#ADHDFacts #DrBarkley #GraceUnderPressureBlog #ADHDAwarenessMonth
If you love someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD or who you think has ADHD you might feel like you’re fighting a battle. False information, extreme biases, and fake news are profuse to the point that what most of the public believes about ADHD is simply lies –lies that affect those of us who have ADHD and those of us love people with ADHD. I’m not going to misrepresent this: it can feel like a battle. But, there are science and facts to combat the profuse misinformation permeating the internet.
Here are some facts you need to know about ADHD:
1. ADHD is not a new diagnosis, but the truth is that it has been well-researched all the way back to the late 1700s when Sir Alexander Crichton (1763–1856) gave a detailed and accurate description of the condition.
2. ADHD is not really about attention: it has been mislabeled and is actually a regulation problem due to the underdevelopment of the frontal lobe in people who have ADHD causing a failure to develop age-appropriate behaviors on schedule with their peers (attention problems are a byproduct of poor regulation).
3. In ADHD, the hyperactivity is caused by the overgrowth of the action part of the brain combined with the low ability to regulate due to the underdevelopment of the frontal lobe.
4. A huge component of ADHD –which is unfortunately not in the diagnostic criteria– is emotional dysregulation which affects every aspect of the ADHD person’s life and especially those who love and care for them.
5. ODD is a byproduct of ADHD which results from the emotional dysregulation combined with anger (often anger about not being understood), and every ADHD person is automatically subclinically ODD.
6. ADHD is the most researched and proven condition of any mental health condition known to man regardless of what culture and media tell you.
7. ADHD people are not addicted to media and video games, but rather media and video games work in a way that gives immediate responses which ADHD people need to stay motivated and focused.
8. ADHD is not a result of lack of discipline or poor parenting, but rather it is a result of how the brain has formed which is usually a result of genetics and can even be identified by genetic markers.
9. ADHD can be proven, there are even brain scans which back up the science proving that it is real, and it is the most treatable condition in psychology even though most ADHD people do not get treated.
10. ADHD needs to be identified and treated –the earlier the better– and there is significant potential damage for children who do not get a diagnoses, treatment, and have knowledge of their own diagnosis (I cannot emphasise enough how important knowledge of the condition is to the healthy psychological development of the child).
11. ADHD is a neurogenetic disorder, and ADHD medication is a scientifically proven neurogenetic treatment.
12. ADHD people are statistically far less likely to become addicts if they are effectively medicated and treated before they get desperate enough to start self-medicating with drugs, tobacco, and alcohol –even the majority of addicts with ADHD do not go back to illegal drugs if they are properly diagnosed and treated for their ADHD (It doesn’t matter what the media says, because the science backs up this position).
13. ADHD people cannot and will not be “normal” –ever– because they have different brains, so normal methods of organization, education, employment, etc will not work for them like it works for those who have neurotypical brains (this is why I endorse homeschooling).
This is a summary of topics discussed in Dr. Barkley’s “30 Essential Ideas You Should Know About ADHD” plus a few additional ideas which have their basis in science. You can find the entire 3-hour video series by Dr Barkley here, and I highly recommend taking the time to listen to the whole thing if you know and care about people who have ADHD or who you think might have ADHD.
If you don’t have 3 hours you can get a taste of the wonderful information available from Dr. Barkley in this video which is about 14 minutes long.