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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)

53 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 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.

  4. 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’

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. I would eliminate the myth that those with ADHD don’t care about school. Most care very deeply and try really hard. My son got a bad progress report and was crying. My heart was broken for him. He’s only 6 and has had such a hard time at school from the very beginning.

  21. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD, it would be that you grow out of ADHD!…
    When our son was diagnosed with ADHD in primary school, the questionnaires for the parents threw me for a spin, when my husband & I started alternately pointing at one another as we read through them!
    We were ADULTS! How could we have ADHD too??? So, at the age of 47, and despite 20+ years teaching experience, my blinkers were removed, and I could finally see why I still found it harder than ‘everyone else’ to simply ‘adult’.
    I work hard every single day, in my classes, and with my colleagues, to model what it is to be an adult with ADHD – and, especially for my students, show them that I understand the struggle, and that they, too can go on to have a career, a family, self-confidence, self-esteem and pride.

  22. If I could eradicate one myth about ADHD, it would be the idea that medication is not needed to help treat ADHD symptoms. ADHD medications have such a bad stigma around them that as an adult recently diagnosed with ADHD, I am afraid to admit to people that I am medicated with a stimulant. My first grade son has ADHD and the thought of medicating him makes me anxious due to the false information around the medications. People make assumptions that those who take stimulant medication are drug seekers or they do not actually have ADHD they just need to try harder, stop being lazy, get over it, etc. When the correct medication is used to treat someone’s ADHD symptoms, it can be (and has been) life changing in more ways than one.

  23. I would eradicate the stigma around medicating your child for ADHD. Medicating your child to help them succeed in school does not mean you are looking to turn your child into a zombie due to lack of parenting skills or patience. It is about helping your child succeed.

  24. I would eradicate the myth that ADHD is a “deficit” of attention. I would eradicate the idea that high-performing individuals “can’t” have ADHD. And finally, I would eradicate the insidious idea that you “outgrow” ADHD.

    I see, hear, and feel an abundance of stimuli. And if I have a cup of coffee after my meds I can hear colors and see sounds (jk). My ADHD is a superpower, a temperamental one. It doesn’t always work like I’d want it to, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything (except better time management ; )

  25. That Girls & Women Do Not Have ADHD!! It has Been a Terribly Difficult Time throughout my Childhood, Because I Have the Ability To Hyperfocus and Good Great Grades but Not Knowing in College Made things Harder until They Said I Had Math Test Aniexty!! Finally Getting tested after my 6 yr daughter was Diagnosed was a God Send! However I was Mentally & Verbally Abused throughout my Childhood and Early Adulthood by Family & Others that I Was Too Sensitive, Wanting the Attention on Me, A Drama Queen, A Martyr etc. Because I Also Have Aniexty and PTSD from the Abuse and mulitple Domestic Violence Incidents Because I Was Not Diagnosed Earlier!!

  26. Where do I even begin? How do I even chose only a top few?

    Well let’s start with the fact that I just accidentally spent 3 hours working on a fill-in-the-blank e-card—which started out as me trying to complete daily tasks on a mental wellness app, lead to me looking up a guide for punctuation rules for suffixes

    would eradicate the myth that our ADHD symptoms

  27. The student with the As and Bs that looks like they’re calm and paying attention doesn’t have ADHD and doesn’t need help nor accommodations. You, the Educator, see them everyday, but you really don’t know that kid whose doctor who hears his thoughts or the family members in the same house.

    Dear Educators,

    ADHD doesn’t just mean hyperactive and misbehaving.

    The Vanderbilt you just populated quickly with 0s because ‘the kid is fine in class’ shows how little you see or care (not to mention potentially invalidates your survey and damages your observational credibility).

    That kid you think is fine may be part school chameleon now, but denying accommodations based on bad observations is like badly patching a deteriorating floor; at some point it’s going to break and then there will be no support to keep it from falling. Because you didn’t truly SEE and refused to help now, when it actually makes a difference.

    That kid looks still and normal movements, but you missed the constantly moving fingers and shifting legs.

    That kid may be BORED, not taking notes, and may be doing things like figuring out how to get around school firewalls, creating digital art in cloud software, doodling, reading a book, looking up a topic that’s far more interesting.

    That kid is still working on a digital assignment for another class because what classmates did in a few minutes takes so very, very long for that kid.
    That kid may be mentally replaying yet again how they had interpreted the badly written directions so differently it resulted in an F, worked up the courage to talk to a teacher, and then the teacher blew off the kid’s explanation of where it went wrong with thoughtless comments like ‘stop making excuses’ or ‘you need to pay closer attention next time’.

    That kid may be internally trying to shake off getting another demerit for missing work, or doing the work in class instead of at home.

    That kid may be having getting anxiety because it’s the end of the day and fixating on the overwhelming number of places that might have assignments and aren’t always in agreement despite your insistence that they are. (And how do you not see it’s a LOT?! Verbal directions, board, print planner, every class having an individual digital classroom, multiple class websites, digital planner, grading website, email).

