Unlocking ADHD writer Stephanie Cheng looks at some of the misconceptions surrounding ADHD.
People with ADHD are often misunderstood as being lazy or unmotivated. By raising awareness about ADHD, we can reduce the stigma and encourage people to seek help! Let’s debunk some myths associated with ADHD.
3 Top ADHD Myths
1. Only children can have ADHD
While ADHD is typically assumed to be a childhood condition, adults can also be diagnosed. 4.4% of American adults have ADHD.
2. ADHD is easily recognizable
Hyperactivity may be the most typical indication of ADHD, but it is not the sole indication of it. ADHD also manifests in an individual’s thoughts, and affects executive functioning. These hidden symptoms make it more challenging to diagnose.
3. People with ADHD are lazy
This is not true. People with ADHD put in a great deal of effort and strive really hard to finish their work. Their condition hinders them from delivering their best work because the brain becomes quickly distracted. Differences in the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and be patient exacerbates these issues.
Who is affected?
Anyone can be affected by ADHD! While most who are diagnosed with ADHD seem to be children, many youths, adults and even older adults are affected as well.
In children, boys frequently exhibit ADHD symptoms differently than girls. Boys show more externalised (eg. running) symptoms, while girls exhibit more internalised (eg. low self-esteem) symptoms. Because of the externalised symptoms displayed by many boys, they are more likely to be diagnosed over girls.
- Physical Aggression
- Excessive chatting
- Interrupting others
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty with academic achievements
- Trouble focusing
- Appears to not listen
- Verbal aggression
Youths experience poor attention span and are easily sidetracked, similar to ADHD children. While ADHD symptoms appear to be less severe at this stage, some symptoms may still persist.
- Academic challenges
- Relationship conflicts
- Imbalance of mood and self-esteem
- Increased risk-taking
- Poor sleep
The commonalities of ADHD regardless of age are hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. But what sets adult ADHD apart from adolescent ADHD is that hyperactivity is felt more internally. Inattention symptoms also persist much stronger.
The workplace greatly affects Adults with ADHD, such as:
- Missing deadlines
- Forgetting meetings
- Missing social gatherings
- Outbursts of anger
As little research has been done on ADHD in the elderly, it is difficult to diagnose older adults with ADHD. Instead, they are sometimes misdiagnosed with other ageing conditions such as dementia or a cognitive decline. However, there are some common symptoms in those who have been diagnosed with ADHD:
- Unreliable memory
- Working memory issues
- Forgetting words
- Mind going blank
- Difficulty learning new things
- Excessive talking
- Interrupting others
- Poorly organised homes
If you suspect that you have ADHD, don’t be afraid to get help!
Most diagnoses are reassuring because people can finally address the fundamental causes of their problems. From there, they gradually learn to manage them with appropriate treatment. With better understanding, individuals will start to see improvements in their everyday lives as well.
If you or someone you know is still struggling, do not worry, for we are a supportive community here to help you!
At Unlocking ADHD, it is our goal to help Empower ADHDers and their Families to Live Life to the Fullest. By providing resources and support, we hope to create a supportive community to journey together towards a brighter future.