Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is one of the most common conditions to manifest amongst kids. While this chronic mental disorder causes disruptive behavior and problems focusing for both genders, there are significant differences in the symptoms between boys and girls.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, boys are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than girls. This is not because this condition is more common among boys, but because the symptoms of ADHD appear rather differently in girls making it harder to diagnose correctly. Very often, young females will only show subtle symptoms that can be very difficult for medical professionals to pick up on.
According to the NHS, ADHD affects up to five per cent of the children. Common signs of this condition among children often include inability to concentrate, extreme amounts of energy or a child not being able to easily control their behavior. But ADHD symptoms can come in many different ways than one might expect.
The ADHD Foundations categorizes the condition into three different types:
- The predominantly inattentive type
- The predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
- A combination of both the inattention and hyperactive impulsive types
Symptoms that match this condition are, among others:
- Inattentiveness and lack of patience
- Being forgetful
- Short attention span
- Poor organization skills
- Hyperactive and Impulsive behavior
- Excessive physical movement and talking
When it comes to the difference between boys and girls that struggle with ADHD, some characteristics are similar, but boys tend to show more externalized symptoms and girls experience more internalized and introverted symptoms.
Studies show that girls with ADHD struggle more with inattentiveness, low self-esteem and tend to be more verbally aggressive. The opposite tends to manifest in boys with ADHD who tend to be more impulsive, hyperactive and physically aggressive. Because girls often display fewer behavioral problems than their male counterparts, when a girl has ADHD her doctors might overlook this diagnosis because the most well-known symptoms won’t occur due to her sex. However, this is grave medical concern for young girls because if ADHD goes undiagnosed, it can affect a child’s mental health in the future.
Boys with ADHD typically express their frustrations through their physical behavior, but girls have a tendency to keep their discontent bottled up inside, increasing the risk of developing depression, anxiety or even an eating disorder. In addition, if left untreated girls with ADHD will have more problems in school, social settings, and personal relationships than other girls.
People with ADHD are more likely to develop other conditions, such as anxiety, depression or learning disabilities. It is therefore of upmost importance that children are promptly and correctly diagnosed and their condition treated in order to improve symptoms and increase quality of life.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s diagnosis or you want an international specialist to review his or her medical case, contact Best Doctors for an international second medical opinion from a world renowned expert.
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