People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
encounter very real challenges and obstacles in their daily lives. Yet many
people aren’t aware of this struggle. Here are four misconceptions about what
it’s like to live with ADHD.
1. ADHD is a “made-up” disorder
ADHD is an “invisible” disorder because it has no physical symptoms
that you can see on the body. Because of this, some people believe it isn’t a
real condition. Others believe that the pharmaceutical industry invented it to
generate more profit. The medical community first identified ADHD in 1980. They
used the term to describe inattentive individuals. Many doctors believe the
disorder has been around for much longer.
There’s growing research that connects ADHD to other
physical, mental, and lifestyle problems. One study
showed that people with ADHD are more likely to have poor academic performance.
The study also found that adults with ADHD are more likely to be unemployed and
have strained peer relationships.
Doctors believe that people with ADHD are more likely to
suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. They’re also more
likely to smoke and have more difficulty quitting smoking. People with
untreated ADHD are more likely to abuse substances. They’re also more likely to
have higher rates of arrest. In short, ADHD is a real disorder. If left
untreated, it can have serious consequences that affect a person’s quality of
2. People with ADHD are less intelligent
Children and adults with ADHD are often forgetful,
inattentive, or make careless mistakes. Some people mistake this behavior for a
lack of intelligence. This simply isn’t true.
Studies show that most individuals with ADHD are of average
intelligence. A study
on adults with ADHD showed there’s little difference in the intelligence of people
with ADHD compared to others. The study found that those with ADHD who scored
lower on intelligence tests had other preexisting conditions. These conditions
include a learning disability or other cognitive impairment.
People with ADHD often perform at a lower level than their
peers at school. This is because they have trouble staying organized, paying
attention to detail, and completing tasks. However, their academic performance
isn’t due to a lack of intelligence. With proper management, individuals with
ADHD achieve academic success.
3. People with ADHD are lazy and unmotivated
Often, people with ADHD might be perceived as lazy or
unmotivated. They have trouble doing activities they don’t enjoy. This happens
even if the tasks are necessary. For example, a child with ADHD may have
trouble completing homework assignments in an uninteresting subject. However,
they have no problem focusing on a favorite video game. Adults with ADHD may
make careless errors at work or avoid unpleasant tasks. This can increase the
workload for their co-workers.
Leaving work unfinished isn’t intentional. Difficulty
completing tasks correctly is a hallmark symptom of the condition. With
redirection, positive reinforcement, and proper management, a person with ADHD
can complete any task.
4. People with ADHD are irresponsible
A person with ADHD may often forget important items. They
may lose their keys or forget appointments on a regular basis. A general lack
of organization makes it seem as if the person doesn’t care or isn’t making an
effort to be responsible. Again, it’s important to remember that an individual
with ADHD has a neurological disorder that affects their ability to stay
organized. Like all other ADHD symptoms, it needs proper management.
People with ADHD suffer from inattentiveness, hyperactivity,
lack of organization, and difficulty completing tasks. These characteristics can
make it seem like a person with ADHD is irresponsible. However, ADHD is a
medical condition that affects people’s everyday functioning. People with ADHD
are not choosing to misbehave at work or school.