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Top 13 Myths of ADHD 

We understand that there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding ADHD, which can lead to misunderstandings and stigma. We've created the Top 13 Myths of ADHD page to provide accurate information and dispel common myths about this condition.

Our goal is to promote awareness and understanding of ADHD, and we hope that this page will be helpful for anyone seeking information about ADHD.

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MYTHS

FACTS

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Television and video games cause ADHD

Myth 1: 

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There is no scientific evidence linking television or video game usage causing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, so people can safely dismiss this myth!

Fact :

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ADHD is caused by bad parenting

Myth 2: 

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Research has found that ADHD is caused by genetic and environmental factors rather than poor parenting.

Fact :

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People with ADHD are lazy or unintelligent

Myth 3: 

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Many people with an attention disorder are intelligent and hardworking individuals who need extra support to reach their full potential. 

Fact :

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People with ADHD can't concentrate on anything for long

Myth 4: 

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People with ADHD can focus intently on activities they find interesting or enjoyable but often struggle to sustain focus on mundane activities that don't capture their attention.

Fact :

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Everyone with ADHD has the same symptoms and behaviours

Myth 5: 

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Each individual's experience of living with Attention Deficit Disorder is unique, as symptoms can vary greatly depending on age, gender, environment, etc.

Fact :

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Only men can have ADHD

Myth 6: 

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As many girls with ADHD go undiagnosed since their symptoms may differ from those of boys.

Fact :

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ADHD only affects children or adolescents, not adults

Myth 7: 

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Adults are known to live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder too. However, due to its varying presentation among different age groups, it may be challenging to diagnose correctly in adults if appropriate care isn't taken during the assessment processes.

Fact :

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Kids outgrow their ADHD symptoms by adulthood

Myth 8: 

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Unfortunately, this isn't the case. At the same time, symptoms may lessen over time; in some cases, they do not wholly disappear entirely in adulthood and therefore require ongoing management through lifestyle changes and medication throughout life.

Fact :

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Medication is the only effective treatment for people with ADHD

Myth 9: 

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While medication can be very effective in managing symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Disorder. It does not cure the condition and should be used alongside other treatments such as therapy or lifestyle changes like diet modification or exercise regimen where necessary.

Fact :

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Diet doesn't play a role in helping manage symptoms of ADD/ADHD

Myth 10: 

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Eating well plays an essential part for anyone trying to stay healthy physically & mentally. But particularly so for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorders; making sure you regulate your sugar intake and eat regularly throughout the day helps keep energy levels high, which facilitates better concentration & focus abilities.

Fact :

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Stimulant medications are dangerous for those with ADHD

Myth 11: 

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While stimulants have side effects, when taken properly and monitored by a doctor, they have been proven to be safe and effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD in both children and adults. 

Fact :

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People who take medication for ADD/ADHD will become addicted

Myth 12: 

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When prescribed appropriately & stimulants are handled responsibly, they should pose no long-term addiction threats when used strictly under medical supervision.

Fact :

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People with ADHD cannot be successful in work or school

Myth 13: 

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With the proper support, accommodations, and medication (if necessary), countless successful individuals living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder achieve great things daily!

Fact :

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Reference:

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.)

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html

  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

  4. Faraone, S. V., & Larsson, H. (2019). Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 24(4), 562–575. 

  5. Thapar, A., Cooper, M., Jefferies, R., & Stergiakouli, E. (2012). What causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Archives of Disease in Childhood, 97(3), 260–265. 

  6. Nigg, J. T. (2013). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and adverse health outcomes. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(2), 215–228. 

  7. Barkley, R. A. (2015). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment (4th ed.). Guilford Press.

  8. Quinn PO, Madhoo M. A review of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in women and girls: uncovering this hidden diagnosis. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2014;16(3):PCC.13r01596. doi: 10.4088/PCC.13r01596. Epub 2014 Oct 13. PMID: 25317366; PMCID: PMC4195638.

  9. Wilens TE, Dodson W. A clinical perspective of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder into adulthood. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;65(10):1301-13. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v65n1003. PMID: 15491232.

  10. Faraone SV, Biederman J. What is the prevalence of adult ADHD? Results of a population screen of 966 adults. J Atten Disord. 2005 Nov;9(2):384-91. doi: 10.1177/1087054705281478. PMID: 16371661.

  11. Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management, Wolraich, M., Brown, L., Brown, R. T., DuPaul, G., Earls, M., Feldman, H. M., Ganiats, T. G., Kaplanek, B., Meyer, B., Perrin, J., Pierce, K., Reiff, M., Stein, M. T., & Visser, S. (2011). ADHD: Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 128(5), 1007–1022.

  12. Millichap, J. G., & Yee, M. M. (2012). The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics, 129(2), 330–337. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-2199

  13. Greenhill LL, Pliszka S, Dulcan MK, Bernet W, Arnold V, Beitchman J, Benson RS, Bukstein O, Kinlan J, McClellan J, Rue D, Shaw JA, Stock S, Kroeger K. Summary of the practice parameter for the use of stimulant medications in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Nov;40(11):1352-5. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200111000-00020. PMID: 11699811.

  14. Kooij, J., Bijlenga, D., Salerno, L., Jaeschke, R., Bitter, I., Balázs, J., . . . Asherson, P. (2019). Updated European Consensus Statement on diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD. European Psychiatry, 56(1), 14-34. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2018.11.001

  15. Society for Human Resource Management. (n.d.). ADHD in the workplace: Turning a challenge into an opportunity. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/humanity-into-hr/pages/adhd-in-the-workplace.aspx

  16. Ramsay, J.R., & Rostain, A.L. (2014). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: An Integrative Psychosocial and Medical Approach (2nd ed.). Routledge. 

  17. Tuckman, A., & Kennedy, C. (2011). More attention, less deficit: Success strategies for adults with ADHD. Specialty Press/A.D.D. Warehouse.

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