Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.
Misuderstanding adhd

Misunderstanding ADHD

Children with ADHD are actually capable of paying attention to certain activities, but they have to be intrinsically motivated toward it.


Some children and adults experience symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), known as the persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition (DSM-5), such symptoms usually include excessive talking and behaving, inability to give close attention to details, not listening during a one-on-one conversation, increased distractibility by extraneous stimuli, inability to engage in leisure activities quietly, etc. Around 5% of children have ADHD, but it is possible that some children have been misdiagnosed, as well as the fact that many difficulties may have not been detected appropriately. 


One of the major reasons why some people think that ADHD diagnosis doesn’t even exist is the media, those who encourage the belief that this diagnosis has been created by the pharmaceutical companies in order to sell medicines. People who are more prone to believing in conspiracy theories will more likely trust the media on this issue. Another belief that is common among those who don’t believe in ADHD is that everybody experiences attention deficits, and it is quite normal. What they don’t understand is that ADHD is a much severe condition that largely impairs everyday life. Moreover, children with ADHD are capable of paying attention, but it is rather related to specific, intrinsically interesting activities, such as playing video games. However, they usually don’t have control over their attention and cannot shift it easily. While people in general have the ability to overcome attention issues with their willpower and motivation, ADHD diagnosed children and adults are limited in that capability, something that is mainly biologically influenced. 


Many people were never diagnosed with ADHD during childhood but continue to experience some common difficulties. The potential reason for this is that not every ADHD child is hyperactive. Some of them have attention deficits which are harder to be manifested in school, which is why they might have been described as uninterested, bored children who don’t like to study. In addition, many adults with ADHD experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between ADHD and some other issues in school-age children. For example, both children with ADHD and OCD are prone to daydreaming, but those with ADHD will more likely be distracted by happy thoughts and those with OCD with negative thoughts and obsessions. Since around 30% of ADHD children are developmentally less mature than their peers, they can be misdiagnosed with ADHD instead of autism or anxiety disorder. Additionally, unsuccess in social situations is often observed among children with ADHD, but also in autism spectrum disorders. However, while ADHD leads to impatience and interruption during a conversation, autism spectrum disorders cause a lack of social interaction and unusual interests. It is thus important to have in mind all the symptoms of ADHD, as well as symptoms that this diagnosis shares with other conditions appearing in children. Finally, an early detection and intervention provides a fertile ground for future success and joyful life of these children.