Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Five Myths On ADHD

Do you believe in any of the following myths on attention deficit disorder? Then you’re potentially spreading misinformation and indirectly keeping children from getting the help they need.

  • ADHD is a fashionable diagnosis.

False. Although the number of cases have ballooned in the last few decades, the increasing diagnosis rate did not fall out of the sky. Doctors can simply recognize the symptoms far better than 20 years ago. Before, girls rarely got diagnosed because their behaviour was far more subtle than that of ADHD boys.

  • Children with ADHD weren’t raised right or have poor motivation.

Incorrect. Kids with ADHD struggle sticking to one task. And compared to children from 30 years ago, kids today have far more homework, fewer breaks, and far less time to relax and play. Which likely has to do with more competition for slots in top universities, the disappearance of life-time jobs, and a more transparent marketplace.

  • ADHD is a convenient catchall for bad behaving children.

Not true. Recent studies have shown that people with ADHD have brains that are slightly underdeveloped in specific areas. Specifically the amygdala and hippocampus, which are in charge of processing emotions and impulse control. 

  • ADHD goes away after puberty.

Sadly, no. Although hyperactivity and impulsive behavior wane, attention and organisational issues remain.

  • The ADHD medicine Ritalin is a gateway drug.

Although Ritalin is indeed an addictive amphetamine, its use doesn’t automatically lead to the use of other drugs. Actually, research has shown that people with undiagnosed ADHD are far more likely to turn to drugs and drink as a form of self-medication.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach