Contests

ADHD Awareness Month Sweepstakes: Win an ADDitude Magazine Subscription!

Enter to win a one-year subscription to ADDitude magazine — the world’s leading source of ADHD information and understanding — by answering this question below: If you could eradicate one myth about ADHD, what would it be and why?

It’s ADHD Awareness Month!

What’s so great about ADHD Awareness Month? Among other things, it gives us the chance to shout from the mountaintops that ADHD is real and that people with ADHD — of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds — are not broken or defective. They are incredible and inspiring humans living in a sometimes broken and often unappreciative world that would be so much better off celebrating (not shaming) their differences. So there.

How ADDitude Celebrates

Join ADDitude’s celebration of ADHD Awareness Month by visiting our myth-busting education center, featuring daily nuggets of truth to share, a free calendar of events and resources, and links to our free ADHD experts webinars, not to mention tons of great content to spread truth and understanding.

Enter to Win a One-Year ADDitude Magazine Subscription

To win a one-year subscription to ADDitude magazine (a $19.95 value each), use the Comments section below to tell us: If you could eradicate one myth about ADHD, what would it be and why?

Deadline

Sunday, October 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.

Rules

One entry per household. The editors of ADDitude will select four (4) winners at random and notify them via email on Monday, November 1, 2021. (Full official rules)

129 Comments & Reviews

  1. I would eradicate the notion that ADHD is “just a behavioral problem” and the idea that kids just need to be punished. It pains me that people truly believe this and end up traumatizing neurodivergent children and punishing them for a true disability/mental health concern.

  2. I would eradicate the myth that people with ADHD are lazy or don’t care. Most people that I know who have an ADHD diagnosis are extremely hard-working and often work twice as hard as someone without a diagnosis.

  3. I would like to eliminate the myth that ADHD isn’t real or is something people can outgrow. I feel it’s often treated as a joke or throwaway issue (not taken seriously).

  4. I wish I could eradicate the myth that girls with ADHD are always loud, chatty, and hyper. Girls with ADHD can also be reserved, well-behaved, and high achievers–sometimes the chaos just stays inside!!

  5. I would love people to know that just because a girl doesn’t exhibit symptoms that her parents and teachers notice prior to the age of 12, as the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria requires, and she goes on to get good grades in school, be involved in activities, and be otherwise “successful” as her parents, teachers, and the world see it, it does not mean she does not have ADHD. What else is going on behind the scenes? She might be promiscuous and using substances on the weekends, driving too fast, and feel like she is going crazy because it take so. much. effort. to “be successful.” Life gets more complicated as she moves into the world of adulting–more appointments to remember, more bills to try to remember to pay on time, more people (ie, kids) to keep track of, etc.. In addition, think of all the hormones that can go bonkers through puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause.

  6. I would eradicate the name because that in itself is a myth. The negative slur promotes ableism and prejudice by labelling two (inaccurate) behaviours which threaten to inconvenience neurotypical people in an environment created to compliment their brain into pursuing their education, career, social activities, hobbies etc.
    It advertises ‘a difficult, lazy person who won’t thrive, will fail to comply and do what is expected of them and will shamefully make other people’s lives a struggle’.

    Instead of ‘a person who struggles every day with fear of failure and shame for working twice as hard to still have difficulty attempting to survive and live up to the typical expectations of society’

  7. I would eradicate the assumption that moms who say their kids have ADHD are just making an excuse for bad parenting. I have 3 children with clinically diagnosed ADHD, and no matter how I parent, I cannot change their brain chemistry. Every child has some challenge regardless of parenting. Parenting is hard – let’s be kind & compassionate with one another!

  8. I would eradicate the stigma that my son just doesn’t want to listen. He is such an amazing little boy but most people think he just doesn’t care or want to listen. But he’s just the opposite he loves to make people happy and please people. He loves to make people laugh and he has a bright personality if only people could take the time to get to know him. Just like everyone else he wants to be loved and appreciated and treated just like everyone else.

  9. I would like to eradicate so many myths but the first one that came to my mind tonight was “Oh everyone has ADHD these days,” with an eye-roll. I just saw a comment like this on an adhd Instagram account I follow and it made me angry and sad at the same time. It feels so dismissive and belittling of our daily struggles. I want to reply – try living a day in our shoes and see if you think we are just complaining about the stressors and pace of the modern world. Grrr.

  10. Laziness…….this is so not true. I would love to change the world’s opinion on this. My son is overwhelmed, does not know how to focus or where to start. But not lazy!!

