ADD Myths and What I Have to Say About Them

I am in no way shape or form a medical expert or related to the medical field in any way. The messages in this blog posting are purely my opinions. Please consult a medical professional for advice.

There are a lot of “myths” and misunderstandings about AD/HD, don’t you think? I’ve heard a lot of them throughout the years and read a lot about the truths, as well as experienced them myself. In those experiences I’ve formed opinions too – no surprise there, right? And here is a list of some the fables of AD/HD and my opinions about them.

Myth: ADD is just a lack of willpower. Persons with ADD focus well on things that interest them; they could focus on any other tasks if they really wanted to. (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm)

My Take: There is a coping strategy called “hyperfocusing” which is an over compensation for the inability to focus. ADDers know they must focus and can get a sort of tunnel vision while trying to over come their fluctuating attention span.

Myth: Everybody has the symptoms of ADD, and anyone with adequate intelligence can overcome these difficulties. (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm)

My Take: Well AD/HD has nothing to do with intelligence AT ALL. And a lot of folks do have symptoms, but if it isn’t impacting everyday life on a chronic level, then there is no use worrying about it. It is up to the individual as to whether to seek a diagnosis and/or treatment or not, it may just depend on the severity of the disorder and how well someone can cope. Just like a cold, it varies from person to person.

Myth: ADHD isn't a real medical disorder. (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/873.html)

My Take: Yes it is and if someone still doubts its existence in this day and age then I think that person lives under a rock and should read the following articles. (http://help4adhd.org/en/about/science and http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter3/sec4.html).

Myth: Children who take ADHD medication are more likely to abuse drugs when they become teenagers. (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/873.html)

My Take: Author Wendy Richardson makes an interesting point in her article “ADHD and Addiction” (http://www.addandaddiction.com/articles.htm) she mentions that early treatment can actually prevent a major cause of abuse – self medication. ADHD medications are monitored continuously (I’ve been on medication for 6 years and still see my doctor every three months) to make sure that abuse is not occurring or is not a possibility. Also, an article on MedicineNet states that possible drug abuse stems from ADHD itself and not necessarily the treatment. (http://www.medicinenet.com/attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder_adhd/page5.htm)

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra

So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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