OCTOBER 2019

ADHD myths and facts

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

Are you an ADHD Mytbuster?

Have you ever been told “Oh, ADHD doesn’t exist” or “Children just grow out of it”?

Whilst we know these claims aren’t true, it can be difficult to immediately bring to mind the science that corresponds with reality. We’ve worked with world-leading ADHD experts and the ADHD Awareness Month coalition to bust 10 common myths about the condition. Each myth has been translated into a number of European languages and you can read the full articles or download a printable version to share with family and friends.

Select a language

* Please note that not all myths have been translated into all of the above languages.

MYTH

ADHD is just an excuse for laziness

ADHD is really a problem with the chemical dynamics of the brain, and is not under voluntary control.

Author: Thomas E. Brown, PhD

MYTH

Children with ADHD just need more discipline

Developmental studies that have followed families over time concluded that discipline and relationship problems are the consequences of ADHD behavior problems in the children, not the cause.

Author: Dr Eric Taylor FRCP FRCPsych (Hon) FMedSci

MYTH

ADHD is caused by bad parenting

Parents do not cause ADHD. The disorder comes from the accumulation of many environmental and genetic risk factors.

Author: Stephen Faraone, PhD

MYTH

ADHD is caused by bad parenting

Brain-imaging studies show that differences in brain structure and wiring cause problems with attention, impulse control and motivation.

Author: Elaine Taylor-Klaus

MYTH

ADHD is overdiagnosed

The rates with which ADHD is diagnosed vary so much primarily due to diagnostic criteria and measurement methods used.

Author: Dr Eric Taylor FRCP FRCPsych (Hon) FMedSci

MYTH

ADHD Medications are addictive

The therapeutic use of stimulant medications for ADHD prevents addiction.

Author: Stephen Faraone, PhD

MYTH

Only boys have adhd

Boys are diagnosed two to three times as often as girls, but about 4.2% of girls have received a diagnosis of ADHD at some point in their life (and that’s not none!)

Author: Dr. Michelle Frank

MYTH

Everyone has a little adhd

ADHD is a lifelong, often chronic condition caused by a physical difference in the brain. Everyone can be distracted or forgetful sometimes, but that’s not because of ADHD.

Author: ADDA

MYTH

ADHD Doesn't exist

There are more than 100,000 articles in science journals on ADHD (and its precursor labels), with references to it in medical textbooks going back to 1775!

Author: Russell A. Barkley, PhD

MYTH

children grow out of adhd

Whilst some people might not feel the symptoms of ADHD by age 21 or 27, significant symptoms and impairments persist in 50-86% of people with ADHD, and lots of adults suffer with the symptopms of ADHD. 

Author: Russell A. Barkley, PhD

contributions

We would like to thank the individuals who provided translations for these myths, namely:

🇪🇸 Spanish: Isabel Rubió Badía, from Fundacion Adana
🇫🇷 French: Dr. Hervé CACI, from TDAH PACA
🇬🇷 Greek: Niovi Michalopoulou from ADHD Hellas
🇮🇹 Italian: Monica Conversano, from A.I.F.A. Onlus – Associazione Italiana Famiglie ADHD