- Emily Linder
5 Myths about ADHD
There are many misconceptions about ADHD. Continue below to learn more about these common myths.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by symptoms such as inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity, which can impact daily life, such as in school or work, and relationships. There are many misconceptions out there about ADHD and they contribute to stigma associated with the disorder. Here are some of the most common myths:
Myth #1: ADHD isn't real
ADHD is a real medical disorder. Brains with ADHD have been shown to have low levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate. Imaging studies have also shown structural differences between the brains of people with ADHD and people without ADHD. Also, there have been multiple studies where the results suggest that there is a genetic component to ADHD.
Myth #2: Girls can't get ADHD
Girls can absolutely be diagnosed with ADHD however, it is often overlooked in girls because ADHD presents differently in girls than boys. Girls tend to struggle less with hyperactivity and impulse control symptoms associated with ADHD and instead struggle more with inattention and other internalized symptoms (ex: low self-esteem, loneliness).
Myth #3: People with ADHD are lazy
Symptoms of ADHD can present as disorganization, lack of motivation (unless it is an activity they enjoy), and disinterest. Because of this, symptoms of ADHD may be mistaken for laziness. The truth of the matter is that ADHD symptoms often make it difficult to initiate and complete tasks. They also impair a person's social and emotional functioning.
Myth #4: Kids will outgrow their ADHD
While some symptoms might lessen or disappear as children age, most people do not outgrow their symptoms. In fact, most people with ADHD will experience changes in symptom presentation as they continue throughout adulthood.
Myth #5: ADHD isn't "that big of a deal"
ADHD can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. It can seriously effect social and emotional functioning, as well as executive functioning (planning, memory, attention, etc). Many individuals with ADHD live in fear of not being able to keep up at school, work, and home. This can take a significant toll on their mental health. People with ADHD are more likely to have anxiety, mood disorders, and substance use disorders.
There are many misconceptions and myths about ADHD that can lead to misunderstandings and stigma. It's important to educate ourselves and others about the realities of ADHD to promote understanding and support for those who live with it. Remember, ADHD is a real and valid condition that affects many individuals and families. By breaking down these myths and embracing the facts, we can work towards a future where everyone with ADHD receives the support and resources they need to thrive.