I previously stated in one of my blogs that girls are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD at a later age. Why is this? It’s because that almost all ADHD research has been based exclusively on male subjects. ADHD presents itself vastly differently in women, something that many experts are just now starting to realize. Males are almost three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD at a young age than females.
What is the difference of ADHD in girls versus boys? Well let’s look at the different types of ADHD. There are three types of ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive, Predominantly Inattentive, and Combined. Girls are more likely to have either inattentive or combined ADHD, which is must less noticeable than Hyperactive-Impulsive, which is most commonly found in boys. Personally, I have combined typed ADHD and my impulsiveness is more shown through my speech than through my actions.
The reason why inattentive flies under the radar is because it’s not disruptive. Teachers assume the children are just lazy or day dreamers, more unwilling to pay attention in class than unable. So they stay undiagnosed and are labeled as lazy and stupid instead of getting the proper help they need. But now that people have started to recognize this, hopefully the huge difference in diagnosis between girls and boys will be more equal in the coming years because ADHD is just a prevalent in girls as it is in boys. Hopefully girls will be able to get help at a much younger age so they won’t have to suffer in their early 20s like so many girls have.
18channels is an ADHD blog that is no longer active but was a blog that I looked at when I first got diagnosed. Katy was actually part of my inspiration to start my own blog with my own experiences way back in the day that I have since deleted. Katy’s blog helped me realize I was not alone in being ADHD and that there was plenty of information out there to help me in my journey. Many of her experiences deeply resonated with my own. I am sad that she is no longer active on this site but her information is still readily available to others.
Katy’s blog covers a wide variety of topics. From coping skills, to the debate of medication or no medication, to other mental illnesses that often accompany ADHD. Her posts are easy to read and explain her real life struggles as well as informed explanations of the topics she is covering. She also talks about parenting tips for kids with ADHD, which is a vital tool because many parents go about the wrong way with treating ADHD. Her blog is informative as well as entertaining and heartwarming.
Katy also contributes to Additude blogs, which is a website full of information on ADHD. She is a wonderful inspiration to those struggling with ADHD and I’m so glad to have refound her with the help of this project. I had lost track of her a few years ago and while I am saddened to see she no longer really keeps up with her blog or her twitter account, her blog is still something that could be a vital tool to help others diagnosed with ADHD. She had a great blog and she’s done an amazing job with it.
As I stated in my first blog post, I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 18. The road to my diagnosis certainly wasn’t unique. I was a strange and impulsive child who talked too much and too loudly, teachers often commenting on my inability to stay still, keep quiet, and pay attention. But despite this, I was a good student who got good grades so besides passing comments on report cards and in parent/teacher conferences, my ADHD was largely ignored. I attribute that the reason I went undiagnosed was because I went to a very small school and had a stable routine that I followed everyday. It was easier for teachers to pay attention to me and routine is key in treating ADHD for those who choose not to do the medication route (more on that later).
So what changed in my senior year? Well it was a year of change. I was taking several dual credit courses, applying for colleges and scholarships, running a high school marching band, co-managing the high school basketball team, raising animals for FFA, and trying to have a social life in-between all the nooks and crannies of my crazy life. My mind was being pulled into a million different directions until it just shattered. I shut down, unable to focus in classes, unwilling to do my homework, unable to do anything except sit there and get lost in my own head. My grades suffered and my parents and teachers became concerned. My mom consulted a doctor that she knew through her work and she agreed to sit down and interview me. When we were done with the interview, she turned to my mom and said “I knew she was ADHD within the first five minutes.”
So where to go from there? I was left with a diagnosis of a disorder that I had no idea how to cope with and was going to be leaving home for college in just a few months. I was upset but also relieved; finally my strange behavior that for so many years had labeled me a freak had an explanation. No one was particularly surprised at my diagnosis but they were surprised by how late in my life I was diagnosed. My mom went back and asked my teachers from elementary and junior high for their thoughts and they just said “We thought you knew.” But it’s not as uncommon as you would think for such a late diagnosis. My doctor explained to me that for many people, particularly girls, it doesn’t become an issue until later in life, usually accompanying a major life change. So my diagnosis story isn’t an unusual one. Here is a similar story to mine of a man who wasn’t diagnosed until he was 27 years old.
ADHD is hard enough to live with but being diagnosed late in life has definitely hindered me. It’s hard to maintain a routine in my life these days and I’m still trying to figure out my medication. But it has gotten easier over the past few years and I hope for a better and brighter future of living with ADHD.