How Can I Convince My Friends That ADHD is Real?

I have friends who say that ADHD is a made up disorder, or an excuse for laziness. What hard facts can I use to convince them that ADHD is real?
The Experts | posted by Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D.

There is a lot of ignorance about ADHD out there, especially in the media. Newspapers and magazines report that ADHD is made up or that it's a label for squirmy, non-conforming kids. But ADHD is very real, and science shows that genes are largely responsible for ADHD behaviors. Other causes include low birth weight, in utero alcohol or nicotine exposure, or exposure to toxic chemicals.

To convince your friends, try telling them that renowned economists estimate that, beyond the costs of treating ADHD, the condition costs the economy $100 billion each year for kids and teens, in indirect costs for special education, juvenile justice, and substance abuse intervention. For adults, the annual cost is closer to $200 billion, linked mainly to low job productivity and unemployment.

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