January 14, 2022

ADHD in Women – Why Do We Need to Be “Suicidal Enough”?

Ali Burden-Blake

Photography CompositeThe Edge, 202110x10" or 20x20"

Inattentive-type ADHD has been missed in girls and women for decades. And it has left an entire generation of women wondering why they can’t cope with life; why they’re not fulfilling their potential, and why their relationships are suffering. They are often referred to as The Lost Generation. There are huge differences in how ADHD affects males and females, and with the stereotypical image of ADHD still, unhelpfully, an overly energetic and disruptive little boy, women who are now realising that they have had many of the symptoms since childhood are being left undiagnosed and flailing in life. An overstretched NHS mental health system in Scotland means that many women are being turned away at GP surgeries when requesting a referral for a diagnosis. Or, as in my case, told they’re “not suicidal enough” to warrant a referral. How do you think that might make you feel? Would you grieve for a lost life? Too dramatic? No, it’s not. And it’s not good enough. It’s just not good enough. I’ve made this work in response to how some of my symptoms make me feel, daily. ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the brain; its effects can be helped by medication.