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Why many women with autism and ADHD aren’t diagnosed until ...

Lifestyle

Why many women with autism and ADHD aren’t diagnosed until adulthood

This is what to do if you think you show the symptoms of what are often seen as ‘male disorders’

Alokananda Rudra

Over the past decade or so, there’s been an uptick in the number of adults being diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Any number of factors might explain this rise, including greater public awareness of both conditions, broader diagnostic criteria and changing perceptions of who autism and ADHD affects.

But while autism and ADHD still affect a greater number of men, more women are reporting being diagnosed with these conditions as adults. Again, this increase is probably due to any number of factors. But social media may also be playing a role, with women able to use platforms such as Twitter and TikTok to spark discussions and share their experiences and stories.

One constant in the experiences that many women have shared on social media is how long they waited for a diagnosis. Many have spoken about how they were even brushed off by healthcare professionals when seeking a diagnosis, told point-blank that they’re “not autistic” or that their problem is “anxiety and not ADHD”. For many, not knowing why they felt different from others left them feeling confused and even depressed...

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