    That kid may still be working to write a note on something you said 5 minutes ago because it takes so long to write. And a little panicked internally about being so far behind.

    That kid writing in the planner? Did you ever check the planner regularly and closely to notice how MUCH is missing?

    That kid who looks to calm and attentive in class is exploding in frustration at home because the information given in class is gone despite an illegible note in a planner. That kid is in such a state emotionally that the idea of going to all of those places to check is so overwhelming that it’s paralyzing.

    That didn’t help? Okay. Imagine like you had 100 kids surrounding you as you’re trying to leave before the deadline to claim your $1 million prize expires in 5 minutes, asking questions or shouting or talking to you all at the same time, thundering hard outside so the building around you is shaking, lightning flashing every few seconds, your phone going off on your desk 10′ away, a kid throwing up in the corner, realizing you forgot your keys by Freddie and Mike Meyers who showed up at school causing the kids to panic further, desks pitching over, another teacher telling you to get control of your students, an adult you respect yelling in your ear “What’s wrong with you? Just get your sh!t together and answer their questions. It’s not hard. I did it and it didn’t take me this long. Just do it! I’ll fire you if you don’t get it done in the next 5 minutes!” Imagine all of that going on inside you while you sit in a class taught in Mandarin about toe jam, and you’ll be beheaded if you move too much, talk too much, forget the book you left at home.

    So much going on and yet you didn’t see because that kid can blend in. That may be what it’s like for That kid. Every class. Every day.

    That kid is also ADHD.

  28. I would eradicate the myth that people like my daughter and I, who have ADHD, don’t care about others. That’s the furthest thing from the truth, and we constantly beat ourselves up for not completing a goal, forgetting a webinar, waking up our family with the three alarms that we set to remind us, not answering a direct question immediately, etc. Processing speed can be interrupted by a fleeting thought. I am surrounded by paperwork and stacks of articles that should demonstrate how much I do care about others, but some of them just see a mess…

  29. I would eradicate the myth that only grade school boys have ADHD. I am a 58 year old woman who is not crawling up the walls or bouncing off the furniture. I have more girls in my classroom with ADHD than boys. Awareness is a huge deal.

  30. Write everything down. That ADHD children are naughty and ADHD is not real my son has ADHD he is not naughty and just gets distracted ADHD is real and it just adds to distraction not naughtiness. I make sure my son writes everything down to stay at top of his class.

  31. I would inform others that those with ADHD are not lazy and encourage fellow ADHDers to not view themselves as inept. Education about the difficulties with task initiation, planning, organization, and follow through, etc., are critical. There’s a disconnect between knowing and doing as the master ADHD clinician Dr. Barkley explains. Sometimes we are our worst enemy trying to will ourselves to motivation and the disorder is so much more complex than desiring to do better. I wish others had better understanding of the disorder and more compassion for it’s difficulties on the individual

  32. There are Actually 2 Major Myths I Think Need to Be Focused on. That If You Are Diagnosed with ADHD after your Child is Diagnosed at a later age That Doesn’t Mean 1. That You Are a Bad Parent or 2. That You caused your Child to Have AHDHD. Actually I think a Parent That Actually Has ADHD are much Better Parents of ADHD Kids as They Really Truly Understand what and how the Child Feels as The Parent is Also Feeling those same or similar Feelings. I Think Adults who are diagnosed after their Child Are More Engaged at Finding Solutions for Both Them self and also their Child. Just Because You were not Diagnosed as an Adult does Not Mean your ADHD Symptoms Caused Your Child’s ADHD and I think A Lot of People Are Tying to Blame the Parent with ADHD as the Cause of the Child’s symptoms and behaviours.

  33. I would definitely eradicate the myth that just because you may have gotten good grades or went to a good school doesn’t mean you don’t have ADHD. It was really hard for me to earn those grades since I felt like I had to work 3x as hard as everyone else. I would also say that because someone doesn’t present as the stereotype of unable to sit still, impulsive, etc, doesn’t mean they don’t have ADHD. Those of us with the inattentive presentation are often the quiet ones, introverts, daydreamers, etc. Because we aren’t outwardly disruptive we get overlooked, often until adulthood, when the damage of years of undiagnosed ADHD has already taken a major toll.

  34. I would LOVE for the myth of “ADHD sufferers are always hyperactive” to go the way of the Dodo. Not only is this a widespread misapprehension, but can also get in the way of diagnosis and treatment. A therapist I had for years never would give the diagnosis the time of day for me, and it set me back for all the time I had been with her. She told me because I didn’t bounce off the walls like her 5 year old son (WHAT?!!) that I didn’t have it. So even professionals can labor under this myth to the detriment to their clients. I just now got my diagnosis at age 41 from a new therapist and psychiatrist team, and it’s opened up a whole new world of understanding and betterment for me.