  11. I would eradicate the myth that one can ‘grow out’ of ADHD – it’s the whole atypical brain problem Joe!
    Whilst I’m sure that emotional/psychological maturation (and ongoing growth) definitely helps us to better deal with the effects of ADHD, one cannot ‘grow’ a new brain!
    There’s a lot to be said for brain plasticity and how that enables us to ‘reuse or remap’ certain functions of the brain from one physical area to another – however, I’m thinking its more faulty/atypical wiring than actual damage to centres of the brain.

  12. I’d eradicate the myth that “ADHD is bad parenting, the children just need more discipline”

    If only they knew how hard we work as parents to get the best help we can for ourselves and children, to give them the best support personally and professionally as early as we can. If only they knew the number sleepless nights, and the countless hours we parents spend worrying about whether our child will struggle for their whole life with impulse control and emotional regulation. If only they knew we parents also worry as much about whether their “normal” child is being affected by the unpredictability of our neurologically different child. If only they knew this is not a walk in the park for us, we are not sitting back completely ignorant of our child’s behaviours and while we parents know that our child may make yours/your child’s life difficult, our child can give you/your child an opportunity to learn so much about diversity and inclusion. If only they knew, while it may be difficult for them to understand ADHD, but it takes so little to be kind to the children and parents who are doing the very best they can.

  13. I would eradicate the thought that any ADHDer should simply “try harder!” Procrastinating and worrying about a task for so long that there is FINALLY a dump of adrenaline to accomplish the paralysis inducing, dreaded task does NOT mean that “trying harder” was the fix…that’s simply what it looks like from surface level. And, most bothersome to me, the solution to “try harder” is what most of my co-workers (fellow teachers) believe is the easy and obvious fix.

  14. I would eradicate the myth that just because you did well in school does not mean that you didn’t have ADHD/won’t continue to struggle with it as an adult. This was a huge hurdle for me personally.

  15. I would eradicate the mindset that ADHD is not normal, by showing that it is NORMAL and has always existed. In fact normal or not are just opinions/judgements we make. Each human is an individual and unique – different does not make you sub-normal or abnormal. Stop judging and accept the uniqueness in each of us.

  16. Thanks for all you do for the community with your plethora of resources! I would eradicate the idea that ADHD symptoms are indicative of low motivation or laziness, and focus on the strengths and gifts that folks with the diagnosis have.

  17. I would eradicate the lack of awareness about ADHD, the symptoms, and end the stigma. More people could be helped sooner.

    I’m new to the ADHD world and your site, podcast and articles have been incredibly valuable. It is nice to know I’m not alone.

  18. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD it would be that we cannot focus at all or are lazy. Getting diagnosed with ADHD can feel both empowering and defeating, and the notion that we cannot focus at all or are lazy is not only inaccurate it doesn’t do justice to the very real struggles that occur in an ADHD brain. I also think it distracts from some of the amazing traits that a lot of us have, such as the ability to really focus in on things we’re passionate about and our innate ability to think outside of the box. My creativity is without a doubt the biggest strength that comes from my ADHD diagnosis.

  19. The most important myth would be that a child or adult with ADHD is lazy or incapable! People, especially teacher, have no idea how hard ADHD impacted people work to be better in school/work and how badly they want to be seen and acknowledged! Just a glimpse of a praise would change so much!

  20. I would eradicate the myth that “individuals with ADHD are not trying hard enough.” Adults and children with ADHD are often trying too hard and sometimes they are not even aware of it. Yet, they are told repeatedly, “you are not trying hard enough.” “Just try harder.” No wonder they feel so powerless and overwhelmed all the time.

  21. I am NOT lazy, disorganized &/or stupid! I am creative & sensitive & fiercely loving & protective – especially of the “underdog” – & I not only think of others first, I PUT other’s needs before my own. I am passionate & expressive, highly emotive & vulnerable, yet stronger than you will ever know. Words hurt – & I feel that pain to the depth of my core. …and while I want to believe the best about others, I abhor dishonesty & “bs”. I am my own best friend & harshest critic. Your loving kindness & acceptance keep me grounded, though I also need room to spread my wings and fly! …and I CAN – & will – your support & clear, obvious and pointed encouragement are more than encouraged, I need that from you. Yes, I am strong & awesome & wise & can do so many things… but, like anyone, I am so much better with you beside me…loving & accepting my intensities, & laughing with me, (never at me!)☺️

  22. I would eradicate the myth that it’s those with ADHD that need to change. They operate in a world designed for more neurotypical people. But what if certain settings, systems and environments were designed more with neuro divergent needs in mind?

  23. I would eradicate the myth that it’s just bad parenting and children just need more discipline. There is no one size fits all approach to parenting a neurodivergent child and “more discipline” isn’t the answer. My son isn’t a bad kid, he doesn’t lack discipline, he’s still learning how to manage racing thoughts and excess energy. He sometimes can’t even do the things he WANTS to do because his little body and mind just won’t listen.

