Five ADHD Myths Busted!

Posted on May 3, 2013 by

If you know, or even think someone you know is dealing with ADHD, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the way his or her brain works. This is especially true if you have an inexplicably hyperactive child or are in a serious relationship with someone who has ADHD. Thoroughly understanding the behaviors and quirks associated with ADHD will make treatments more effective. Studies show that patients often improve more if they have strong moral support.

Primarily, you have to understand what ADHD is, and exactly how it affects behavior. However, you also need to be wary of the information you hear on social media, or from friends who claim they have “ADHD” in a joking manner. As a result of a desensitized generation, many people take ADHD with a grain of salt, and they shouldn’t.

Now more than ever, it’s important to separate myths from the facts. There is a wide array of false information going around about ADHD, which most people universally believe. Review the section below to learn the truth about ADHD. When you know how to connect with a person who has ADHD, life will be much easier for everyone involved, especially if the patient is a young child.


5. Giving kids video games and cell phones at a young age causes ADHD.

False! It can worsen if a child never learns how to focus, but ADHD is biological.

4. Everyone who has ADHD is hyperactive and distracted all of the time.

Although hyperactivity is the most visible symptom of ADHD, each client experiences it differently. Some people may struggle with the disorder less than others may, and others might go into a depression that actually decreases activity. So, while many ADHD client are extremely hyper and chaotic, not everyone reacts that way.

3. People with ADHD just need to try harder.

No! If you ask a child or adult with ADHD to strive for success, and they fail, it doesn’t mean that he or she is lazy and inept. Usually, theyare honestly trying their best, but simply cannot focus. Telling a person with ADHD to try harder may exacerbate frustration and unpleasant emotions. It’s the same thing as telling wheelchair patients that they could walk if they simply tried harder: very offensive.

2. ADHD is ubiquitous, and not a valid excuse for distraction.

Yes, everyone seems distracted lately, and yes… some people get immersed in projects, causing them to lose track of time. However, there is a difference between living with ADHD and everyday distractions. You’ll notice those with ADHD lose more time, and work on a myriad of different projects at once. It is important to realize that this is a real disorder and you should empathize with the idea of having to live a chaotic and unfocused life.  Most of the time, people with ADHD just want a break, they want some respite from the confusion in his or her brain; they are not looking for excuses or handouts.

Think of it like any other medical condition. Just because a person can’t focus doesn’t mean that he or she has ADHD, think about the last time you coughed- did you have emphysema?

1. People don’t need ADHD treatments or medication, they’re just dangerous and you can get addicted to them.

While some people do get addicted to ADHD medications, they are usually not ADHD clients. ADHD medications affect a person with ADHD differently than one without.  It is essential to seek treatment for ADHD to avoid depression, anxiety, school, work, and relationship failure.  Medication may be one piece of the treatment puzzle but Neurofeedback has been shown to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and the improvement persists after treatment ends.

Mythbusters Photo courtesy of Megan Schreiber | Imgfave

Debra Burdick, LCSW, also known as ‘The Brain Lady’, is an international expert on ADHD and Mindfulness. She is an award-winning, #1 best-selling author of: Mindfulness Skills Workbook, Mindfulness Skills for Kids and Teens, ADHD: Non-Medication Treatments and Skills for Children and Teens, Mindfulness for Teens with ADHD, Mindfulness for Kids with ADHD, Mindfulness Skills for Kids Card Deck, and Radical Self-Care When You Are Ill Card Deck. She is an international speaker and retired psychotherapist and neurotherapist, who has been helping all ages thrive for over 30 years.

I would love to hear your personal experiences with this topic.


  1. Thank you for this post. I was just diagnosed with ADHD about 2 months ago–at age 45. Since that time, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding ADHD and treatment options. I cannot tell you how liberating and vindicating my diagnosis was. Basically, I have come to learn that I was not a horrible child; not a bad wife/friend; not an inconsistent parent; not a procrastinating, obtuse, often obnoxious employee/cohort/peer/manager. I decided, after a 10 year military career flamed out for me–largely due to some of my ADHD traits–that my best option for earning an income and supporting myself is by starting my own business. Funny, the business I chose and started working on building didn’t have a name. I just knew that I wanted to start a business where I work mostly from my home office on my own terms and schedule. That is a really heavy lift for someone with ADHD and it wasn’t long before I was mired in a deep depression and apathy for life. I was going to fail. Again. But I finally got help and now I am so excited that my business is slowly falling into place. BTW, the nameless business wasn’t nameless. It seems that I inadvertently started a virtual assistance business. I’ve been reading everything I can on that subject as well. My new dream is to eventually parlay my experiences with ADHD into a speaking career and inspire and empower women with ADHD to realize that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. I see this page becoming a huge resource for me. Thank you.

    Comment by Belen on at

  2. I am so glad to hear you finally got a diagnosis and have experienced the relief that so many do of finally ‘knowing what it is’. As a VA, you will find many electronic tools to help you stay organized an on task. I am glad you found this site helpful. If you ever need a consultation about thriving with ADHD just let me know. Best Wishes.

    Comment by Debra Burdick on at

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