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Women With ADHD More Likely To Attempt Suicide Than Their Male Counterparts, Study Says

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) often results in negative mental health effects in adulthood. A new Canadian study has established that suicide prevalence is much higher (24%) in women with ADHD relative to those without ADHD (3%). Also, the study found that 9% of men with ADHD were more likely to attempt suicide compared to 2% in those without ADHD.

ADHD individuals 56% more likely to attempt suicide

The study’s lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson said that ADHD cast a long shadow. Esme indicated that ADHD individuals were 56% more likely to attempt suicide compared to peers without ADHD. The study considered factors such as mental illness history, early adversities that ADHD adults experience, and levels of poverty.

Interestingly, the study gave little focus on women with ADHD because the disorder is more predominant among men than in women. However, in the study women were almost twice more likely to attempt suicide compared to males with ADHD. The odds of individuals that had experienced chronic parental domestic violence attempting suicide were three times more than those who didn’t. The researchers defined chronic domestic violence as having occurred over ten times before the individual turned 16 years.

Exposure to parental violence could lead to suicidal thoughts

Lauren Carrique, a social worker at Toronto General Hospital, stated that the results that at least one in four ADHD women attempt suicide need the urgent provision of enough mental health. This vulnerable and often neglected group needs consistent health support across their lifetime. The study evaluated 21,744 individuals in Canada with 529 having ADHD. Researchers drew data from the Canadian Community Health Survey-mental Health.

Raphael Nahar Riviere, the study’s co-author said that the cross-sectional nature of the study prohibited the researcher’s ability to establish the correlation between suicide attempts and parental domestic violence. However, the study speculated that parental violence could result in extreme stress in a child with ADHD which predisposes the individual to suicidal thoughts. Similarly, the challenges of raising an ADHD child with severe mental issues could lead to parental violence.

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