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Dubai Clinics Report Surge in ADHD Cases Among Women as ‘Silent Struggle’ Continues

Dubai Clinics Report Surge in ADHD Cases Among Women as 'Silent Struggle' Continues

In a notable shift, clinics in Dubai are witnessing a surge in cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among women, challenging age and gender stereotypes associated with the condition. The Covid-19 pandemic and increased awareness are believed to be contributing factors to more women seeking support for ADHD, ending what experts describe as a “silent struggle” endured by many.

Dr. Ioannis Delipalas, medical director at Thrive Wellbeing Centre, highlighted a significant change in patient demographics, with about 60% of new intakes being women seeking ADHD assessments. Similarly, at Sage Clinics, Dr. Zeeshan Ahmad noted that approximately 65% of individuals seeking assessments for ADHD are women.

ADHD, a neurodevelopmental condition, manifests in different forms, including hyperactive and impulsive behavior, inattentiveness, or a combination of both. Traditionally associated with young boys, ADHD in girls often goes unnoticed due to a less overt presentation of symptoms.

Dr. Romena Toki, a clinical psychologist at Sage Clinics, emphasized that many women with ADHD endure years of silent struggle, often labeled as “daydreamers” or “disorganized,” while compensating for symptoms to meet societal expectations.

Rising Awareness and Diagnosis Trends

The surge in ADHD diagnoses among adult women is not unique to Dubai but reflects a global trend. A significant increase in diagnoses among women aged 23 to 49 was observed in a major US study, driven by factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic, increased telehealth services, and heightened awareness facilitated by social media.

While boys are more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis in childhood, the average age for women to be diagnosed is in their mid-thirties. This delay underscores the need for improved understanding and awareness of ADHD in women.

Challenges and Treatment Approaches

Diagnosing ADHD involves a comprehensive assessment by trained professionals, ruling out other conditions and conducting tailored screenings. Treatment options include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy to manage symptoms and improve executive functioning.

Dr. Delipalas emphasized the importance of accessing reliable and scientific resources when seeking assessment and treatment for ADHD, cautioning against misinformation spread through social media.

As clinics in Dubai witness a growing number of women seeking support for ADHD, efforts to raise awareness and provide accurate diagnosis and treatment are essential in addressing the silent struggle faced by many.

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