05 February 2009

ADHD Myths and Other Nonsense

Here is a list of myths, lies and untruths about ADHD:

There is no such thing as ADD or ADHD. It is a fabricated plot by the drug companies to get our money.

ADHD is a term invented to describe children whose incompetent parents don't want to admit they are raising brats.

There is no such thing as a mental disorder. Psychiatry and psychology are pseudo sciences based on lies.

It is the teacher's fault for presenting information in a boring fashion. The teacher doesn't want to admit this and instead suggests that the child might have ADHD.

Children who are able to concentrate on things that they enjoy and are passionate about cannot possibly have ADHD.

ADHD medication is mind-control that turns children into zombies and drug addicts.

Medication is the only treatment options that works. There is nothing else you can do besides using drugs.

The only nation in the world that uses medication for ADHD is the USA.



Anonymous said...

You really are an idiot. I am a single parent with a child who happens to be ADHD. I am not sure where you got your degree or if you have one, but it is unfortunate that parents, such as myself are FORCED to put our children on medications because these teachers do not know how to accommodate children who might be a litte bit brighter and have a little bit more character than most children.
Unfortunately for me and my child, if he was not put on medication, the school would have continued to write him up for stupid crap...like not lining up in a timely fashion and talking out of turn. I resent the words that you wrote on this blog and I would hope that before you started making accusations that you might just find out a little bit more about your subject. My child had horrible days at school and felt like he could never add up to the teacher/school's expectations because he was too impulsive(due to the ADHD) so, now that he is on medication ...Yes, he is a happier child. If I had it my way, I probably wouldn't put him on medication, but I would rather have a teacher that could take the time with my child and refocus him. Unfortunately our school system does not cater to the needs of these children or the needs children period. It is a business and if you don't fit in...you are let go. So, every child needs an education...so if it means that my child needs to take medication then that is what I am going to do.
Also, these medications don't lead these children to be drug addicts as you have eluded to. If you raise a child in a loving environment and do all that you can for that child...he/she will grow up with the values (if done properly) that you want instilled in him/her.
Actually, I think that the reason why you are writing this crappy blog and not writing for some "major" magazine is because obviously your parents didn't give two hoots about ya and just figured that you would find your way, well obviously you have ....in nowhere land writing some stupid blog to fire people up. You are an idiot and you are even lucky that I took the time and energy to acknowledge this...because really you are not worth the time. Don't worry one day you will be working for my son...because trust me...the one thing that you should know about people with ADHD is that they are VERY smart and these are the asses that you will be kissing to get just a step further in your little crummy career.

Liz said...

Dear Anonymous - did you read the title of this post? Do you know what the word "myth" means? The you know what "other crap" implies? This was not a list of truths. This was a list of lies that many people believe. I am completely agree with your opinion on ADHD. My own child has it. Yes, my child is very smart too. The counselor told me her IQ is 134. Just like you I've had my battles with ignorant or stubborn teachers, believe me! She's had accomodations since 4th grade and finally got meds for 6th grade. Accomadations at school and home plus the meds is just what she needed. Sorry you got all worked up but I think you misread the title of this post. I am on your side!

Liz said...

correction - meant to say "other nonsense" not "other crap". Same meaning, just more polite. :D

Partly Cloudy said...

Hey...you.....Anonymous (Feb 25th).....YOU, infact, are THE IDIOT.
You obviously read the title incorrectly and started your "blasting" before your brain was entirely engaged. I am thankful for this Liz's comments and name-calling in any situation is unprofessional and insensitive, at best, considering the fact, that we are all referring to this blog because we are affected by ADHD.
Share your knowledge, Anonymous, NOT YOUR VENOM. We take ADHD very, very seriously and don't need to feel bullied by the likes of inconsiderate folks such as yourself.

Brad said...

I also agree with you Anonymous..my son has ADD and the school system failed him and he quit school in the 10th grade..and stopped taking meds..he is now 29 and is a adult with ADD..altho he has a job and is living a somewhat normal life, I am afraid he will be stuck in low paying jobs and will have to struggle his whole life, because of the way he was treated while in school.

Liz said...

Brad - I have a question...
Are you agreeing that the school system let you down and that it's been a difficult struggle? Or are you agreeing that I am an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about? If it is the latter, then I must once again point out that the post that got Anonymous all riled up was a list of MYTHS (not true items) and not what my own beliefs are.

Brad said...

oh no....your not the idiot sorry I should have said that I agree that the school system failed my son, and we tried to home school him but by then he was burnt out and wouldn't continue. I hope that some day he will decide that he wants to continue and finish it up. So importiant to get the kids into learning right from the start.

Liz said...

Brad - Thanks for clarifying! Glad to see we are on the same page. Sorry about what your son (and you) went through. If children don't get early help, their whole life as a student is miserable and they will develop negative attitudes toward school.

Anonymous said...

Your title says it all. There's a stigma and there are myths and nonsense circulating. Thanks for listing them so we can fight the ignorance by dispelling the myths.

Liz said...

Time Thief - thanks for the positive feedback! :D

Anonymous said...


I do apologize for going off the deep end. I do know what "myth" means but I was forwarded this article (title not included)and I got really upset. I did not realize the title until you replied to my post and I looked back at the article to see what I was missing. It was hell dealing with the school systems (public and catholic schools)in my area. I also have problems with the local ball park where my son plays sports. It seems as though NO ONE wants to take these children under their wing and notice that they are truly wonderful kids who have so much to offer.
I apologize again for insulting you and next time I promise that I will research headings to avoid a situation such as this one in the future.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Liz. -I understood the point of it.

