8 things you might not know about ADHD

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is becoming more commonly known.  However, there are still a lot of myths and negativities surrounding the condition.  So, here are 8 things you might not know about ADHD…

ADHD affects adults and children

ADHD wasn’t recognised as an adulthood condition until 2008.  It’s estimated there are approximately 1.5 million adults in the UK living with the condition, but according to ADHD Action, only 120,000 are formally diagnosed.  The reason for late or no diagnosis seems to be down to the lack of awareness and the process in trying to get a formal diagnosis. Many ADHDers, including myself, grow up without knowing and find ways to adapt as we get older.

ADHD isn’t new

There are medical journals dated as early as 1902 explaining symptoms of ADHD.  However, there are also reports describing the condition earlier than this. Once it was formally recognised by the American Psychiatric Association in 1968 (as hyperkinetic impulse disorder) awareness of ADHD grew.  The name we know today – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – was introduced in 1987. There is still a long way to go, but ADHD is becoming more well known and there is increased awareness.

Some children grow out of ADHD, but others don’t

No ADHD journey is the same for everyone.  Whilst some will only experience symptoms of ADHD in their childhood, others will continue into their adult years.  Many people believe that no child grows out of ADHD, only that some people are able to find strategies to mask the symptoms in adulthood.

There’s no formal test for ADHD

Although ADHD has been proven to be visible on certain MRI scans, there’s no blood test or brain scan that can formally diagnose ADHD.  Diagnosis is made by reviewing clinical history and data. It typically then involves interviewing/observing the patient to establish whether they are showing signs.  

A formal diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean medication

In the UK there are guidelines for doctors, families and carers about ADHD on how best to treat symptoms of ADHD.  The aim after the formal diagnosis is to minimise the impact of ADHD and associated symptoms on daily life. This can be done through a variety of methods and sometimes the best one isn’t medication.  This will only be offered where a significant clinical benefit can be seen.

There is no single cause for ADHD

Research is still being carried out to find the exact cause of ADHD as it’s not fully understood.  The main factors currently attributed to ADHD are genetics, brain function and brain structure.  Other suggestions are environmental factors, but research is ongoing.

There isn’t an ADHD gene

Although there seems to be a genetic component to ADHD, there is no single ADHD gene.  Instead, there are a number of different genes that contribute towards ADHD.  This is another area where research is still being carried out.

ADHD doesn’t always run in families

With the links to genes and ADHD, it can be assumed that ADHD would then run in families.  But that’s not always the case. The way that our genes contribute towards ADHD isn’t straightforward.  There are many different factors and it becomes quite complicated, which is why the ongoing research into ADHD is so important.

If you want to find out more about ADHD, ways in which you can manage your symptoms, get in touch with me here.  Or if you want to start taking action today, book in for your assessment consultation here.