The local Association of Psychology is working to address some of the myths and misconceptions about ADHD during this, ADHD Awareness Month.
Dr. Janine Hubbard says despite extensive clinical and medical studies, many people still question whether Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a real medical condition.
She says ADHD conservatively affects about 5 per cent of the overall population and has a very strong genetic component.
Dr. Hubbard says ADHD is a chronic disorder affecting both males and females relatively equally that persists throughout a person’s lifetime.
She says symptoms change over time, and the environments also change but you don’t grow out of ADHD – it just looks different.
She says that child who couldn’t sit still in class might grow up to be someone who can sit when socially appropriate, but they’re fidgeting, clicking their pen or shaking their foot.
While many think of ADHD as manifesting in hyperactivity, brain scans show that the brain is actually less active. Dr. Hubbard says the disorder is best managed with medication if symptoms interfere with regular activities like school or work.
She says many people pour a cup of coffee if they want to help focus, stimulants prescribed for patients are similar in that they help to “wake up” the brain.
Dr. Hubbard says while a diagnosis of ADHD can mean that school or certain work environments might be more challenging for some, people with ADHD do succeed, especially when they choose a profession that keeps them engaged and stimulated.