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Debunking the myths of ADHD
Five ADHD myths debunked
Today, we’re going to run through ADHD myths that are still plaguing the minds of Neurotypicals!
I’m sure we all have a particular ADHD myth that annoys the heck out of us!
It just came to mind right?
Let’s kick this off.
1. You need to be diagnosed as a child in order to have ADHD
While ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, many people (including myself) were not diagnosed as a child.
Here are some of the reasons why many people were not diagnosed with ADHD as children/teenagers:
Some people were misdiagnosed with anxiety disorder and then eventually diagnosed with ADHD or both.
Stereotypes of ADHD being a ‘hyperactive boys’ disorder meant that ADHD went unnoticed in some girls.
Some people’s parents didn’t believe in ADHD/ didn’t want their kids to seek a diagnosis.
2. Only Boys can have ADHD
I’m going to put my hands up here as this is what I believed as a kid. There were hyperactive boys in my primary school and teachers/parents/kids used to make comments like “oh he’s like that because he has ADHD”. I wasn’t bouncing off the walls as a kid, but I did my fair share of interrupting others, talking excessively, so I did display ADHD hyperactive-impulsive traits.
This stereotype is still prevalent today.
“When I tell you to picture a person with ADHD, what comes to mind? You probably thought of a boy at primary school age, unable to sit still in his chair. This stereotype is very common but harmful when girls and women with ADHD are entirely disregarded because of it. In fact, the proportions are shocking: boys in the UK are three times more likely to receive a clinical diagnosis compared to girls” - ANNABELL MACPHEE ·(the-gist.org)
3. “Everyone is a little ADHD”
I feel like people use this statement to undermine the struggle and experience of people who have ADHD.
Do Neurotypicals procrastinate? Yes!
Is it the same as when an ADHDer procrastinates? No!
There are also people who say “that’s not ADHD, that’s laziness!” People say this to me ALL THE TIME on Twitter!
ADHDers, please don’t accept it when strangers or family members dismiss your symptoms as ‘laziness’. You are not lazy.
4. Successful people can’t have ADHD
Maybe I should re-phrase this heading. But I can’t think of what to change it to, so I’ll just keep it.
When I first approached my GP about potentially having ADHD, she said I couldn’t have ADHD because she has a patient with ADHD and I’m not like them. She went on to say that I went to university and I have a good job.
Did anyone else experience this?
I managed to almost beg for a referral, and was eventually diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type!
If you’re reading this, it’s never too late to seek an ADHD diagnosis if that’s what you want.
5. ADHD is just a trend
This is the one that pisses you off too?
It just makes me want to tell people to ‘fuck off’ in my Logan Roy voice (for all the succession fans out there).
Look, I don’t even know where to start. For so long, access to information about ADHD was buried in journals, in books written by ‘experts’ and only really focused on ADHD in childhood.
But the moment people with ADHD started using social media to connect with others and share personal experiences, it’s a “trend.”
Without social media, many people wouldn’t have learned how to manage/cope with ADHD traits.
Without social media, many people wouldn’t have gone to their Drs to seek an ADHD diagnosis.
Without social media, I would have struggled to cope when I was recently diagnosed with ADHD.
Without social media, how would we all be able to spread ADHD awareness to many people?
I’m sure I have missed a myth or two! Please comment with any myths you want to debunk.
If you want to learn more about ADHD, you can check out the flashcards I made over at www.adhdtraits.com
Rach, with ADHD.