ADHD: Myths vs. Facts

CHADD Recognizes ADHD Awareness Month in October

LANHAM, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ADHD–Despite overwhelming scientific evidence endorsed by the most
prestigious medical organizations in the world, there is still a
multitude of inaccurate information circulating about
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), leading to confusion
and even doubt among those who are uninformed or misinformed. The
recognition of ADHD Awareness Month in October presents a timely
opportunity for CHADD
(Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)—the
nation’s leading resource on ADHD—to share the facts, with the goal of
guiding children with ADHD and their families, and adults with ADHD,
toward proper diagnosis and treatment.

“ADHD is a very real neurodevelopmental disorder that affects people of
every age, gender, IQ, religion and socioeconomic background,” says
David W. Goodman, MD, FAPA, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
and a member of CHADD’s Board of Directors. “It’s characterized by a
persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity
that interferes with daily functioning and life’s achievements, and can
have potentially devastating consequences when not properly identified,
diagnosed and treated.”

Following are some of the most common myths about ADHD and the facts
debunking those myths.

Myth #1: ADHD is an American disorder that results from our
hyper-fast lifestyle.
Fact: ADHD is recognized by the World
Health Organization (WHO) as a neurodevelopmental disorder of
international proportions, with scientific research conducted on every
continent.

Myth #2: Bad parenting is the cause of ADHD in children.
Fact:
ADHD is found around the world in a diverse range of cultures,
economies, social and educational systems. It is not the result of bad
parenting.

Myth #3: There is no clear medical proof for ADHD.
Fact:
Thirty years of medical imaging proves that there are multiple
differences in the ADHD brain versus the normal brain.

Myth #4: Children outgrow ADHD.
Fact: At least 60
percent of children with ADHD will continue to exhibit symptoms of the
disorder to an impairing degree during adulthood.

Myth #5: If you weren’t diagnosed with ADHD as a child, you
cannot have ADHD as an adult.
Fact: In the largest U.S.
study of psychiatric disorders among the general population, 75 percent
of adults with ADHD were never diagnosed as children.

Myth #6: ADHD is not passed down through genetics.
Fact:
Current research shows that 75 percent of ADHD diagnoses are linked to
genetic causes.

Myth #7: ADHD is a condition that doesn’t cause severe problems.
Fact:
ADHD life is riddled with difficulties in functioning, interpersonal,
social, academic and professional skills. It can lead to significant
issues at school and work, relationship problems, anxiety, depression,
financial struggles and legal difficulties. Among adults with ADHD,
there is lower educational achievement and career attainment,
co-occurring psychiatric disorders and higher suicide rates. Children
with ADHD have higher rates of retention in grade level, high school
dropout, substance abuse, co-occurring psychiatric disorders,
unintentional injuries and emergency department visits.

Myth #8: Medications are toxic and therapy doesn’t work.
Fact:
ADHD is highly manageable with an individualized, multimodal treatment
approach that can include behavioral interventions, parent and patient
training, educational support and medication. Medications for ADHD are
among the most effective treatments in all of medicine.

Myth #9: ADHD is over diagnosed.
Fact: It is
estimated that 17 million children and adults in the United States have
ADHD. In many populations, ADHD is actually underdiagnosed. For example,
studies show that black and Hispanic students in grades one through
eight are significantly less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis,
and when diagnosed, are less likely to receive medication. According to
current numbers reported by the leading science-based organizations,
including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the rate of prevalence
in the U.S. is eight percent of children and 4.4 percent of adults.
Ongoing research indicates those rates may actually be higher. Many
children and adults remain undiagnosed, while many who have been
diagnosed are not receiving the proper treatment. ADHD may be diagnosed
in error if the clinician is not adequately trained or does not spend
the time needed to perform a comprehensive evaluation.

Myth #10: 8. There is no single reliable source of science-based
information on ADHD.
Fact: CHADD serves as home to the
National Resource Center on ADHD, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, making it the most trusted purveyor of reliable,
science-based information regarding current medical research and ADHD
management. CHADD is the leading resource on ADHD, providing support,
training, education and advocacy for families, adults, educators and
healthcare professionals impacted by ADHD. At the national level, CHADD
offers a comprehensive range of programs and services including peer
training for parents and teachers, educational materials, webinars,
local support groups, a helpline, an annual international conference and
public advocacy. At the local level, CHADD is an invaluable resource to
the community, with 124 ADHD support groups across the United States
that encourage mutual support and information exchange among individuals
and families, and improve access to local resources. Learn more at CHADD.org
or call 301.306.7070.

Contacts

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
Barbara
Link, 610-668-2855
barbara@linkink.com