Of the many psychological conditions that emerged in the 21st century, none has elicited more discussion and controversy than attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Until today, a surprising number of people continue to believe in mistaken beliefs about the disorder. Here are five ADHD myths and five good reasons why they are not true.
ADHD does not exist
The notion that ADHD is a made-up disorder is expressed by people who believe that doctors, together with pharmaceutical companies, diagnose kids with ADHD to boost sales of stimulant medications. However, an international community of doctors, psychiatrics, and researchers do agree that ADHD is a real disorder with serious consequences. Children with ADHD not only have higher chance of having related psychiatric conditions like anxiety or depression; if the disorder is not treated, kids with ADHD are at risk of dropping out of school, have fewer friends, experiment with drugs, or get in trouble with the law. Children with ADHD have real problems, and they need real help before the consequences of the disorder start to manifest.
ADHD is over-diagnosed
In conjunction with the first myth, it is often thought that most children diagnosed with ADHD don’t actually have the disorder. There is no hard evidence that suggests that ADHD is over-diagnosed; in fact, many experts believe that ADHD is under-diagnosed, especially among women and adults. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with getting diagnosed with adhd child, because it provides parents and children with a deeper understanding of what’s wrong. The real issue is that too many doctors prescribe stimulant medications at the slightest signs of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. While it’s likely that some children are quickly labeled with ADHD, without going through proper testing, it doesn’t mean that ADHD is not a real disorder or that these children don’t need help.
ADHD is caused by poor parenting
When an ADHD child says inappropriate things, it has nothing to do with how he was raised; it’s because kids with ADHD have a hard time controlling their symptoms. Although genetics and parent-child conflicts do aggravate ADHD symptoms, there are also a number of factors that contribute to the onset of ADHD. These include poor nutrition, exposure to toxins (e.g. cigarette smoke), and birth complications.
ADHD is a childhood disorder
One of the most misleading notions about ADHD is that it’s a disorder that children eventually outgrow in their teens. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Studies show that 70% of children with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms in their teens, while up to 50% will struggle with the disorder during adulthood. This is why there is no “cure” for ADHD – like diabetes, ADHD is a disorder that needs to be managed throughout one’s lifetime.
Medication is the best treatment for ADHD
While popping a pill can instantly calm down a hyperactive child, ADHD medications are only a band-aid solution to the disorder. Not only do medications have a short-lived effect; they can also cause side effects like poor appetite, insomnia, and headaches, which interfere with a child’s attention, concentration, and overall neurological function. In addition, there are many causes of ADHD that have nothing to do with biology and thus cannot be treated by medication. The “best” treatment for ADHD varies from child to child, but it is recommended that a variety of interventions be used for a more complete approach to the disorder.