Reply To: How does the % of hereditary ADHD works? [Concerns for the future]

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#132855
quietlylost
Participant

I’ll second the previous reply. In general, though, they say that a person with ADHD has about 50% of their first-degree relatives likely have ADHD. That’s not a pure number though. Not everyone gets it. So, it’s impossible to predict who will develop ADHD and who won’t. Just like with something like a family history of cancer, heart disease, or baldness, not all things are passed on. It’s just important for someone to know that it might be something they want to look for.

The other thing is to avoid diagnosing other people. While I can tell your worried for your brother and want him to be happy, we can’t predict how it will go. Worrying for the worst means that we’re likely to second guess his choices, push him in ways that aren’t helpful, and ultimately think less of him than he is actually capable of. It’s important to let the people we love make their own choices and their own mistakes. It’s not our job to “fix” or manage things for them.

And let’s say he does have kids in the future, there’s nothing wrong with having ADHD if one or two or more of them have it. We have to be careful not to stigmatize ADHD. Dr. Hallowell says having ADHD is like being near-sighted. It’s a part of who we are that needs to be managed, but once it is we’re on equal footing as other people. And, if that day comes and your nephews or nieces have ADHD, I’m sure you’ll be around to help share some tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way.

Bottom line, there’s no way to predict who will get ADHD, and just because you have ADHD doesn’t mean that your family members have to have ADHD.