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Did I Give My Son ADHD?

After my son was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety, I had to wonder whether my anxiety during my pregnancy was partly to blame.

3 Comments: Did I Give My Son ADHD?

  1. I was an older mom (42) when my ADHD/anxiety disorder son was born after two miscarriages. I required daily shots to just stay pregnant with him. While dealing with that, my father became ill, entered and stayed in ICU for 8 weeks, and eventually passed away on the day of our gender ultrasound.
    In my heart and soul, I truly believe my emotional trauma impacted Ethan as a pre-born human. Did it “cause” his conditions? Dunno. But it certainly played a hand in it.
    Today, we have only this life as our “normal” and it is what it is. We deal with episodes and meds just like some parents deal with baseball practice and piano lessons.

  2. This is, mostly, a beautifully written and very good account of the struggle of being a parent to an ADHD kid. However, I find the self-blame, and the seeming confirmation of that blame by the researcher, really upsetting. As moms, our children’s struggles are always put on us. It’s constant finger pointing and constant guilt. And I think that is not helpful at all. The idea that the researcher would tell this mom her anxiety caused her kid’s anxiety is offensive. By that measure every child that was in the womb on 9/11 would have anxiety.

    I have a son who also has ADHD and anxiety. And I also have ADHD and anxiety. When I was pregnant my anxiety went away completely, while my ADHD got far worse. There was a noticeable chemical change in me from very early on in my pregnancy. And it lasted for about a year after my son was born. So there was no anxiety seeping into the womb for me. Yet my kid is still anxious, just like me, my mom, my sister, and one of her two sons. 5 out of 6 of us have ADHD and 5 out of 6 of us have anxiety.

    ADHD is genetic. Anxiety is a part of ADHD and there is a lot of research on why that is. To highlight this old trope that we did it to our kids only serves to keep parents, especially moms, stigmatized, instead of getting the word out that it is a comorbidity.

  3. So well put! It looks like this was written a few years ago [mentions pregnancy in 2001]. Would love to get an update, since my son is now exactly that 7th grade man-child with ADHD and anxiety.

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