Mental Health

Common Myths About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

As with other health problems, there are several myths surrounding attention deficient hyperactivity disorder aka ADHD. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can cause harm to people by delaying their diagnosis and treatment. The most common myths surrounding ADHD are:-

  • Girls do not get ADHD

In general, it is believed that young girls are not as active as boys or display as many behavioural disorders as young boys. Hence, these disorders are usually ignored in girls.

The problem with this myth is that girls are usually not treated. It further deteriorates their condition and makes them victims of mental health issues like mood disorders, anxiety, antisocial personality, and other comorbid disorders in adulthood. Therefore, it becomes crucial to improve our ability to identify girls with ADHD and provide them with the support they need.

  • ADHD can develop as a result of poor parenting

Poor parenting is often believed to be the main reason children develop ADHD. However, it is not valid. Constantly punishing for symptoms such as blurting out words, restlessness, hyperactivity, or impulsivity can have detrimental effects on the child. But since this behaviour may be misjudged as ‘poorly mannered’, parents are often blamed for not being with their children.

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This is where professional interventions such as psychotherapy and medications are often required.

  • People with ADHD are lazy

Children with ADHD need reminders to get things done, especially activities that require sustained attention. These children are usually disinterested, disorganized, and lack a sense of motivation. Hence they may be misunderstood as lazy. This myth is harmful as it makes these children feel like failures and leads to poor self-esteem and low confidence levels.

  • Considering that ADHD is not a serious issue

Although ADHD is not life-threatening, it can severely affect a person’s life. People with ADHD are more likely to have anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders than the general population.

One common complaint of people with ADHD is that they find it challenging to keep up with work responsibilities. They need more time to accomplish their work. As a result, they continually fear losing their jobs and not being able to keep up financially.

  • ADHD is not a medical disorder

Several research papers have emphasized the differences between a brain with ADHD and a brain without ADHD. Neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate differ in concentration in people with ADHD.

The parts of the brain involved in ADHD perform certain essential functions like planning, organizing, and initiating tasks are different to that of the brains of those without ADHD.

People with ADHD are misjudged and unfairly labelled. Moreover, this condition is usually not diagnosed in its early stages. ADHD is often ignored, and most people are unaware of it. Busting the myths about ADHD can help create a society aware of this condition.


Tuhina Mishra

Dr. Tuhina Mishra completed her MBBS from Grant Government Medical College in the year 2021. She has published several research papers in Indian and international journals. She is a recipient of the ICMR-STS award in the year 2019. She is a staunch believer in making research an integral part of the medical curriculum. She has volunteered in several NGOs, healthcare startups, and awareness programs.

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