Busting Common ADHD Myths

Read Introduction

Appendix B: “But I Heard That…”  More Background for the Unconvinced

To the outside world, this just seems the usual Venus-Mars stuff. But it is the degree of the behaviors that people don’t understand.

Besides, our gay and lesbian support-group members experience the same problems, so how can it be a Venus-Mars issue?
—Beth

“Never in a million years would I have suspected ADHD!” Jennifer writes to the online support group for the partners of adults with ADHD.“ I thought ADHD was a hyperactive little boy’s disorder. My husband is 38, six-foot-five, and fairly listless when he’s not engaged in something that really captures his interest.” Sure, she knew something was out of kilter, especially with his unpredictable temper. Yet, because he always maintained his cool outside the home, she was the one who looked unstable. “I wasn’t unstable,” she says. “I was de-stabilized—by his making plans, changing plans, forgetting plans, and expecting me to read his mind about all of it and never be upset that I wasn’t consulted. Now I am stunned to learn how much ADHD has affected everything, and how common it is.”

Throughout history, whenever we haven’t clearly understood a phenomenon, myths have substituted and passed for knowledge. As more of us learn about ADHD, the common misconceptions we explore in this appendix may disappear entirely.

This appendix will help you to:

  • Understand that ADHD affects children and adults
  • Push aside mistaken notions that ADHD is an excuse for irresponsibility, a “typical human behavior,” a by-product of modern life, or a pharmaceutical company invention.
  • Know that ADHD is not, in fact, a “controversial” diagnosis and that all significant scientific and medical bodies agree that ADHD is a valid medical condition.
  • Realize that, left unaddressed, some ADHD symptoms can yield serious consequences.

To download this file, click here