“But, don’t we all have some level of ADHD?”

A statement shared with me recently was: Don’t we all have some level of ADHD? I laughed, having no words, forgetting all I learned about ADHD in the last couple of years, both personally and at a professional level. While everybody forgets something or has days or periods that they have trouble focusing, this is not the same as having ADHD. Symptoms that people with ADHD have on a chronic level can result in; not being able to hold a job, difficulty paying bills on time, having fewer friends or stable relationships, not being able to keep up with housework, difficulty regulating emotions, repeating mistakes from the past, etc. Imagine what that can look like! These are not necessarily the symptoms named in the DSM-5 but still can be the result of having ADHD.

The UC Davis Mind Institute describes the following myths that are being held about ADHD:

  1. ADHD is overdiagnosed,
  2. ADHD is only a problem in the United States,
  3. ADHD symptoms are typical of children and will resolve over time,
  4. medications can cure ADHD,
  5. medications are addictive and will lead to future substance abuse.

Each myth rests on misinformation and has been proven wrong through plenty of research. I too believed in some myths in the past, until I started reading more research and read more articles that came from trustworthy sources. I have learned that ADHD has life-long effects and influences people’s lifespan, confidence, emotional regulation, income level, relationships, etc., and is often difficult to diagnose if someone doesn’t show typical hyperactive symptoms. Even when someone seems to have typical symptoms, the process of finding out if someone has ADHD is long and cumbersome.

What is ADHD? ADHD stands for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental condition, that comes with an array of symptoms. Genetic factors and some risk factors can increase someone’s chances that they have ADHD. As humans, we might have some of these symptoms at some point in our lives, however for people with ADHD these symptoms are more severe, interfere with their relationships, their work, and their schooling, and will always be part of their lives. Having symptoms of ADHD doesn’t always mean someone has ADHD, having anxiety, depression, a sleep disorder or brain damage can bring on similar symptoms. ADHD often presents differently in women and girls than in men and boys, which might be an explanation for why girls and women are being diagnosed less, and/or at a later age.

Worldwide, about 366 million adults have ADHD, and about 6 million kids have been diagnosed with ADHD between 2016 and 2019. This means that you probably have friends, co-workers, or family who have ADHD. So, when someone says: don’t we all have some level of ADHD, it can be hurtful and disrespectful.

You already know me as a life and career coach, however, in the new year I will be offering workshops specifically designed for people with ADHD. The 9-week series is designed to help create and improve processes already used for any area of life, such as relationships, career, finances, health, home environment, etc, will be held over Zoom and includes worksheets that can be used over and over again.

Please, check the links in this article or the links below. This article is by no means complete but hopefully sparked some interest and wonder. Also, check out my separate page with ADHD resources.

What is ADHD? | CDC

The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – PMC (nih.gov)

Learn About Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | CDC

The ADHD Iceberg: Visible vs. Invisible Symptoms | Psych Central

ADHD symptoms are underdiagnosed in adults — and that has consequences – Mayo Clinic Press

Famous People with ADHD: Simone Biles, Emma Watson, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum (additudemag.com)