Common ADHD Misconceptions in Kids

Common ADHD Misconceptions in Kids

"...Long-term studies of children diagnosed with ADHD show that ADHD can be a lifelong disorder."

ADHD Misconceptions in Kids

While ongoing research and brain imaging studies have allowed us to gain a better understanding of ADHD in recent years, there is still much to learn. Common myths about ADHD abound, especially when it comes to adults living with this very real and impactful medical condition. From the idea that people with ADHD are simply lazy or that ADHD is a learning disability, here is what we discovered about the most common ADHD stereotypes. 

ADHD isn’t a Real Medical Condition 

Leading medical associations in the US agree that ADHD is a very real medical condition. According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADHD affects 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults and is diagnosed as three different types: inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type or combined type.1 Brain imaging studies have even proven that there are differences in brain development between people who have ADHD and people who don’t.2

ADHD is a Childhood Condition

ADHD is a condition that affects people of all ages. It is commonly diagnosed in childhood, but typically persists in adolescence and adulthood. In fact, long-term studies of children diagnosed with ADHD show that ADHD can be a lifelong disorder.3 Many adults, especially women, are misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed because of how their symptoms present. For instance, girls and women are more likely to have inattentive ADHD, which may look like “daydreaming” to others because their symptoms are internalized. It isn’t uncommon for adults to find out they have ADHD when one of their children is diagnosed with the condition.  

ADHD is Caused by Lack of Discipline or Excessive Screen Time

If you grew up with lenient parents who let you watch T.V. or play video games all day, you may wonder if their parenting played a role in your ADHD symptoms. The truth is, research shows that genetic and environmental risk factors are actually to blame for ADHD.4 While inconsistent discipline and excessive screen time can certainly exacerbate ADHD symptoms, they do not cause them. According to the Cleveland Clinic, too much screen time can also mimic ADHD symptoms like inattention and hyperactivity.5 Controlling your screen time is one way to help reduce these symptoms if you have ADHD and potentially prevent them altogether if you don’t.

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People with ADHD are Always Hyperactive

As stated above, there are three types of ADHD and hyperactive is merely one of them. Hyperactivity may also look different in an adult than it does in a kid. For instance, while a hyperactive child might jump on the furniture and have trouble sitting still, a hyperactive adult might suffer from racing thoughts, restlessness, and constant fidgeting. Inattentive ADHD is not always noticeable because symptoms are not externalized. These symptoms may include boredom, distractibility, forgetfulness, and a tendency to make mistakes at work. The most common type of ADHD is actually the combined type, in which a person has both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms.

People with ADHD Can Never Focus 

While it’s true that some adults with ADHD have trouble focusing, this blanket statement leaves out a very significant exception: hyperfocus. Hyperfocus refers to a strong fixation on an interest or activity for an extended period of time. People with ADHD experience hyperfocus as becoming so engrossed with something that they seem to block out the world around them. For adults with ADHD, hyperfocus may look like a social media binge or shopping. Hyperfocus can actually work to a person’s advantage if harnessed correctly. For instance, if a person with ADHD matches their job to their interests, they can experience an incredible amount of productivity (and joy) from their work. 

ADHD is a Learning Disability 

Though it’s possible for ADHD symptoms to make learning difficult, it is not a learning disability. According to Dr. Russell Barkley, author of Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents, a more accurate name for ADHD is “Developmental Disorder of Executive Functioning.”6 While many people with ADHD may struggle with learning and schoolwork because of the executive function problems related to the condition, they do not have enough of an impairment to be diagnosed with a learning disability. Research has also shown that ADHD does not cause difficulty in specific skills such as literacy and math.

Having ADHD isn’t that Serious

Just because ADHD is not life-threatening doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Studies show that 50 percent of adults with ADHD also suffer from anxiety.7 People with ADHD are also more likely to suffer from substance abuse disorders.8 Additionally, many adults with ADHD live with a nagging fear that they may lose their jobs because their symptoms interfere with their work, amounting to serious personal and financial implications.

People with ADHD are Lazy

Some people incorrectly think that ADHD can be solved if a person just tries harder or changes their attitude. A person with ADHD may have difficulty switching from one activity to another or paying attention because of struggles with executive functioning. While it may look like laziness to an outside person, ADHD does not boil down to will power. Some experts even describe this sluggishness with tasks as a kind of paralysis because a person with ADHD may want to start a task, but feel unable to make progress forward. 

Everyone has a Little ADHD

When people make passing comments like “Everyone has a little ADHD” or “I’m so ADD today,” it’s dismissive of the very real struggles that people face every day when they deal with ADHD symptoms on a regular basis. What’s true is that it is possible to be distracted from time to time or feel restless or make impulsive decisions you regret later, but such choices are fleeting and have little to do with the brain differences seen in people with ADHD. Aside from the brain imaging studies mentioned above, research has also found numerous genetic markers in people with ADHD, proving the validity and uniqueness of the condition.9 The next time someone tells you that “everyone has a little ADD,” you have the opportunity to help spread awareness about the realities of living with this condition. The more educated people are about ADHD, the more understanding we’ll have in our communities.

There are a number of prescription drugs on the market to treat ADHD in adults, but many of these medications come with harsh side effects like drowsiness, upset stomach, headaches, and anxiety. At Brillia, we acknowledge that prescription medication may be the best option for some, but we recommend exhausting all non-prescription options first to see if this level of support those provide is enough. Brillia for Adults is a non-prescription formula that is clinically proven to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD in adults and anxiety without harmful side effects. Free from harsh, synthetic chemicals, Brillia targets the brain-specific S100B protein, a crucial regulator of many different intracellular and extracellular brain processes. Without affecting any other systems in the body or masking the personality in any way, Brillia for Adults reduces symptoms of ADHD while promoting focus and clarity without any off-target effect. Brillia also has no contraindications, so if you are already taking medication or supplements, you can add it to your regimen without worry. 

Brillia works best when used holistically with healthier lifestyle choices, such as getting adequate sleep, following a healthy diet, controlling screen time, and practicing mindfulness. Find out more about Brillia’s targeted ingredients and find more resources on managing ADHD at the Brillia(nce) Resource Center

Brillia also offers a formulation for kids & teens aged 5-18. Family discounts are available.

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References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
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