ADHD & Memory

Before my ADHD diagnosis, if there was one thing I had confidence in, it was my memory. I could remember things most couldn’t—like the theme song for Fuji Television’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup in 2010, or what I dressed up for at my preschool’s Halloween party (Ariel from The Little Mermaid.) I’d even become fluent in Japanese by the time I was 17 (thank you, hyper-focus), was generally good with names and memory-based games were a piece of cake. You know, the kinds of things that would be considered the hallmarks of a Good Memory™.

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ADHD as a woman

Having ADHD is hard. However, I’d like to bet that being a woman with ADHD is harder.

First and foremost, research on ADHD is inherently biased towards boys, and as a result, we’re often misdiagnosed for years until we figure out the right answer. We develop co-morbid conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, and eating disorders when left undiagnosed and untreated. But research shows that more and more women are getting diagnosed and treated for ADHD: in recent years, the use of ADHD medication by women between the ages of 24 to 36 increased by 85%. Clearly, that means we’re now being diagnosed at a higher rate, too.

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