ADHD is something I could spend hours talking about. But for your sake, I’m breaking this into a multi-part series. There’s a lot more to Attention Deficit than you probably thought. It’s actually one of the most thoroughly researched mental disorders.
ADHD is one of the best-researched disorders in medicine, and the overall data on its validity are far more compelling than for most mental disorders and even for many medical conditions
-A Quote from the American Medical Association from the book Technology and Adolescent Mental Health
Despite what you may have heard, ADHD isn’t some new disorder the doctors made up to trick parents into paying an arm and a leg to drug their hyper children. I thought that for many years too, but when I started doing the research I was amazed at everything I didn’t know.
I bet you didn’t know that ADHD was first identified all the way back in 1902. A British pediatrician named Sir George Still described children who were behaving in a more uninhibited, disobedient, and emotional way than other children. Some of them had family members with psychiatric disorders so he blamed the children’s poor behavior on biology.
Early theories on ADHD were that these children were victims of poor parenting and simply needed more discipline. In fact, even before 1900 symptoms of ADHD were observed and assumed to be a moral problem of children due to a lack of discipline and poor parenting. Culturally that’s what made sense to them at the time.
As the research into ADHD furthered and our understanding evolved, we went from assuming it was a lack of discipline to thinking maybe it was due to some sort of brain damage, until finally we understood it as a chronic mental disorder.
Here’s a few ADHD facts published in an article on the NCBI website titled Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity: A Scientific Overview
- ADHD is a chronic disorder with onset in childhood that affects approximately 5% of children and adolescents worldwide, irrespective of the country in which they live
- The disorder persists into adulthood in approximately 65-75% of cases
- The symptoms of ADHD cause significant functional impairment, such as social and family life problems, low educational attainment and an increased school dropout risk; this functional impairment frequently leads to low self-esteem and has a negative influence on emotional development
- ADHD is also associated with negative physical outcomes, such as injuries, including traffic accidents, premature pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases, among others. Individuals with ADHD are also at significant risk of concurrent or future psychiatric comorbidities, such as conduct disorder, anxiety and mood disorders, antisocial behavior and substance abuse
Now, most of us are aware of the typical view of ADHD. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the obnoxiously hyper little boy who looks like he survives on a diet of pure sugar. This stereotypical picture of Attention Deficit leads many to assume that they don’t have the disorder because they’re not bouncing off the walls or talking a mile a minute.
I know I’m not a hyper person. I was technically diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, without Hyperactivity) before they started using ADHD as a blanket term for the disorder. But even with that diagnosis, the cultural view confused me for many years and eventually when I hit my late teens I began to doubt that ADHD was even real. I figured pretty much every kid is hyper, and what kid wants to sit still in a classroom for hours learning boring stuff?
So I quit taking my medicine, and soon after (without realizing the correlation) I started flunking so many classes that I was told I’d have to repeat my senior year of highschool. So rather than do that, I dropped out. I then went on to get my GED (took me two tries), and attempt college, which I also dropped out of. I go a little more into my ADHD story in my article about why you don’t have to be afraid to take your ADHD meds if you’re curious.
If I had known everything I know now, I would have never stopped taking my medication. I had no idea how many of my behavior tendencies were due to ADHD. I mean I thought I was just really, really weird. It’s surreal realizing that most of the things that bothered me about myself were just symptoms of ADHD all along, and didn’t mean I was a total freak. It’s especially amazing to find that I’m not the only one! There are a TON of other ADHDers who have dealt with this stuff their whole life.
Because it brought me so much relief to discover these little-known ADHD symptoms, I thought it may bring you some relief too! So I decided to create a multi-part series listing 15 symptoms of ADHD you probably don’t know about.
Originally this was going to be a 3 Part Series but in the true spirit of ADHD, I bit off way more than I could chew. So for Part 1 I wrote about 5 different ADHD symptoms, but my attention span simply wouldn’t allow me to do all that writing again for Part 2! So I decided to write about one symptom at a time, which I figure is better for my attention span as well as yours.
Be sure to sign up for the mailing list so you can be notified when each part comes out!
Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On
Are you by any chance an Adult with ADHD? Woah, what an unexpected coincidence! I created a Facebook Support Group juuust for you. It’s called ADHD All Growed Up and you’re invited to join.
Want to read a little more about it first? That’s cool, I wrote about it here.
Don’t give a crap about reading stuff and just want to join? Also cool. Head on over and introduce yourself: ADHD all Growed Up