I wonder if Anonymous has called back (quietly) to see what your response was.
Kinda embarrassing, huh?

Liz said...

Dear Anonymous, Apology accepted. I knew something wasn't right. I understand your frustration with the teachers. I was ready to strangle my daughter's teacher last year. I am in your corner! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz, my sister (now 28) had severe ADHD as a child and her teenage years were worst than most - in fact, as the younger child, we barely spoke because she was quite cruel towards me and I could never understand why - it was easier to stay out of the way than make myself a "target". My mum tried unbelievably hard to get some sort of diagnosis / help for her, but as with others, her school was not interested and a lot of people just had her down as a bad kid. Eventually at 24 (yes...24 years of misery for my sister) she was diagnosed and has been on medication since. Until she started the medication she was really unhappy as she thought she was really unintelligent, she had panic attacks and had actually had a nervous breakdown by the age of 22. She couldn't understand why she did the things she did or thought the things she thought and life was pretty much unbearable for her. After starting medication she was found to have a high IQ and she could rationalise most of her behaviours from the past. ADHD is definitely real and for some people medication is the only way to control it! I loved your post as it rang so true...and I read the title, hehe! Jen x

Liz said...

Jen, Thanks for sharing. Your poor sister is a perfect example of how a person's life can be miserable without help and understanding. I'm glad she's figured things out and is on meds. She's blooming like a flower now! Best of luck to her!

Deborah said...

I deeply sympathize with all of you having to deal with ADHD. My son only has ADD. Adding in the "H" makes it so much more difficult.

In school, my son was easily frustrated with his homework and would go into a tantrum if he could not easily solve a problem or made a mistake. He almost failed 6th grade. In the 1st grade I started considering medication and tried it out. It took 4 years of therapy, different medications, and advice before a new pediatrition discovered it was ADD. Once he got on the new meds, he got straight A's. Plus the school put him in a program that simply informs teachers of his "special" (I don't like that word - I wish they'd use unique instead) needs. He sits in the front of class; teachers remind him of assignments; the counselors helped him organized his locker; I helped him re-organize his notebooks and folders; and the school allowed us an extra set of books at home because he'd always forget to bring home that one book that had homework due the next day.

At the end of 8th grade, he went off meds, but continued the "unique" needs at school and at home. He still becomes easily frustrated, but not always. He still has to be in an environment with no interruptions (no windows open because birds chirp; the cats can't meow; no talking; no anything). I'm trying to get him to accept some distractions because it is part of life. A little at a time.

Next year he's going to be in college. He has had A's and B's all through high school. I'm still concerned with his outbursts whenever he is distracted. I think a simple pair of ear plugs will solve this problem.

I think my son only had to be on drugs for a short time because it gave him some type of idea of what "normal" is. If he followed all of the "special" steps to help relax him, and it made him feel "normal" then we knew the drugs weren't needed. The drugs helped him realize an acceptable level of frustration. Make sure your children aren't looking for the elimination of frustration with drugs - but a level at which they can function. Becoming frustrated is normal for everyone.

This is a long-term problem for everyone, including parents. Just keep yourself educated on the latest ideas and drugs, including foods that may contribute to the problem. Do what is best for your child. If a drug has too many side affects; don't exclude it entirely . . . consider a dosage change. Make sure they get enough sleep. Also remind your child that although we are working with them, the world does not revolve around them. If they are having trouble, they need to express it in words before they get to a level of crying and outbursts. That is the one emotional feeling they need to recognize early in this process. Otherwise, everyone around them is dragged in. Teach them breathing exercises . . . And, of course, for the children with hyperactivity, make sure they are getting out all that energy. They might have to do school work in intevals. Unfortunately, the schools don't accomodate that. Maybe, request some kind of physical outlet if really needed.

I also want to add: don't put a lot of emphasis on grades. Grades aren't the only way to measure intelligence. Most successful careers are about repetition with the occassional new problem to solve. School has something new to learn every day. President Bush was a C student in college. So if your child has all C's, he does have the potential of becoming the next President. Also remember that blue collar jobs don't mean they'll earn less. It just means they're working with their hands. Most blue collar jobs earn more than white collar. I'm white collar, but I know I could probably earn more if I were a plumber. Just make sure they're getting something out of their education. They might get straight A's and still want to be a plumber. Grades don't measure their outcome in life like we were once taught.

Bailey said...

i agree with Deborah on some things. I'm 11 and was diagnosed with ADHD when i was 6 years old. which is also when i started my meds. im in 6th grade now, and with 2 different meds, its hard. 1 of my meds is 50mg, the other is 100mg. i have tried so many medications. none of them work so far. the ones im taking now help somewhat, like enjoying school more, etc. but i burst out random things such as "HII!!!" or "Why did the aliens eat you?" i don't want to, but once i get the thought into my head, BOOM!!! it comes out my mouth. i really like science and math and language arts. i took an IQ quiz my psychiatrist gave me when i was 8 years old, and it was 143. it could be so much higher now that I've learned more! but its so hard to concentrate on stuff. i was also adopted at birth. I've met with my biological mom once, but i didn't ask why i was adopted. my adoptive parents don't tell me either. but anyway, its sort of like my ADHD controls me sometimes. i wish i had control or it. =(

Liz said...

Bailey - thanks for writing! The impulsive thing is a part of ADHD. My daughter used to suddenly act like a cat. Her friend used to stand up on her chair and start dancing. Take it in with a sense of humor! As you get a little older, you might grow out of the impulsive behavior.