Myths about ADHD
22 June 2020
Myth №1. ADHD is not a real disorder.

Fact: ADHD is considered to be a chronic, neurobehavioral disorder that is classically characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The disorder is particularly relevant in today's society as it is one of the most common diagnoses in educational and children's mental health settings. ADHD is believed to typically onset in early childhood, although diagnosis is typically determined in the school-age years.

Myth №2. A simple test can determine if someone has ADHD.

Fact: There is no simple diagnostic test that can specifically identify ADHD, as can be done with other disorders such as cardiac, neuro, etc. There is no additional benefit from screening all children in schools.

Myth №3. ADHD is just a childhood disorder.

Fact: Long-term follow-up studies revealed that in 40 to 60% of children with ADHD, the disorder persists into adulthood.

The prevalence of ADHD in adults is 4.4% worldwide.

Myth №4. ADHD can be cured with medication.

Fact: Medications are very useful in treating ADHD, but they do not cure ADHD. The most widely used medications are two psychostimulants, methylphenidate (MPH) and the amphetamines (AMP), they reduce symptoms in approximately 70% of patients. At the same time stimulants have a high potential for abuse and dependence, cause many side effects. There are some non-stimulants to treat ADHD – atomoxetine, guanfacine, clonidine, bupropion, tricyclic antidepressants, – but they are believed to possess a less-robust effect than stimulants. The effects of ADHD medication however are short-lived, and benefits of medication are generally maintained only if medication is continued.

This is not a solution, it's only the way to putting off the issue.

Myth №5. ADHD is caused by poor parenting

Fact: ADHD is not caused by parenting. The etiology of such disease is thought to be multifactorial (pre- and perinatal risk factors) with a strong genetic liability. However, some parenting techniques can help children.

Myth №6. ADHD affects only boys.

Fact: Population-based data reveal that the male: female sex ratio for ADHD in childhood approximates 3:1. ADHD may be underdiagnosed in girls in clinical practice.

A common explanation for the observed sex differences in referral and diagnosis is that girls with ADHD are more likely to present with predominantly inattentive symptoms, rather than the more potentially disruptive hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, as well as greater levels of internalizing symptoms such as anxiety and depression which might lead to alternative diagnoses.

Myth №7. All kids with ADHD are hyperactive.

Fact: all kids with ADHD have hyperactivity as a symptom. Three subtypes of ADHD are now recognized: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, and a combined type, characterized by a combination of the first 2 subtypes. So, when a child has an inattentive type, he fails to give close attention to details, doesn't seem to listen when spoken to directly, doesn't follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, etc. But he hasn't hyperactivity.

Myth №8. Having ADHD "isn't that serious" or ADHD is a condition that doesn't cause severe problems.

ADHD is one of the most common diagnoses in educational and children's mental health settings and it can have serious implications on a person's overall quality of life. ADHD symptoms and their impact may also vary across an individual's lifespan – and they even can become more severe.

When children often fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork, have trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities, don't follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork, leave the seat in situations when remaining seated is expected, often blurt out an answer before a question has been completed, etc., adults with ADHD experience difficulties in all aspects related to employment, from the initial job search to the interview and performance on the job itself. Patients complain consistently about mood swings, difficulties in dealing with stressful situations, frequent irritability and frustration, emotional excitability, and getting angry over minor things.

Myth №9. ADHD is a problem of school-aged children.

Fact: ADHD is believed to typically onset in early childhood, although diagnosis is typically determined in the school-age years.

Myth №10. ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar.

Fact: There is no research to support this theory. Good nutrition is always important.

Myth №11. ADHD is not passed down through genetics.

Fact: Current research shows that 75 percent of ADHD diagnoses are linked to genetic causes.
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