  35. I am 60 yo woman recently diagnosed w ADD. I would eradicate the myth that ADD doesn’t occur in adults or women. If I knew my disorganization,time blindness and anxiety, etc. could be symptoms of ADD, I would have sought a diagnosis decades ago. I am not fully past the grief for the life I might have had. I am looking forward, from the life I do have, but the remnants linger. Thanks.

  36. I would eradicate the myth that this is a ‘deficit disorder’. People with ADHD have enoromous amounts of focusing ability and attention for what is important and engaging to them. As a teacher, I now think of this as feedback for my own teaching – make it more interesting, exciting, fun and engaging and I will capture ALL of my students. It has changed my pedagogy not demonsied the students in my room no matter what their differences.

  37. I would eradicate the myth that a girl cannot have adhd because they are able to very effectively mask at school. It is incredibly damaging to their self esteem and very stressful for them and their parents.

  38. I would eradicate the myth that ADHD/ADD are not ‘real’. I want the world to understand that ADHD is not some kind of behavior or personality problem — people’s brains are born this way and it doesn’t go away. More research must be done! ADHD can be hereditary! Some people can adapt to it better than others. It’s like being born with a handicap, but not being able to have healthcare/treatment readily accessible to cover it, or have accommodations be made at work or school, etc. the way other disabilities can command. Instead of labeling those with ADHD as hyper/crazy/disruptive,defective let’s offer treatment and creative jobs (and workplace set up) that can benefit from the creative thinking of those with ADHD.

  39. I would definitely eradicate the myth that you can’t be externally successful and also have ADHD (treated or untreated). I made it through graduate school and to a high-stress job undiagnosed, but discovering I had ADHD and beginning to treat it made my entire life easier. I had no idea it was possible to live as “easily” as I do now. My earlier success didn’t mean that I don’t have ADHD, but it did mean that it was a fight to get diagnosed and everyone assumed I just had anxiety.

  40. I would like to educate people specifically on myth #30: “ Making and sustaining friendships is no problem for people with ADHD.”

    Lord have mercy, if I had known that my relationship and friendship problems all stemmed from undiagnosed and untreated ADHD, my childhood/teen-hood/early adult life would have been a lot easier to navigate. I’ve always had trouble with friendships. I tend to lose friends pretty quickly due to me not checking in or being an “active friend.” Obviously this is not something I do on purpose. I just have a lot of trouble remembering to check in or respond to messages or return phone calls. I also have a hard time not interrupting the people I’m speaking to when I get excited or I just HAVE to say what I am thinking or it’ll go poof in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, my small circle understands the way I am and why I am the way I am, so being a 31 year old adult woman with ADHD trying to maintain my 3 close friendships has been easier than my younger years, but it’s still a challenge.

  41. I would like people to know that it’s not pnly little boys who are bouncing off walls, or troubled teenage boys who have ADHD.

    See that 60yr old Grandmother/father- ADHD. But they didn’t know about it when they were a child.
    That hard working executive – they are working hard to do what’s required of them, while battling imposter syndrome.
    That busy Mum – yes, her house is a mess & she forgets things, but she’s trying her hardest to make a good life for her kids.
    That fit person – running, swordfighting, juggling, swimming, parachuting, motorbike/pushbike, they don’t know why, but they feel better & can think better when they’re constantly moving.
    That old man whose hobby has become an obsession – yes, he loses track of time & will talk your ear off about his hobby, but he’s got so much knowledge about his passion & he just wants to interest someone else.

    These are some of the faces of ADHD. These are some of the people I want society to recognise as having ADHD.

  42. One myth that has really impacted me and I strive to eradicate is the idea that those suffering from ADHD are lazy. I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was in my mid-20s; so growing up, a lot of my behavior was labeled as lazy by family members. Especially when it came to getting started on school assignments or keeping my room clean. When, in reality, it was that I was experiencing paralyzing anxiety prior to getting started on a task. Even today, after educating myself on my symptoms, I still hear that voice in my head telling me there’s nothing wrong with me and that I’m just lazy. This myth, like others, has been the most detrimental.

  43. I would work to eradicate the myth that people with adhd are lazy and can’t hold down a job. I just received my diagnosis one year ago yesterday after over two decades of being misdiagnosed. Finally everything makes sense! My work is my life and always has been. I have always pushed barriers and forced myself to take on new challenges that only ever increased my anxiety. It worked in my favor. The uncomfortable moments ended up being life lessons and a way to earn promotions time and time again. I honestly believe if it weren’t for my having adhd, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am. Keep pushing yourself, you’d be amazed what you can learn and accomplish!

  44. There are many but as most would say it would be that people with ADHD is lazy but along with that is not being smart. I have struggled all my life of 61 years with ADHD but never got over the fact, not only others who don’t understand ADHD but I myself is lazy and that I do not feel capable.

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