, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 419-423
Date: 17 Oct 2008

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and its comorbidities in women and girls: An evolving picture

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Abstract

Despite the increasing recognition of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in females, gender-sensitive comorbidity profiles have been slow to develop. In this article, I focus on coexisting conditions in females with ADHD and highlight significant differences that deserve greater attention. For some time, it has been held that women with ADHD are more likely to internalize symptoms and become anxious and depressed and to suffer emotional dysregulation than males with the disorder. Recent evidence confirms that girls with ADHD are 5.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression and three times more likely to be treated for depression before their ADHD diagnosis. I also discuss eating disorders (particularly binge eating and bulimia) that recently have been linked to ADHD in girls and women. The disordered eating/ADHD connection is not difficult to understand but has important clinical and therapeutic implications that must not be overlooked.