Eating disorders are more common for girls who
also often fail to be diagnosed or receive a late
diagnosis for ADHD. It's very possible that some of
these eating disorders are driven by ADHD which
often presents itself in a less obvious way in young
girls than it does for boys. They tend to lack the
hyperactivity that characterises the condition for
boys and instead struggle to pay attention and
focus. This can easily be dismissed as a lack of effort
or dreaminess leaving girls untreated and at risk.
My personal experience reflects that of
many women with ADHD. I got my diagnosis at 29
by which time I was exasperated and completely
exhausted, knowing something was wrong but
never having the information or tools to cope. It
took a long time to figure out my own path through
ADHD but I did it. Earlier and better diagnosis
would help more women dramatically improve
their quality of life.
Paying more attention to our daughters'
mental health and recognising that problems with
food could be symptomatic of underlying ADHD
can help to save pain and suffering into adulthood.
I get that this seems like a pretty bleak picture but
understanding this link gives us more tools to help
treat and support those people who struggle with
ADHD, a condition that when under control can
drive huge success.
Treatments including medication, therapy
and great diet can help to bring ADHD under
control. Partnered with appropriate treatment for
eating disorders they can create a dream team of
therapies that really do change lives.
As our medical profession understand this
link and each condition more fully we get better
and better at spotting ADHD, diagnosing it and
treating it properly.
For the rest of us, we can stay aware of this link and
get better at noticing ADHD symptoms in girls and
boys. Let's look after each other and our mental
Francesca Lia Treymaine is a
Author, Radio Host and Founder
of HealphiYou. She specialises
in breaking down people's
social conditioning enabling
her clients to live a life of
authenticity, freedom and down right rebellion to
be themselves. Her specialist work continues in
bringing awareness to ADHD through teaching the
brain anatomy of those experiencing the condition
first or second hand and offering treatment,
nutritional guidance and support.