ADHD Myths

I was asked to contribute an article to Defying Shadows as part of their campaign of awareness during May, Mental Health Awareness Month. Following is an excerpt:

“It’s 2015, and our general understanding of ADHD can finally stand rooted in facts. Until recently, only the specialists who had devoted their careers to developing the following information knew how to distinguish fact from fiction, and the fiction was so intriguingly scandalous! Lazy parents too selfishly busy satisfying their own wants to be bothered with the duties of child-rearing could now have their kids pop a magic pill that would zombify them into submission for their teachers, thus killing two birds with one stone: no more teachers nagging them about how bad Johnny was, and Johnny wasn’t such a huge bother anymore. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “When you know better, you do better.” The time has arrived; we can do better in spreading the facts about ADHD instead of this stigma-inducing rhetoric that is not of service to anyone living with or loving those with ADHD. While there are many crazy myths surrounding the condition, the following five have long passed their expiration date.

ADHD is not a real disorder

That sentence packs a punch for a few reasons, so let’s break it down. First, let’s address what real means. A book came out last year explaining that the symptoms are real, but that they shouldn’t be lumped together and called Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder or ADHD. Look, you can play word games with your grandmother. Obviously, there could be a different term used, but right now, we call it ADHD and it’s understood as a collection of symptoms associated with both the way the executive functions of an individual operate and their brains’ levels of certain neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin and dopamine. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with the former and medication with the latter.”

Please check out their website as well as more of this post, Toss Out Old ADHD Myths.

Best,

~ Jennie

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