  24. I would eradicate the myth that if people with ADHD really wanted to do something they would make time for it. If you have adhd or have taken the time to really get to know someone with adhd and have researched it because you care about them you know it’s not that easy and jist because they don’t do something doesn’t mean they don’t want to.

  25. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD it would be, not all ADHDers on stimulant medication are drug users or are selling their prescription. Life was a huge struggle for me prior to medication. I do not abuse my medication. Heck, sometimes I can take my dose and go right back to sleep. Taking my medication is like putting on a pair of glasses when the world has been blurry your whole life. Things are so much more clear. I see and notice things I didn’t before being medicated.

  26. “But he’s not bouncing off the walls – he can’t have ADD!” is the myth I would eradicate. The idea that children and adults with ADD must be ‘overtly abnormal’, rather than ‘regular, intelligent, friendly and fun people with specific challenges’.

  27. One myth about ADHD that would be important to correct would be the false idea that anyone can ‘see’ AD(H)D. For every kid that cannot help themselves from bouncing off the walls and talking in a non-stop stream of gibberish like a YouTube vlogger, there’s another kid whose body and mouth are sitting quietly, starting out a window, while their mind is zooming the far side of the universe on The Great Space Coaster with hyperjets set to Ludicrous Speed. (Actually, for every one of the first, the are TWO of the second…one boy and one girl).

  28. I would eradicate the myth that children with ADHD are “naughty” and need to be fixed with behavioural management strategies (especially in light of the AWFUL documentary on BBC2 with Marie Gentles OBE from the governments behaviour taskforce implementing blanket strategies to make the children who were clearly neurodiverse to conform, as opposed to unpicking and supporting their needs.

  29. If you could eradicate one myth about ADD and ADHD, what would it be and why?
    I would eradicate the myth I see so frequently as a medical provider, that it is just a way to get a legal Rx for meth and amphetamines.
    There is definitely a stigma attached to the diagnosis. I have in my practice several amazing, intelligent, professionals that have been hesitant to even ask for help because of the stigma attached. (I found myself not even owning up to the diagnosis as I signed up for the Webinar!!!)
    It is NOT a diagnosis of convenience “just to get legal amphetamines”. What about the individuals that cannot take stimulants for one reason or another, and the non-stimulant meds do not work? These patients are the majority of the ones I struggle to help in my practice — probably because the others have already found the prescription help that has made a world of difference in their lives.
    Having the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is NOT just a way to get a legal Rx for meth and amphetamines. We need more answers for the folks who struggle every day in their lives to cope when meds aren’t available to them.

  30. I wish people knew that people with ADHD can’t “try harder” to be “normal” like everyone else. Every person on this planet is unique and has their own set of gifts and challenges. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes would go a long way towards coexisting.

  31. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD, it would be the statement that everyone that is hyper “just has ADHD.” I feel that this downplays the complexity of ADHD and dismisses the seriousness of it. It feels like a nonchalant and absent minded afterthought of a statement. I honestly knew nothing about ADHD until I had a child diagnosed with it and I realize that I likely have it as well. It is both a strength and a weakness. Life with ADHD is beautiful chaos. The myth that it is “just ADHD” is one that I would like to squash. It takes away the triumphs that one with ADHD feels when completing a seemingly “normal” task. Bringing awareness to the challenges and championships that ADHD brings with it is something that I would love to do. I wish others could really “see” ADHD the way I do and experience the raw emotions that are elicited in everyday life. ADHD is beautiful and complex and ugly. I wish all of the people who say hyper or bad children “just have ADHD” and need discipline could see the beautiful and the ugly. The world would be a better place if people would try to understand instead of making their own opinions without really seeing and experiencing other individuals’ worlds.

  32. The myth I would eradicate is ADHD is not a real disease or condition. I am going to sneak in a second one to eradicate with the first, is that people who “claim” they have ADHD are merely drug-seekers.

    ADHD is documented as far back as the 18th Century. ADHD, as we know, is well-documented to disrupt the brain activity and development, physical activity, task execution ability, and social behavior (“About ADHD: Myths and Misunderstandings”, https://chadd.org/about-adhd/myths-and-misunderstandings/, 2021.).

    The drug-seeking myth for those with ADHD is another one I would eradicate. “Studies indicate that ADHD kids who take medication are less likely to develop problems with substance abuse.”(“The Most Common Myths About ADHD — Busted!”, https://www.additudemag.com/myths-about-adhd/, 20 September 2021).

    The aforementioned myths paint individuals with ADHD in a very poor light. I think we are colorful, intelligent, and interesting people!

