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Expert uncovers gender bias in ADD/ADHD diagnosis

There's a gender bias when it comes to diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

That's according to the woman who runs the largest ADHD coaching program in North America.

Shanna Pearson, the founder and president of One Focus Total Success Inc., told CFRA it's because the symptoms present more clearly in men.

"It's more noticeable in men, so a lot more of them are actually going to seek a diagnosis or it's just being pointed out to them," she said. "With women a lot of them, it's just going under the wire. They're not being noticed. They're not picking up on it."

Research shows two out of every three women with ADD or ADHD are misdiagnosed by doctors as having depression.

"And it's almost understandable how they would, because a lot of ADHD symptoms, especially for women because it's more on the emotional spectrum, a lot of ADHD symptoms can look like depression," she said.

She said women need to be aware about what is going on for them.

"It's not necessarily that they're just overly emotional or very scattered or absent-minded or some of the other labels that people put on women who are like that," Pearson said.

"It could be that they have ADHD, so I would say that if you're a woman who has more drama in your life than most people you know, if you're somebody who gets overwhelmed very, very easily or you experience a lot of anxiety on a regular basis or you tend to get frozen in your thoughts or overwhelmed and you can't move forward - those types of symptoms, I would say you might want to get a diagnosis," she added.

Pearson said once a person is properly diagnosed by a specialist, they can learn how to better manage the symptoms that come with the disorder.

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