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Girls and boys currently are diagnosed with ADHD at a ratio of about 1 to 3. This doesn't mean that fewer girls have ADHD; it means more girls are going undiagnosed. When left undiagnosed, ADHD can take a toll on a female’s emotional health and general well-being, leaving them with low self-confidence and psychological

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ADHD girls are often overlooked because they exhibit hyperactivity differently. For example, in a classroom setting, a boy might blurt out answers or repeatedly tap his foot, whereas a girl might demonstrate hyperactivity by talking incessantly. A girl who talks all the time is often viewed by the teacher as chatty, not hyper or problematic — and thus is less likely to be recommended for an ADHD evaluation.

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Another reason why ADHD girls fly under the radar is that they’re more likely than boys to suffer from inattentive ADHD. The symptoms of this sub-type (which include poor attention to detail, limited attention span, forgetfulness, and distractibility) tend to be less disruptive and obvious than those of hyperactive ADHD. Put simply, a (hyperactive) boy who repeatedly bangs on his desk gets noticed, and helped, before the (inattentive) girl who twirls her hair while staring out the window.

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The self-esteem of girls with ADHD also appears to be more impaired than that of boys with ADHD. It’s not surprising, then, that the condition can take a toll on a female’s emotional health and general well-being. Girls with ADHD tend to have more mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem problems than non-ADHD girls. Girls with ADHD are at a greater risk for problems ranging from low academic achievement to drug and alcohol abuse, and even suicide attempts.