Ask the Experts

Can Childhood Trauma Cause ADHD?

“I began to daydream and lose my concentration at age 12, when I lived in an abusive home. As a result, I don’t believe all cases of ADHD are due to neurological problems. What do you think?”

You are correct. The three possible behaviors seen with ADHD — hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity — can be caused by anxiety or by a mood disorder. In these cases, we do not refer to the problems as ADHD. The loss of concentration and daydreaming could have been the result of the emotional stresses under which you lived. I hope you received help to cope with the childhood traumas you described.

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