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In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell, we discuss how ADHD is underdiagnosed and undertreated in females and racial/ethnic minority groups.

MD Newsline:

Is ADHD underdiagnosed and undertreated in females? 

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Dr. Edward Hallowell:

“ADHD is most definitely underdiagnosed and undertreated in girls and women. And this is because females tend not to show the symptoms of hyperactivity and disruptive behavior that make it impossible to miss.

So, the little boy who’s bouncing off the walls or the adult man who’s disruptive and short-tempered gets diagnosed, but the little girl who’s the daydreamer sitting in the back of the classroom twisting her hair and her finger, or the adult woman who’s daydreaming through a meeting and being dismissed as shy or not having anything to say doesn’t get diagnosed.

And that’s a shame because once you get diagnosed—the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can achieve.”

 

MD Newsline:

Is ADHD underdiagnosed and undertreated in racial and ethnic minority groups? 

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Dr. Edward Hallowell:

“ADHD is underdiagnosed and undertreated across the board, but particularly in racial and ethnic minority groups. And, when you consider other minority groups, like women—well, women are just tremendously underdiagnosed and undertreated.”

Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.

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