There are a number of myths surrounding ADHD pertaining to the treatment of ADHD, and the reasons a person contracts the disorder. There are even myths that ADHD is a made up disease created by pharmaceutical companies for the sole purpose of selling more pills.
Here are some of the myths about ADHD and the facts dispelling them:
Myth: ADHD kids are simply making excuses instead of taking responsibility for their actions.
Truth: ADHD is considered, by therapists, physicians and educators to be a challenge and not a means of making excuses. The medicine taken to treat ADHD is correcting a specific chemical imbalance in the child. These medications allow children with ADHD a chance at a normal life free from the problems associated with ADHD.
Myth: ADHD is the result of poor parenting.
Truth: A common belief is that children who suffer from ADHD are merely undisciplined little brats whose parents are unable or unwilling to properly discipline them. Tests have shown that simply providing more discipline or discipline of a stricter nature does nothing to help the disorder, in fact, studies shows it makes the situation worse.
Myth: Ritalin is an unsafe drug to give to children.
Truth: Research studies have consistently proven that children and adults who are prescribed Ritalin to treat ADHD benefit from the treatment with astounding results. Ritalin has been used safely for over 50 years in the treatment of ADHD with no serious long-term side effects. That isn’t to say, as with any drug, there aren’t concerns about misuse. Misuse of Ritalin can lead to Ritalin dependence. In addition, to say there are no side effects would be untrue however, no one has ever died due to taking Ritalin and that includes overdosing on the drug. Ritalin does not alter growth nor do children who are eventually taken off of Ritalin show any long term or permanent side effects.
Myth: ADHD is not a real disorder.
Truth: ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological disorder that has been recognized by the courts, the US Department of Education, The United States Congress, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and all major medical professions including medical doctors, psychiatric doctors and educational associations.
Myth: Ritalin is like giving cocaine to a child.
Truth: While Ritalin is a stimulant, called Methylphenidate, it is a prescribed medication that is different, chemically, from the illegal narcotic, cocaine. The medicinal use and prescription of Ritalin does not cause addiction and dependence on the drug. It also does not create a psychosis in the patient.
Myth: A person can outgrow ADHD over time.
Truth: Children are not the only sufferers of ADHD and it being found more and more in adults. About 15-50% of children diagnosed with ADHD may have the disorder for the rest of their lives.
Through proper diagnosis and treatment, people who suffer from ADHD are able to live a relatively normal, happy and productive life. The myths surrounding this disorder are par for the course; there will always be someone who challenges a disorder that is of an emotional nature.
Speak to your child’s doctor and ask for more information about the disorder to educate yourself. Having the information from a professional will help you to better understand the disorder and dispel myths you may come across.