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The Truth Behind Four Common ADHD Myths

by Brett Mills

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, most commonly known as ADHD, is a widespread and well-known condition. Despite how well-known it may be, there are many misconceptions and myths circulating that continue to be spread by well-meaning, but ill-informed, individuals. If your doctor has recommended that you or your child be tested for ADHD, you may find yourself thinking of some of these myths and wondering if testing is really necessary. Here's a look at the truth behind several of the most common ADHD myths.

Myth: ADHD is a Childhood Condition

Truth: ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in childhood, but it isn't a condition that solely plagues kids. Children diagnosed with ADHD don't automatically outgrow it when they become adults. Instead, they become adults with ADHD. The symptoms can become less apparent as they get older, but the condition doesn't simply go away. As an adult with ADHD, you may find that you feel a persistent restlessness or have a general inability to calm and focus yourself.

Myth: Everyone With ADHD is Hyperactive.

Truth: Like many developmental conditions, ADHD can be different for everyone. While some people who suffer from hyperactivity struggle with those symptoms for life, others may never have significant hyperactivity symptoms at all. And, as people with the condition get older, the symptoms of hyperactivity can lessen. You may find that adults with ADHD exhibit more attention issues than hyperactivity problems. For example, struggling with time management, lack of organization, poor memory and easy distractibility are all common problems for people with ADHD.

Myth: If You Can Focus on Some Things, You Don't Have ADHD

Truth: Some people consider ADHD to be a nearly debilitating condition when it comes to attention, so they get confused when they see someone diagnosed with ADHD focusing intently on anything. The truth is, people who have ADHD have trouble regulating their attention on general tasks, but they can be very skilled at focusing deeply on something that they are interested in. Often referred to as hyperfocus, it occurs when an individual with ADHD finds something they are passionate about that holds their interest.

Myth: You Can Cure ADHD with Medication

Truth: There is no cure for ADHD. The medications prescribed for the condition help to regulate symptoms, when the medication is taken, but they don't make the condition go away. In fact, if a person with ADHD skips their medication one day, you'll notice that those symptoms become more apparent. Over time, as children with ADHD grow into adults, they can learn how to manage some of their symptoms more effectively, which makes the condition easier to live with, though it doesn't ever truly go away. If you suspect your child has ADHD, contact a local pediatrician, such as Rainbow Pediatrics, with your concerns.