A recent study discovered THIS surprising fact about anxiety and ADHD
A new study by the University of Toronto has found that women with ADHD are “much more likely to have a wide range of mental and physical health problems in comparison to women without ADHD.” This is some seriously worrisome news for those of us with ADHD, or those of us with friends with ADHD. In short: this is worrisome news.
For those of you who don’t know, WebMD defines ADHD as “a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.”
Esme Fuller-Thomson, the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto’s Facto-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging explained the study’s findings:
“The prevalence of mental illness among women with ADHD was disturbingly high with 46% having seriously considered suicide, 36% having generalized anxiety disorder, 31% having major depressive disorder and 39% having substance abuse problems at some point in their life.”
That’s a disturbingly high rate of suicidal thoughts and depression.
“These rates are much higher than among women without ADHD, ranging from more than four times the odds of suicidal thoughts and generalized anxiety disorders to more than twice the odds of major depressive disorder and substance abuse.”
She also acknowledged the study’s many disappointments, most specifically, that they could notice the problem but not figure out why this was happening:
Unfortunately, our study does not provide insight into why women with ADHD are so vulnerable. It is possible that some of the mental health problems may be caused by and/or contributing to financial stress.
In fact, the study found that around 37%, or one in three of the women ADHD, had reported their difficulty meeting basic expenses such as food, shelter and clothing due to their inadequate household income. Meanwhile, only 13% of women without ADHD had this unfortunate outcome.
Fuller-Thomson hopes that there’s at least one silver lining to these studies: people will stop thinking of ADHD as a “boys’ disorder:”
Many people think of ADHD as primarily a boys’ disorder which has little relevance for girls and women. Our findings suggest, to the contrary, that a large portion of women with ADHD are struggling with mental illness, physical health concerns and poverty.
Studies like these will hopefully encourage our insurance providers to make even more resources available for anyone who might be suffering from ADHD or anxiety, regardless of their income.
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