Is it possible to have ADHD if neither of your parents have it?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Teens and Young Adults with ADHD Is it possible to have ADHD if neither of your parents have it?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  alheisley 8 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #82534


    Even though I haven’t been diagnosed, I’m pretty sure I have it. However, as far as I know neither of my parents have it. None of my siblings have it. I’ve read that ADHD usually runs in families, and if a parent or parents have it, it’s much more likely that their offspring will have it as well. So I’m asking, is it still possible to have ADHD if neither of your parents have it?

  • #82538


    SAME!!!!! That’s my question too. I don’t think any of my parents have it, but i’m not sure. I was born with a low birth weight, 1 pound, 7 ounces. And I looked up what some of the factors that could cause ADHD and that was one of them…

  • #82550


    It is true that ADHD is often inherited from a parent, but we often see genetic abnormalities arise in new generations. Chromosomal abnormalities can create a condition not before seen in the family. And there’s more at play in ADHD than just genetics.

    More Than Just Genes: How Environment, Lifestyle, and Stress Impact ADHD

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #82926


    It is very possible. You are probably more unique then your parents as well.

    Although ADHD seems debilitating, I learned that even though I’m recently diagnosed, I’m not a monster. I’m unique, beautiful, intelligent, and on this earth for a specific purpose.

  • #83100


    It’s possible that one or both of your parents do have ADHD/ADD and they were never diagnosed. My parents were never diagnosed with any type of disorder or mental illness, but I see otherwise. Some families refuse to discuss mental health issues and have the attitude that you should “deal with it”.

  • #84230


    ADHD normally is considered genetic, however, it is known to skip generations and siblings, as well. It’s also unique in that it shows up differently in everyone.

    The best advice I might provide is that you see an ADHD specialist. Someone with the knowledge who is equipped to help you determine whether your ADHD or not. And if not, what it might be.

  • #84494


    I would think so. I was just diagnosed a few months ago and I’m almost 30 years old and to my knowledge no one in my family has been diagnosed, either. I don’t think it’s a very uncommon situation. My generation was the first generation to really get diagnosed with ADHD, and that was mostly boys. Women are more likely to be diagnosed as adults because they find out that their child has it. Also, women are often misdiagnosed with a mental or emotional disorder instead of ADHD, so if you have any female family members who struggle with something like bi-polarism, she might be misdiagnosed and actually have ADHD.

    So, there are tons of reasons why your or no one in your family has been diagnosed formally. It doesn’t mean you don’t have it.

    Also, something that I read gave me the feeling that ADHD can be genetic but doesn’t have to be.

  • #84495


    ADHD is usually genetic. However, it does have to have a starting point. In my own case, after having SPECT scans at the Amen Clinic, it was determined that childhood spinal meningitis likely was the starting point in my family.

    ADHD can skip entire generations and it can skip siblings within a generation, as well.

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