ADHD: 5 Myths and Facts

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder became an officially recognized condition about 60 years ago. Since that time, it has become increasingly common. On last report, nearly 10 percent of children are diagnosed with ADHD, which is an increase of more than 7 percent just over the last 30 years.

Despite its growing prevalence, it’s still a widely misunderstood condition. With that in mind, take a look at the following 5 ADHD myths and their underlying truths.

1. Myth: ADHD Comes from a Lack of Discipline

It’s a common misconception among ADHD myths that its result is from a lack of discipline in childhood. That’s certainly not the case. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder. Scientists don’t fully understand exactly what causes it, but it’s believed that several factors could come into play.

Genetics and differences in brain structure and function are among the most common, but other aspects may also enter the mix. Some studies also show a link between premature birth and ADHD. An imbalance of certain neurotransmitters may be partially responsible for the condition as well. Effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help combat its effects, but extra parental discipline isn’t part of the solution.

2. Myth: ADHD Comes From Too Much Sugar or Too Much Screen Time

Many people also mistakenly believe that ADHD is the result of giving children too much sugar or allowing them to watch television and play video games too much. That’s not true. Again, it’s a disorder that stems from several factors. Too much sugar and screen time can affect people of all ages. They can also exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD in some people. Still, they’re not the cause of the condition. Completely eliminating sugar from an ADHD sufferer’s diet and taking away all forms of electronics won’t cause the symptoms to go away, either

3. Myth: People With ADHD Always Have Trouble Focusing

People tend to believe that those who live with ADHD always have trouble focusing on things. This, too, is a myth. Those with ADHD often struggle to focus on activities that they don’t find interesting and that don’t challenge them.

On the other hand, they can also experience periods of hyperfocus. That means they become so completely immersed in something that they lose sight of everything else. They may even forget to eat, bathe, and sleep while they’re hyperfocused. In some cases, the things they become hyperfocused on aren’t necessarily the ones they’re expected to concentrate on at the time.

4. Myth: Medication Is the Only Effective Treatment for ADHD

Medications are often prescribed for ADHD, and stimulants are the most common. They tend to work differently in people with ADHD, actually calming them down and reducing impulsive behavior rather than ramping up their energy levels. They can be effective components of an ADHD treatment plan, but they’re not the only options. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other approaches can help as well. Certain lifestyle changes, like getting plenty of sleep and exercise, may aid in managing the symptoms of ADHD too.

5. Myth: Children Can Grow Out of ADHD

Quite a few people think that ADHD is just a phase and that children eventually grow out of it. In reality, ADHD is a lifelong condition. Its symptoms may change over time and taper off a bit in adulthood. Through effective treatment, people can learn to better manage their symptoms. Still, the condition never really goes away.

Gaining a Better Understanding of ADHD

Plenty of misconceptions revolve around attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It’s not a result of too much sugar or poor parenting. It’s not always a matter of being unable to concentrate. Medication isn’t the only effective treatment for ADHD, and children don’t grow out of it.

Clearing up those myths helps to foster a better understanding of the condition and can potentially raise awareness of the importance of treatment to help people who live with ADHD better manage their symptoms.

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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