The Stigma of Girls With ADHD
Now we as a population in the United States know a lot more about mental illness than we did 50 years ago. There's high school psychology classes. A great percentage of people can recognize the symptoms of ADHD, depression, schizophrenia. However, and here's the big paradox, compared to the 50s and 60s, a higher proportion of the American population is afraid of people with mental illness and believes that people with mental illnesses are dangerous and we should keep our distance from them. So our knowledge isn't always translated into improved attitudes. Now for ADHD, this is especially salient because quote, everybody knows that the kid who doesn't pay attention and can't focus, that's gotta be the parents' fault, that was just bad parenting in the grocery store or wherever else you see the child. And for a girl with ADHD, because though symptoms are much more typical of boys than girls on average, there must be really quote, something wrong with her or the family. So stigma related ADHD symptoms is really important for girls with this condition and getting treatment, getting a good assessment, overcoming some of the natural shame and apprehension a family might feel actually, kind of in the long run, greatly diminish stigma. Because if the symptoms are under better control, the child starts to take ownership of her own behaviors and a real positive virtuous cycle can ensue.