ADHD is one of the most common disorders among young people–as a teen wilderness therapy program, we’re very familiar with this issue and the problems that can arise with it. While both boys and girls are diagnosed with ADHD quite often, how it works in young girls is less understood than in boys. A new study may shed some light on the problems young girls diagnosed with ADHD face, though.

Symptoms of ADHD

To begin with, it is important to address the overall behavioral symptoms of the disorder. These may include:

  • Inattention to detail 
  • Difficulty sustaining attention 
  • Failure to listen when spoken to 
  • Failure to follow through on or finish activities 
  • Failure to fully carry out instructions 
  • Difficulties with organization 
  • Avoidance of tasks that require sustained attention 
  • Loss of important things 
  • Distraction by external stimuli 
  • Failure to stay still 
  • Inability to remain seated 
  • Difficulty controlling behaviors 
  • Aversion to quiet play and activities 
  • Excessive verbalizations and activity
  • Recurrent interruptions to others 
  • Tendency to bother others

Strong link between behavioral issues & ADHD

Comorbidity in girls with ADHD definitely isn’t unheard of–it’s not even rare, it happens pretty frequently. Comorbidity is the occurrence of two disorders at the same time, such as anxiety and ADHD. It’s important to gain more information about this in order to create more effective and efficient treatments–ones that we may use in our teen wilderness therapy program.

The study conducted by the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered a strong link between anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder in girls. Out of the large group of nearly 2,000 girls, ages 8 to 13, over 40 percent with ADHD also fit the bill for oppositional defiant disorder–which is 8 times the rate for girls without the disorder. You’re not the only one thinking that that’s an insane jump, the researchers at UCLA think it, too.

Furthermore, they found that around 38 percent of girls with ADHD could also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder–that’s almost 3 times the rate without the disorder. Over 10 percent of those with ADHD were also diagnosed with depression and nearly 13 percent were diagnosed with conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is close to oppositional defiant disorder, but much more severe and dangerous in behavioral issues.

The senior author, Dr. Steve Lee, explained his shock about the numbers to Science Daily:

“We knew the girls with ADHD would have more problems than the girls without ADHD, but we were surprised that conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder were at the top of the list, not depression or anxiety. These conduct disorders, more than anxiety and depression, predict severe adult impairments, such as risky sexual behavior, abusive relationships, drug abuse and crime.”

This study brought us all much closer to understanding ADHD and the issues it can be paired with in girls. As a teen wilderness therapy program, this information can be utilized in helping us better understand our students and what they’re going through.

Our teen wilderness therapy program can help your family

blueFire Wilderness is a teen wilderness therapy program for adolescents, ages 11 to 17. We offer therapy for depression, bullying, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through this tough time. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.

For more information about our teen wilderness therapy program at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.

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