The 7 Myths about ADHD and Latest Research Initiatives

7 Myths about ADHD presents cutting-edge research debunking Myth 1, emphasizing ADHD’s legitimacy as a medical disorder.


Myth-busting: 7 ADHD misconceptions! Let's debunk common misunderstandings about ADHD to better understand the condition and help those who have it. 7 Myths About ADHDMyth 1: ADHD isn’t a real medical disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been recognized as a  legitimate diagnosis by major medical, psychological, and educational organizations, including The American Psychiatric Society in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) — the official mental-health “bible” used by psychologists and psychiatrists in helping to diagnose the condition. ADHD is biologically based and research shows that it results from an imbalance of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters), within the brain. Brain MRI is a new and experimental tool in the world of ADHD research. Though brain scans cannot yet reliably diagnose ADHD, some scientists are using them to identify environmental and prenatal factors that affect symptoms, and to better understand how stimulant medications trigger symptom control vs. side effects.

Prevalence in ADHD – 5% in children, 2% in adults.

Myth 2: ADHD is the result of bad parenting, too much sugar, and too much TV.

When a child with ADHD blurts things out or gets out of his seat in class, it’s  not because he hasn’t been taught that these behaviors are wrong. It’s because  he cannot control his impulses. The problem is rooted in brain chemistry,  not discipline. In fact, overly strict parenting practices — which may involve  punishing a child for things he can’t control — can actually make ADHD  symptoms worse.

There are 7 symptom clusters:

 – Inattentiveness

 – Hyperactivity

 – Impulsivity

 – Hot temperedness

 – Mood lability

 – Impaired stress tolerance

 – Disorganization

Myth 3: Children who are given special accommodations because of their ADHD have an  unfair advantage.

The SIAS policy (2014) requires that schools address the special needs of all children with disabilities, including children with ADHD. Special accommodations, such as extra time  on tests, simply level the playing field so that kids with ADHD can learn as successfully as do their classmates without ADHD.

Myth 4: Children with ADHD eventually outgrow it.

More than 70 percent of the individuals who have ADHD in childhood continue to have it in adolescence. Up to 50 percent will retain symptoms into adulthood. Though estimates say that six percent of the adult population has ADHD, the majority of those adults remain undiagnosed; only one in four seeks treatment. Up to this point, most scientists hypothesized that when ADHD was diagnosed in adulthood, it was simply missed in childhood. Now, however, researchers wonder if there may be an adult-onset form of ADHD, wholly separate from childhood-onset attention deficit.

Myth 5: ADHD affects only boys.

Girls are just as likely to have ADHD as are boys, and gender makes no difference in the symptoms caused by the disorder. But because this myth persists,  boys are more likely to be diagnosed than are girls. Lingering stereotypes, referral bias, internalized symptoms, gender role expectations, comorbidities, and hormonal fluctuations all complicate the ADHD presentation in women.

Myth 6: Children who take ADHD medication are  more likely to abuse drugs as teenagers.

Actually, the opposite is true. Living with untreated ADHD increases the  risk that an individual will abuse drugs or alcohol. ADHD medication is not a gateway drug. In fact, teens and adults who seek treatment for their ADHD symptoms are much less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than are their undiagnosed, untreated counterparts.

The Myth of Laziness & Productivity TipsMyth 7: People who have ADHD are stupid or lazy —  they never amount to anything.

People with ADHD are often of above-average intelligence, according to studies. They certainly aren’t lazy. In fact, many well-known, high-achieving personalities are thought to have had ADHD, including Mozart, Paris Hilton, James Timberlake to name a few.

ADHD strengths give people unique traits and abilities that make them more creative, spontaneous, caring, and energetic. They are able to hyperfocus, think out of the box, they have a great sense of humour, are driven and passionate, which is why turning a passion into a purpose or a work that you love, is a necessary exercise to do.

3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks

When we step back and ask, “What does everyone with ADHD have in common, that people without ADHD don’t experience?” a different set of symptoms take shape. From this perspective, three defining features of ADHD emerge that explain every aspect of the condition:

 – An interest-based nervous system

 – Emotional hyperarousal

 – Rejection sensitivity

People with ADHD often say they “get in the zone” or “hit a groove” where they can be in a state of hyperfocus – intense concentration on a particular task, during which the person feels she can accomplish anything and they lose track of time. This state is not activated by a teacher’s assignment, or a boss’s request, it is only created by a momentary sense of interest, competition, novelty, or urgency created by a do-or-die deadline.

The ADHD nervous system is interest-based, rather than importance- or priority-based.

People with ADHD have passionate thoughts and emotions that are more intense than those of the average person. Their highs are higher and their lows are lower. This means you may experience both happiness and criticism more powerfully than your peers and loved ones do.

Finally, rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is an intense vulnerability to the perception of being rejected, teased, or criticized by important people in your life. RSD causes extreme emotional pain that may also be triggered by a sense of failure, or falling short – failing to meet either your own high standards or others’ expectations. Some people avoid rejection by becoming people pleasers. Others just opt out altogether, and choose not to try because making any effort is so anxiety-provoking.

Complementary and Alternative Approaches to treat ADHD:

 – Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids – improved ADHD symptoms, improved reading and spelling, improved motor skills, improved speech development, improved behavioral and emotional problems. In combination with ADHD medication, has 35% improved symptoms.

 – Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is sometimes called Brahmi. Bacopa might increase certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory.

 – Use of fungi to treat ADHD, i.e Hericium Erinaceus. Psychedelics – still illegal in SA. Psilocybin – closely resembles serotonin. Microdosing – subthreshold doses to achieve therapeutic effects. Used for treatment resistant depression – impact is 4x the impact of traditional SSRIs. Microdosing & ADHD – scant evidence.

Finally, whether they take medication or not, your child may benefit from these five natural remedies for ADHD: proper nutrition, brain-boosting supplements, physical exercise, adequate sleep, and limited screen time. These remedies are Important for us all, whether we have ADHD or not.


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