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In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with psychiatrist Dr. Sasha Hamdani, 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. Sasha Hamdani:

“Yes. Males with ADHD are about three times as likely as females with ADHD to receive a diagnosis, and I think that’s a conservative estimate. Females with ADHD don’t get diagnosed as often as males with ADHD because their presentation is typically less disruptive to those around them.

And, females with ADHD often have their symptoms attributed to hormones or being moody, when really, they are experiencing dysregulation because their frontal lobe is not being activated enough or is being overactivated because of their ADHD.”

 

MD Newsline:

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

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Dr. Sasha Hamdani:

“Absolutely it is. Access to care is appalling for everybody, but especially for minority communities. Also, ADHD often isn’t on the radar among underserved populations, such as racial/ethnic minority groups. So, they’re more likely to get diagnosed with something else like a mood disorder, conduct disorder, or personality disorder instead of ADHD.”

 

Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.

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