In a recent article, Quartz explored how the misdiagnosis of ADHD symptoms in girls have ultimately led to what author Jenny Anderson describes as a “lost generation.”
Citing a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Anderson explains that between 2003 and 2011, there was a 55% increase in girls ADHD diagnosis.
Why is this? For starters, while boys’ hyperactivity tends to be an indicator of ADHD, in girls, ADHD manifests as anxiety, disorganization, or inattentiveness. Additionally, the onset of ADHD can vary child to child, but research has found that girls develop it later in life than boys.
Furthermore, most research on ADHD had historically focused on white males as old as seven. The American Psychiatric Association recently increased the age to 12, in order to include more girls.
ADHD is just one of many mental illnesses with researching focusing specifically on males (particularly white males). Isn’t it time that everyone’s mental health gets the attention it deserves?
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.