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Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Women with ADHD: Ten Reasons you might never get Treatment

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

 

 

Adult ADHD misdiagnosed as anxiety? Roughly, eight million adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and that number is probably greater, as very few men or women with ADHD ever receive a diagnosis.

WOMEN WITH ADHD: TEN REASONS YOU MIGHT NEVER GET TREATMENT, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that affects boys and girls equally.  Sixty percent of child ADHD carries into adulthood, regardless of sex,  accounting for 4.4 percent of all American adults, according to psychological research.

Is Purple Jell-O Giving your Kids ADHD? Here’s what the FDA has to Say about Food Dyes

Sadly, a disproportionately high number of adults who suffer from ADHD will ever see the connection, and an even lower percentage of women than men who seek mental health therapy are ultimately diagnosed with adult ADHD disorder.

Symptoms of adult ADHD include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Lack of organizational skills
  • Moodiness, anxiety, and depression
  • Difficulty making work deadlines or long-term goals, procrastinates
  • Gets easily distracted while reading
  • Chronic boredom
  • Habitually late
  • Low self-esteem, pessimistic personality
  • Tendency towards addiction to things such as gambling, food, drugs, shopping, or video games
  • Eating disorders, seeking comfort in food
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships

WOMEN WITH ADHD: TEN REASONS YOU MIGHT NEVER GET TREATMENT, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Why is there a gender bias towards males in ADHD?

In female psychology, many factors exist that would complicate a diagnosis of ADHD.

Physicians often ascribe underlying ADHD symptoms, including low sense of self-worth, depression, frustration, and moodiness to “female problems.”  Often they’re correct in diagnosing stress, depression, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in their female patients, but they fail to catch any clues suggesting adult ADHD.

1. The myth of male ADHD

There is a public misconception that attention deficit disorder (ADD) and ADHD are male disorders.  As a result, women who experience ADHD symptoms are not likely to seek a diagnosis, and doctors who treat them are equally unlikely to suggest treatment for ADHD.

2.  It’s just anxiety

Adults and children with ADHD tend to suffer from anxiety or depression, as well.  Therefore, when women ADHD sufferers seek psychiatric help for their emotional problems, they receive prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants, but the question of ADHD medication, such as Ritalin or Concerta, is never considered.

Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts

3.  Only children suffer from ADD/ADHD

For many years, people viewed ADD/ADHD disorder as primarily a children’s problem.  Only recently has adult ADHD caught the public’s eye, but the notion of grown-ups receiving ADHD medication is still far from mainstream.

4.  It’s just girls being girls

Girls, as a whole, tend to be more chatty, impulsive, and passionate than boys- characteristics that are typical of ADHD.  Therefore, it’s not unusual for young women who are hyperactive, overenthusiastic, or driven by their emotions to seek help for ADHD.

WOMEN WITH ADHD: TEN REASONS YOU MIGHT NEVER GET TREATMENT, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

5.  Learning how to fake it

Women are very self-conscious of their social standing.  Likewise, girls with ADHD often learn certain defense mechanisms by the time they reach adulthood, effectively masking their social difficulties and feelings of awkwardness.  Nevertheless, problems with low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety remain.

6.  I am woman…

Today’s woman wears many “hats;”  she is expected to hold down a salary, keep the household clean and orderly, and be a nurturing parenting role model to her children and wife to her husband.  It’s no wonder, then, that women who struggle to make ends meet, despite suffering from ADHD, chalk it up to modern-day stress.

7.  Self-fulfilling prophecy

Women with ADHD develop a “learned helplessness.”  When things don’t go the way they’ve planned, or they have difficulty meeting others’ expectations or deadlines, they tend to just give up, blame themselves, and accept defeat.  The same attitude applies to seeking therapy- she dismisses the notion that change is possible.  This type of self-fulfilling prophecy becomes a vicious circle of failure and regret.

8.  It’s a PMS thing

Hormonal fluctuations cause moodiness, depression, and attention difficulties, thereby masking any underlying symptoms of ADHD in women who suffer from PMS, pre-menopause, or postnatal depression.

Got PMS? Let B Vitamins Ease your Pain

9.  Iron deficiency

Women are at high risk of suffering from iron deficiency caused by heavy periods.  Unless you take iron supplements, you could experience symptoms such as disorientation, memory loss, and other delays in cognitive behavior, especially if you also have a disposition for ADHD.

10.  It’s personal

Women who grew up in abusive homes may become adults who have personal problems socializing and generally “fitting in,” maintaining organizational skills, and accomplishing long-term goals.  Similarly, women with ADD or ADHD who have suffered from a traumatic experience or lack parental role models might never suspect that ADHD is among their many other social problems.

Related reading:

Adult ADHD Could Lead to Dementia

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Teen Mental Illness: Unnoticed, Undiagnosed in America

Sources:

ADHD in Women – Adult ADD/ADHD – EverydayHealth.com

ADHD: A women’s issue

ADHD in Adults – Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatments, and More

ADHD: Suffering in Silence: Women With Adult ADHD – Mental Health Disorders on MedicineNet.com

ADHD Affects Women Differently: What to Look For, How to Fix It – Adult ADHD – Health.com

Teen Mental Illness: Unnoticed, Undiagnosed in America

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently sponsored a US study which focused on a group of over 10,000 teens between the ages of 13-18.

  • Out of those studied, 20% suffered from mental illness.
  • Out of that group only 36.2% were receiving any type of medical or psychological attention.
  • While the most severe forms of mental illness were most likely to receive treatment, only half were in the process of being treated, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • Out of the teens who received services, 59.8% were diagnosed with attention-deficit /hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD); others who were receiving aid were those categorized with some type of defiant conduct behavioral disorder.
  • Teens who suffered from an anxiety or eating disorder were least likely to have been in any sort of behavioral program- only 20%.
  • Hispanics and blacks youths who suffered anxiety were less likely to be in treatment than Caucasians.
  • Girls were more likely than boys to receive therapy for anxiety disorder; boys were more likely to be receiving treatment for AD/HD.

Parents, be on the lookout for depression in your teen; here are 10 warning signs, as reported by Fox News:

  • Passivity, less inclined to cry when something is troubling her/him
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sudden detachment from activities or interests that were previously enjoyable
  • Vocalizing feelings which indicate lack of self-worth
  • Interruption of sleeping habits, like oversleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Misperception, likeliness to be confused by more things than usual
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs
  • Paranoia

Get proper diagnosis.

Only a trusted psychologist can correctly diagnose teen depression or any other form of mental illness.  Governmental programs such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the federal Children’s Mental Health Initiative are working to improve mental health facilities nationwide.

Encourage your teenager to eat healthy.

It might seem like following a healthy diet is less of a priority when faced with the symptoms of depression, but many doctors have found that deficiencies such as low vitamin b12 may contribute to depression; in some cases vitamin b12 deficiency may be the sole reason for the sudden change in behavior.

B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed as clinical depression.

The Mayo Clinic confirms a correlation between b12 deficiency and symptoms of depression. Warning signs of vitamin b12 deficiency include chronic fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, increased violent tendencies, sleep disturbances and loss of appetite. Sound familiar? Many are the same symptoms above-mentioned for clinical depression.

A blood test is required to determine whether vitamin b12 deficiency is present; if you are tested positive then your physician will recommend supplementation, which may be administered as an injection, sublingual tablet, or spray.

Sources:

MSN News

Yahoo News

Watch this motivating video.

Images:

Anita Patterson Peppers


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