Girls, ADHD, and Me! – What Does ADHD Look Like in Girls?
Boys are 2-3 times more likely to get diagnosed with ADHD in childhood than girls and that has everything to do with the fact that ADHD presents differently in boys and girls, men and women.
Today’s episode is a mix of what we see in therapy, scientific findings, and our personal experiences living with (undiagnosed) ADHD. Yes, two of us have actually been diagnosed with ADHD in our forties.
What does ADHD look like in girls?
So, what do we mean when we say ADHD presents differently in boys and girls? Let’s have a quick look at the behavior we typically see in boys with ADHD. They show more externalizing behavior: they can be loud, impulsive, can’t sit still, etc. These are all behaviors that are disruptive in class and will most likely get noticed by the teacher.
Girls with ADHD, on the other hand, internalize their ADHD more. They get distracted, look daydreamy, don’t do their work, etc. These kinds of behaviors are not disruptive for the rest of the class and will more likely be left unnoticed. There’s also a cultural part playing a role here. Girls with ADHD might be more chatty than others, but since we’ve culturally accepted and even expect girls to be chatty, it’s often brushed off as just a girl being chatty.
Research even shows that girls diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to also struggle with anxiety or depression. We talk more about this in today’s episode. Have a listen to learn more!
If [ADHD] is not treated long term,Sarah Lewis
it can really play a part in a young person forming confidence
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In this episode on ADHD in girls, we cover:
- Why boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls;
- How ADHD looks different on the outside for boys and girls;
- Amanda’s and Sarah’s own stories about living with (undiagnosed) ADHD;
- Symptoms of ADHD in girls before diagnosis;
- The relationship between anxiety and ADHD.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode
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Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.