more often in boys than in girls, the condition affects adult men and women about equally. This seems to indicate ADHD is underdiagnosed in girls. In fact, rating scales used to diagnose and evaluate ADHD are heavily based on symptoms typically observed in boys.
Boys with ADHD are more likely to exhibit behaviors that are considered disruptive. Girls, on the other hand, tend to work harder to meet adult expectations. Girls with ADHD may:
- Struggle with friendships
- Forget or misplace things frequently
- Be talkative and chatty
- Have trouble completing homework assignments
- Have weak reading comprehension skills
- Get involved in many activities
- Have problems following through with ideas or projects
- Have severe mood swings