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 11 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Rosa J Brown 6 months ago.

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  • #82534

    DCT2019
    Participant

    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

    Jolly
    Participant

    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

    Penny Williams
    Keymaster

    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

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

  • #82926

    tlspiano
    Participant

    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

    tdsand
    Participant

    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

    alheisley
    Participant

    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

    bbarnett115
    Participant

    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

    alheisley
    Participant

    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.

  • #111885

    hiladysandgents
    Participant

    Okay, So I used to get like really good grades and I focused really well. I was never tired and never really energetic just randomly. But, The next year my grades dropped to like 60’s,70’s,80’s,90’s, very rarely do I get 100’s like I used to. I suddenly am always tired no matter if I sleep for 12 hours, and, When I wanna focus my brain just refuses and zones out, and I get sudden energy boost and urges to talk.

  • #111893

    Aladhd
    Participant

    Do you have any mental illnesses in the family? Many are related, eg Bipolar spectrum can be an indicator, with believed common genetic factors.

  • #112039

    Dr. Eric
    Participant

    Yes.
    Parents can have genetic predisposition without meeting clinical criteria.

    Depending on age, it could also be a lack of formal diagnosis.

    Neither of my parents were diagnosed, but there is NO question who I get it from…

  • #118004

    Rosa J Brown
    Participant

    Yes, it is possible that you might have ADHD if your parents don’t have it.

  • #118019

    Dr. Eric
    Participant

    Genetics is all about probability. Parents can carry a higher probability without having it.

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