ADHD is one of the most common forms of neurodivergence affecting children and adults gloablly.
This month, we're debunking misunderstandings and highlighting the shared experiences of the ADHD community.
Let’s take a look at some misconceptions and truths about ADHD.
Myth 1: You can’t have ADHD if you aren’t hyperactive.
The truth is, ADHD can present with or without symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
People often call the type of ADHD without hyperactivity ‘inattentive type’, formerly diagnosed as ADD. Symptoms of this type, such as not being able to concentrate and being disorganised, become more significant in adulthood.
Other types of ADHD are called ‘hyperactive type’ or ‘combined type’.
Myth 2: ADHD is something you grow out of.
The truth is, as young people reach adulthood, life is more complex and expectations are often greater.
Yet the support and supervision that was available when younger may be reduced or lost, making it harder to cope.
It is now recognised that ADHD is a ‘lifespan disorder’ meaning it can continue throughout life - although symptoms may reduce or increase across the decades.
Many adults will have struggled all their lives with symptoms of ADHD which were not identified as part of the disorder.
Hormonal changes in particular can worsen or lessen ADHD traits.
Many women only discover they have ADHD during menopause because of exacerbated traits, hormone changes for trans folk with ADHD need to be monitored.
Myth 3: Only boys and men have ADHD. Only boys get hyperactive.
The truth is, people of all genders can have ADHD hyperactive and impulsive symptoms as well as from symptoms of inattention.
It used to be thought that ADHD was more common in boys.
If a person is very intelligent or well supported, symptoms of inattention, such as being disorganised and not concentrating well, can be covered up, particularly early in life.
Myth 4: People with ADHD lack focus.
The truth is, people with ADHD often have greater capacity to focus than most neurotypical people when it comes to things that they find interesting.
ADHD nervous systems are driven by what is interesting, versus neurotypical nervous systems which are driven by what is important.
So if something is boring to a person with ADHD, this is where focus becomes an issue.
It’s past time to recognise the many strengths and talents that come from thinking and perceiving the world differently.
By celebrating the strengths of neurodivergent people, we can begin the shift of changing the way people with ADHD are perceived and supported, empowering them to achieve their potential.
Happy ADHD Awareness Month!
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