You might think the last thing the ADHD community needs is more news coverage since it seems to be in the press and on the television all the time. Unfortunately, when it comes to mental health problems that affect our lives, there is such a thing as bad press and most of the press related to ADHD is controversial or sensational rather than informative or factual. This is why it is more important than ever to use ADHD Awareness Month to educate and inform people about this very real condition that affects about 11% of American children.
While there has been a shift in society’s thinking about this condition in recent years and the focus of ADHD awareness campaigns is no longer whether or not it is a real condition, there is still work to be done. Misinformation abounds and there is still a significant stigma attached to being diagnosed with the condition. This means that people who have the disorder and not getting diagnosed and those who are diagnosed aren’t getting the treatment they need. Working to resolve those two problems is the continuing goal of ADHD Awareness Month and The Many Faces of ADHD campaign.
In an effort to help educate and inform, here are some of the facts about ADHD that everyone should know.
Who Does ADHD Affect?
- ADHD doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of every race, ethnicity, religion, age, and gender. Anyone can have ADHD.
- ADHD doesn’t care how much money you have. People with ADHD are rich and poor, successful and unsuccessful, single, married, and divorced, thriving, and struggling.
- In truth, there is no “typical” person with ADHD.
How do I get Tested for ADHD?
- There is no ‘test’ for ADHD, doctors cannot talk a blood sample to determine if someone has it.
- There are specific diagnostic criteria that mental health professionals and other practitioners use in order to diagnose the disorder.
- The process of diagnosing the disorder can be complex, especially if there are other co-existing mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
- Diagnosis relies on anecdotal evidence and most practitioners use a variety of well-respected tools and tests as part of their diagnostic process.
Why Should Someone Get Diagnosed?
- Unfortunately, most people with ADHD will experience difficulties because of the disorder.
- It can cause significant problems in all areas of a person’s life including school, work, personal relationships, social development, and long term happiness.
- Research has shown that diagnosis and treatment are the best way to avoid or overcome these challenges.
How is ADHD Treated?
- ADHD can be treated using medications like, but not limited to, Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.
- ADHD can also be treated through participating in therapy, coaching, and behavior modification programs.
- For most people with the disorder, a combined approach of therapy, skill building, medication, and coaching is the most effective way to treat the various symptoms of the condition.
For more information about ADHD or to find ways to participate in ADHD Awareness month, visit the ADHD Awareness Month website.