Patricia Quinn women with ADHD ADHD Awareness Month 25 Years of ADDitude Patricia Quinn

The Fate of Females with ADHD Is Improving Too Slowly

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ADHD has historically been viewed as a predominantly male disorder, and that bias continues to this day. The underdiagnosis of ADHD in adult women, and the lack of awareness that they may need different treatment approaches, is an ongoing medical equity issue with serious consequences.

Decades ago, researchers in Scandinavia reported that undiagnosed females had much worse outcomes than did their undiagnosed male counterparts, with higher rates of suicide attempts and psychiatric hospitalizations.Patricia Quinn, M.D., and I coauthored two groundbreaking books nearly a quarter-century ago, Understanding Girls with ADHD and Understanding Women with ADHD, and yet there has been, disappointingly, little new research in the intervening years.

An entire generation of females with ADHD has been born and reached adulthood since our books were published.The recognition of inattentive ADHD has led to the diagnosis of more females.

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