  33. I would definitely eradicate for the name calling and finger pointing as
    I hear a lot of frustrated parents out there and I’m so sorry you are ignored and pushed aside from educators to physicians. I have worked as a paraprofessional in an elementary school for five years. I can honestly say they parents are struggling and they are asking for help. Sometimes it is just too much. Parents, I see you. I hear you. I want to help you. Your child has a right to get the best education available. Don’t ever stop advocating for child’s needs. If you feel your child needs help there are a multitudes of resources to get them the accommodations needed for them to be successful. Sorry for going topic but I am very passionate about this and how it effects our children. Thanks, Ace

  34. I would want to eradicate the myth that people with ADHD are not intelligent, or lazy. Most people once properly diagnosed, treated and taught skills to manage ADHD, are actually higher functioning, academically!

  35. I would love to eradicate the myth that they can’t sit still. When I’m engaged in a conversation or a movie I can sit still and this makes people think I’m making it up when they find out I have ADHD. A lot of people believe that it’s something you can see and would be totally obvious in a crowd.

  36. I’d change the name altogether. An attention deficit is the least of my problems, and I think most of us would agree: we’re exhausted and overwhelmed because our brains pay attention to *everything*; we *do* everything and don’t even notice… I’d change the very name. I’ve had people imply that I have a learning difficulty, or trouble paying attention/concentrating… I’m a psychologist. My psychiatrist also has ADHD. It’s very difficult to finish a Psych major and graduate college, let alone go through MED SCHOOL with two subspecializations, in her case, with “learning difficulties” or “trouble paying attention”. The saddest myth… is that ADHD IS a myth. We’re stuck on the restless boy at school who won’t stay still. Girls are completely overlooked. Girls who are not inattentive, like me, are just weird (yes, I am, and proudly so!), and a lot of hyperactive female brains, like mine, get all sorts of misogynistic diagnoses, like Borderline Personality Disorder… In my case, I was just diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I was 19. Do I have anxious traits? Of course. My entire family does. The more I know, though… It was ADHD.It was always ADHD. We need to educate ourselves SO much more on the subject, and learn about what ADHD looks like in girls and adults, especially women.

  37. I would eradicate them that it is not a true medical disease. I I have struggled all of my life issues that we now know were ADHD. My parents did not believe in it so I was never helped. My impulsive behavior, confusion, lack of direction and focus landed me in prison twice, ruined relationships but most important has made me feel as if there is truly something wrong with me and I was a bad person. I finally found the answers, and now knowing who I am and understand how my brain works I am finding success in life. I have a great job with the state of Arizona that I got through the second chance program. Although I still struggle at least I have tools to live a happy productive life.

  38. If I could eradicate one common myth about ADHD, it would be the unspoken feeling of shame that comes with a diagnosis. When we know better, we can do better.

  39. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD, it would be that there is only one ‘type’ or presentation of ADHD – the stereotypical physically hyperactive type – because it is resulting in so many incorrect or even missed diagnoses, preventing people aroumd the world from getting the validation, personal understanding, support and accommodations that they need and deserve.

  40. I would eliminate the myth that ADHD kids are misbehaving on purpose or because the parents don’t discipline enough. I would make it more known that they are usually mentally and executively 2-3 years behind their peers. This is so important and I rarely see it talked about!

  41. The myth that a lack of focus is the defining life feature of a person with ADHD.
    My ability to hyper-focus is more of a super power. Sometimes even my lack of focus can be a positive. For example, when I manage to channel it into tasks that require quick bursts and a lot of switching or into creative acts. I write poetry and find that my ADHD mind was almost made for the pedantic and persistence process of editing and perfecting your own work.

  42. I would eliminate the myth that intelligence and ADHD are related and that you can’t be “smart” and have ADHD.
    I’m an Speech Language Pathologist and a woman who was late diagnosed (in my early 20s). Being “smart” and struggling always came out as not trying or a deficit of character. I had a very rough time in elementary school. As an SLP I’ve made it a personal mission to to my part in changing this stigma in any way I can. I still am figuring out and navigating this in my own life but want these kids to know there’s a future in which they can be successful. Having access to the magazine would help me to do this! 🙂 Thank you for the opportunity.

  43. I would eliminate the myth that kids will ADHD will simply “grow out of it” or need to be kept busy. My parents made that mistake, and I lived my whole life until I was 27, thinking I was fine. I thought my ADHD had simply gone away and that I had learned to manage it.

    The reality is that my childhood symptoms didn’t disappear they just evolved, intensified and became more internal as I got older. My loudness as a kid became the noise inside my head at all times; my misplacement of items became my inability to keep track of appointments and time; my mood swings became my inability to deal with emotions. Please parents, listen to your kids’ diagnosis; it can make or break his adult life. And to those undiagnosed or looking to get diagnosed adults, keep going, you’ve made it this far, and it’s going to be ok. We’ve got this 🙂

Leave a Reply