Common Myths and Facts About ADHD


There's a lot more to ADHD than what you may have seen on TV, read in the newspapers, or heard from friends. The first step to understanding ADHD is separating the myths from the facts.

arrow down MYTH: ADHD isn't "real," and it's often blown out of proportion.

FACT: ADHD is a real mental health problem. This has been confirmed by more than 40 years of scientific research. In fact, ADHD affects approximately 3% to 7% of school-aged children and approximately 4% of adults.

arrow down MYTH: Poor parenting, schooling, or nutrition causes ADHD.

FACT: ADHD is thought to be caused by changes in brain activity, not by bad parenting, a poor diet, or stress.

arrow down MYTH: Children can simply outgrow their ADHD.

FACT: It's true that children often get better at coping with ADHD symptoms as they mature into teenagers and adults. But up to 80% of children with ADHD still have symptoms as teenagers. Many children may continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. That's why it's important for children with ADHD to learn good work/study habits early on, and for adults with ADHD to seek support from a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional.

arrow down MYTH: People with ADHD aren't as smart as people without the condition.

FACT: Having ADHD does not mean that someone is less intelligent or talented than someone without the condition. ADHD affects people of all intelligence levels.

arrow down MYTH: Medications for ADHD don't really work.

FACT: A majority of children, teens, and adults with ADHD respond well to medication. That means medication, as part of a total treatment program that combines other forms of supportive therapy, helps them manage ADHD symptoms.

arrow down MYTH: ADHD does not run in families.

FACT: Scientific studies have shown that ADHD could be hereditary, which means that children have a higher chance of having it if a parent or sibling does too.

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