The Stigma of ADHD.

320px-NewADHDpic

Normal brain scan VS. ADHD brain scan (Credit)

ADHD has a huge stigma surrounding it. Most people still don’t believe ADHD is a real disorder, they just believe drug companies invented it to sell medication. It’s also believed that ADHD is purely an American disorder, which is also false. Many people also believe that it’s caused by bad parenting or from a child watching TV from a young age. All of these are false.

ADHD was recently reclassified as a neurodevelopmental disorder (Autism and Down Syndrome are also under this category). Wikipedia defines neurodevelopmental disorders as “…impairments of the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system. A narrower use of the term refers to a disorder of brain function that affects emotion, learning ability, self-control and memory and that unfolds as the individual grows.” The picture posted above illustrates this. The brain on the right is a normal brain, showing lots of activity. The brain on the left is an ADHD brain, which shows much less activity. You would think it would be the other way around but in fact, the reason why ADHD brains have less activity is because there is less ability to control your brain functions listed above, which is why there is less activity.

One of the first sentences I hear in response to me telling someone I have ADHD is “Oh, well that’s not a REAL disorder.” It’s harmful and extremely hurtful. I get angry when I hear that because most people assume I use it as an excuse to get out of doing work which isn’t true. It’s a struggle for me to do anything that takes a lot of focus and a lot of work. It bothers me that people think that I would purposely behave this way, as if I would think so little of myself. I try my best to work with my disorder instead of letting it control me and I do okay for the most part but it takes a lot of energy and effort and often I don’t have anything left over for other things. I struggle daily and people always make me feel like my struggles aren’t real because ADHD isn’t, which is false because it’s been proven over and over again. It’s what motivated me to write this blog in the first place, so people can start to understand that this is real and that it’s difficult to deal with.

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