6 Myths and facts about ADHD
Over the last 20 years, many children have being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of diagnosis has been increasing by three percent every year. Even with the increased awareness, there are several myths associated with this medical condition. Here are 6 common myths about ADHD, and facts to debunk them.
Myth #1: ADHD isn’t a real medical condition
Several major medical, psychological and educational organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, recognize ADHD as a legitimate, medical disorder. ADHD is biologically based and research shows that it’s a result of an imbalance of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, within the brain. People with ADHD have symptoms such as inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. They face a great deal of difficulty with aspects of daily life, including time management and organizational skills.
Myth #2: ADHD goes away on its own
Not true. More than 70 percent of individuals who have had ADHD in childhood, continue to have it in adolescence. Almost 50 percent will continue having the symptoms in their adulthood. An estimated 6 percent of the adult population has ADHD – a majority of who remain undiagnosed, and only one in four of them seek treatment. Without help, adults living with ADHD suffer from mood disorders and anxiety. They also have problems in their career, personal lives, as well as in legal and financial matters.
Myth #3: Only boys are affected by ADHD
Girls are equally likely to suffer from ADHD as boys. It is only a myth that ADHD affects only boys. Due to this, girls may be less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than boys. As far as the symptoms go, gender makes no difference.
Myth #4: ADHD is caused due to bad parenting
Many people often think that a child with behavioral problems has only his/her parents to blame. They may think that when the child blurts out things or doesn’t sit still in one place, it is probably because his/her parents haven’t taught them anything. The problem, however, is caused due to brain chemistry, and not discipline. Sometime, strict parenting can worsen the situation and make ADHD symptoms worse and cause psychological damage to the child. Treatment for ADHD requires professional interventions.
Myth #5: Junk Food and Sugar cause ADHD
This is one of the most prevalent myths associated with ADHD. Many people believe that eating junk food and foods with high sugar causes ADHD. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove this. Eliminating sugar and junk food from the diet does not help with ADHD symptoms.
Myth #6: People with ADHD are lazy and unintelligent
Recent studies have shown that people with ADHD are often above-average intelligence – and are certainly not lazy. Many well-known achievers from the past – such as Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Bernard Shaw and Salvador Dali, are thought to have had ADHD.
As more and more people are becoming aware about ADHD and its symptoms, debunking these myths can help build compassion and understanding for people who suffer from it.