Myths of ADHD

Because Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, spent so many years being misdiagnosed and poorly researched, many myths surrounding the disorder persist. Although ADHD affects around 4 percent of all adults in the U.S. adults, it is only in recent years that it has been understood in any clinical sense. Because of this, ADHD as a disorder still needs a reasonable amount of awareness. Debunking some of the fallacies that surround the disorder is the first step.


  1. ADHD is not a “real” disorder. In actuality, ADHD is a mental disorder that includes an inherited biological component. Researchers have identified several genes that are associate specifically with ADHD, while other studies have determined that kids with ADHD have gene variations not found in typical children.
  2. You Can Outgrow ADHD. Hyperactivity is a factor common in most childhood cases of ADHD, however, this particular trait often lessens as a child grows into adulthood and learns to control it. Because of this, many believe that the disorder itself goes away, when the reality is the opposite. Adults with ADHD report feelings of constant 'inner restlessness' or need to be active or on the move. This can be very disruptive to a career or any activity in which focus is required. Therapy and medication can both do much to lessen these symptoms no matter the age of the sufferer. Symptoms may present differently in adults than they do in children, but the main problem will never go away on its own.
  3. ADHD is a disorder only for children. Although research and awareness within the last decade or so have done wonders for early diagnosis, there remain thousands of teens and adults whose ADHD remains untreated.
  4. ADHD medication leads to addiction. Most cases of ADHD are treated with a stimulant medication that allows a person to focus better. There is no research that indicates that this medication leads to addiction. In fact, studies have concluded that those who regularly take medication to treat their ADHD symptoms have a much lower rate of substance abuse than those who don't. Further, researchers studied the link between childhood and teen use of ADHD medication and adulthood substance use and found neither an increase or a decrease.
  5. ADHD is simply a catch-all excuse for bad behavior. Individuals with ADHD struggle in most aspects of their life, from school to social behavior. Overcoming the symptoms of ADHD are not a matter of simple self will or trying harder. People with the disorder process information very differently from those without it and must rely on appropriate treatment to bypass the pitfalls they encounter as a result. Because there is no cure for ADHD, those who have it have to work twice as hard as those who don't to lead an emotionally healthy life.
  6. ADHD is the result of poor parenting. Extensive research has determined that although genetics play a part in the presence of ADHD, it is not the result of a certain parenting style. Admittedly, parenting characteristics such as nagging, negativity and poor management can exacerbate the symptoms of one with the disorder, however, they are not the cause.
  7. Kids with ADHD are hyper. There are three main components that may predominate in a child with ADHD. These are: Inattentiveness, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity. Although a child with the disorder may have all three symptoms, some children present only one or two.
  8. ADHD is over diagnosed. Although schools, parents and health practitioners are getting better at recognizing the possible presence of ADHD, many children are never diagnosed or treated. It is not uncommon for parents to seek treatment after recognizing their child's symptoms in themselves. 

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