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Exploring the Facts and Busting the ADHD Myths

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Millions of children across the globe are affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the number of cases is growing continuously. It’s not just children who are affected, either – many adults have been diagnosed with ADHD in recent years. But despite it being such a common disability, there are still lots of ADHD myths, and people aren’t always aware of what it really is. So what are the facts about this disorder? How much do we really know about it?

ADHD has been the subject of debate for years. Some people misunderstood ADHD children, believing them to be lazy and unintelligent kids showing a lack of willpower or purposefulness. That could be one of the reasons why some parents ignore the possibility that there might be something wrong with their child’s behaviour.

According to NICE (The National Institute of Care and Health Excellence) and the Department of Education, ADHD is a genetic, biologically based disorder, and most children diagnosed with ADHD are likely to continue to have difficulties in adult life. To help you understand more about ADHD, let’s bust open some of the ADHD myths and explore the facts.

ADHD Myths:

  1. ADHD is just a result of poor parenting.
  2. You can’t have Adult ADHD if you weren’t diagnosed with it  when you were a child.
  3. ADHD medication leads to drug abuse. .
  4. ADHD is just a lack of willpower.
  5. Children diagnosed with ADHD will likely outgrow the condition.
  6. It’s impossible to accurately diagnose Adult ADHD.
  7. People with ADHD are just plain stupid and lazy.
  8. Everyone experiences ADHD symptoms but only intelligent people can overcome them.
  9. ADHD only affects boys.
  10. Someone with ADHD can’t be depressed, anxious, or have other psychiatric problems.

ADHD Facts:

  1. ADHD isn’t choosy – it doesn’t matter how high your IQ, you can still be chronically impaired by the symptoms.
  2. According to NICE and the Department of Education, ADHD is a neurobehavioral developmental condition cause by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is featured in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used by medical, psychological and educational organizations to diagnose mental health conditions.
  3. Approximately 70% of children with ADHD will continue to have symptoms until adolescence and 60% will continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
  4. It’s the chemical imbalance in the brain that can make a person look lazy and unintelligent. Actually, many people with this disorder have above average intelligence and many who have learnt to manage ADHD have become successful CEOs and company owners today – Richard Branson, for example!
  5. Parents are not to blame. ADHD symptoms are caused by the chemistry in the brain, resulting in uncontrollable impulses that make children misbehave.
  6. ADHD is thought to be a genetic disorder and many adults are diagnosed with ADHD after their children get a diagnosis. Many more adults have undiagnosed ADHD.
  7. ADHD can affect both boys and girls.
  8. ADHD prescription medication is proven safe and effective. However, left untreated, people with ADHD are at greater risk of drug abuse because of addictive tendencies. Diagnosis and treatment can avoid or reduce this risk.
  9. Someone with ADHD is 6 times more likely to also have another psychiatric or learning disorder.
  10. ADHD is real. It has a clearly documented list of symptoms, it affects both children and adults, and medical professionals have specific standards for diagnosing ADHD based on the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Yes, you read it here – ADHD is real. So next time you hear it mentioned in the media, don’t tut and mumble something about badly behaved kids, or rotten parents! Try to understand ADHD, because the more we know about ADHD, the better we’ll be able to care for and support ADHD kids.


Image: (phanlop88)

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