ADHD: Myths vs. Facts

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ADHD: Myths vs. Facts

October doesn’t have to be filled with scary myths, especially about diagnoses that affect our mental health. That’s why ADHD Online is kicking off this month – just in time for ADHD Awareness Month – with 5 Common Myths about ADHD and debunking them all, with facts you need to know. 

MYTH #1: GIRLS CAN’T HAVE ADHD.

FACT: Girls CAN have ADHD. ADHD is one of the most common mental health disorders. It doesn’t pick and choose who to impact. 

In fact, adult women ages 24 to 36, are the fastest-growing population currently undergoing treatment for ADHD. However, ADHD is often overlooked in both girls and women, with nearly 50-75% of cases missed. 

Why? The truth of the matter is, we don’t know. It could be due to how females present symptoms compared to men, according to recent studies, or how comfortable healthcare providers are in recognizing and diagnosing ADHD in girls compared to boys, according to our recent poll. At ADHD Online, we strive to help everyone get a diagnosis, no matter their gender identity.

MYTH #2: ADHD ISN’T REAL. IT’S JUST LAZINESS OR TOO MUCH ENERGY.

FACT: First, it’s important to understand what ADHD is. 

ADHD is inattention, or not being able to focus, in addition to hyperactivity and impulsivity. In other words, swift acts or excess movement that doesn’t fit into an appropriate setting. Of course, these are just some overarching symptoms, but ADHD can affect and impact individuals differently, in minor or major ways. 

ADHD is more than “being lazy or having an abundance of energy.” Those who are diagnosed with ADHD show differences in brain development, which affects how an individual uses their attention, time, self-control, and ability to focus. This can be seen with either a lack of attention to an area in their life, or an abundance of energy in another. Those who are diagnosed with ADHD have lower dopamine levels, which is a hormone in the brain that helps control reward and pleasure centers, while also regulating response and movement. With lower levels of dopamine, the brain is limited in its ability to stay motivated. 

ADHD is real and it can be a serious diagnosis if left untreated that can affect many areas in your life. To see if you experience symptoms of ADHD or if you have ADHD, take our online assessment so we can provide the resources and materials you need to have a more balanced life. 

MYTH #3: ADHD IS ONLY FOR KIDS AND WILL BE OUTGROWN. 

FACT: Unlike pants or shoes, you can’t outgrow ADHD. If you were diagnosed with ADHD as a child, it’s likely that you’ll still have it in adulthood. In fact, nearly 5% of adults in the United States have a diagnosis of ADHD. 

Similar to the point above, ADHD affects the brain and the levels of dopamine. While there are ways to treat ADHD and those dopamine levels, like taking medication or going to therapy, it is not something that will be gone forever once you start treatments. Treatment will help, but they won’t make ADHD disappear forever.

That’s why it is important to receive, or get tested, for a diagnosis as soon as you can, so that major life decisions you make as an adult – like careers, moves, relationships – aren’t negatively impacted and don’t affect your academic and professional development. 

MYTH #4: ADHD IS A STAND-ALONE DIAGNOSIS.

FACT: ADHD is a neurological condition and it can often be tied with other mental health diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NCSH) found that 33% of children with ADHD had one coexisting condition, 16% had two, and 18% had three or more. 

At ADHD online, our online assessment not only screens for ADHD, but also for anxiety and depression. We work with doctorate-level psychologists to determine not only the best treatment plan, but also any other factors impacting mental health. 

MYTH #5: ADHD CAN’T BE TREATED.  

FACT: We know that this simply isn’t true. Our mission at ADHD Online is to help diagnose and find the best treatment plan to conquer life’s daily challenges with ADHD. We offer a variety of treatment options, including virtual counseling and medication management. 

These are just some of the myths surrounding ADHD. If you or someone you know hears additional myths or has questions about the information you are hearing, visit our resource library to get the facts.

Don’t be spooked this season by myths surrounding ADHD. October is ADHD Awareness Month, and we are here to help.