What are the most commonly used clichés

6 prejudices about ADHD - and how you can scientifically refute them

by Sara Dörwald

“You are just too lazy to study. If you really want it, you can understand that. You just have to concentrate and just do it. "

Such sentences have always misled me. Especially when I've been told it directly. And that was often the case. Such statements lead to annoyed sighs and rolled eyes in me - there are so many of them. This means that you can have a bullshit bingo in a very short time Prejudice about ADHD to fill.

Many of these prejudices are true to their core, but they are so undifferentiated that it almost hurts to hear them. They stigmatize, hinder, prevent, build hurdles, burden. They stamp and split. None of us want to be pigeonholed and left there with these prejudices.

Just like me, other ADHD sufferers keep hearing certain prejudices. I'll introduce some of them to you in this article - and at the same time provide scientific arguments so that you can refute them.


Focused learning with ADHD


6 common prejudices about ADHD - and how you can scientifically refute them

It is frustrating to have arguments in conversations, but to have to justify them “only” with your own experience. So that you no longer have to face this problem in the future, I will show you appropriate and scientifically researched answers to the 6 most common ADHD prejudices.


Prejudice No. 1: ADHD is a fashion diagnosis!

ADHD has been diagnosed more and more recently, in fact since the 1990s. However, a study was conducted in 2007 that found no evidence of overdiagnosis. Rather, there seems to have been an underdiagnosis for a very long time.

Teachers in daycare centers and kindergartens are increasingly being trained in studies and training for disorders of the most varied kinds. In my teacher training course we had several courses that dealt with the emotional-social development of children at different stages of life and ADD, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders also appeared in them. So if you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. In other words: young, fidgety, short attention span - ADHD. Girl, dreams to herself, does not pay attention, is distracted - ADD.

So one possible answer is: This diagnosis can be true. But it can also be that the children and later also the adults simply struggle with thoughts and problems, are tired, over- or under-challenged or frustrated. Here, caregivers often hear the fleas coughing and instead of a correct, detailed diagnosis, an ADHD is written down and treated.

At Dr. House it's never lupus, in reality it's not always AD (H) D.


Prejudice No. 2: You only play too much on your mobile phone!

In fact, one has University of Virginia study showed in 200 students that increased smartphone consumption or even smartphone addiction can cause ADHD symptoms. BUT: only symptoms. It does not develop ADHD, it can only be exacerbated.

What are the symptoms of ADHD in this context? According to the study, this includes an increased degree of inattentiveness and lack of focus, as well as hyperactivity, fidgety, restlessness and difficulty concentrating.

Withdrawal and behavioral corrections help with ADHD symptoms caused by smartphone use. This is not the case with a diagnosed ADHD.

You need scientific arguments? ADHD is a disorder in the brain. How exactly it arises and what everything affects it is only clear to a limited extent. Genetics, complications in pregnancy and the birth process, environmental factors, psychosocial risk factors - all of these can trigger or worsen ADHD. In certain regions of the brain there is an oversupply or undersupply of messenger substances such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This imbalance leads to the development of an attention regulation disorder - a brain with ADHD has only limited ability to focus its attention and to regulate itself and its actions.

One possible answer is that ADHD is and will remain a neurological abnormality that cannot simply be "switched off".


Prejudice # 3: Only children have ADHD!

This statement is correct to a limited extent. Or just limited wrong. Because ADHD is by far the most common in children and there is another difference between boys and girls, but many take ADHD with them into adulthood. This is then recognized by what is known as comorbid diseases difficult - because adult ADHD is often associated with anxiety and depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleep and relaxation problems, increased addiction development and conflicts at work or in relationships.

Finding ADHD between all these problems is a difficult finding that can only be achieved with a lot of perseverance and good diagnostics. You don't often hear from adults with ADHD because the comorbid disorders are often treated. The percentage of adult ADHD is according to one study of Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology worldwide between 1.2 and 7.3 percent. In a country with a higher income and industrial standard like Germany, the average is around 4.2 percent.

So one possible answer is that ADHD is also present in adults but is rarely recognized. By the way, if someone is following you known people with ADHD should ask: There are, for example, national handball player Andreas Wolff, actors like Channing Tatum, Jackie Chan and Will Smith or actresses like the Olsen sisters.


Prejudice No. 4: You just don't exercise enough!

Exercise is indeed a very good thing, especially for people with ADHD. Something like jumping on the trampoline, break-dancing, martial arts, balancing, acrobatics or a mix of everything such as parcours respond to the urge to move and work out completely for a while. The only problem with this is that ADHD sufferers can be extremely risk takers. Jump from three meters onto the asphalt? No problem. Double somersault on the trampoline without too much practice? Why not? And anyway, I've always wanted to smash ten bricks with the edge of my hand, so I don't need a lot of training ...

This willingness to take risks has already caused trouble for many in physical education classes, because in a regulated environment like there, an increased urge to move while explaining the rules or standing in line for hurdles is a hindrance. Besides, the Risk of injury to others increased by this impulsiveness.

In general, movement is good, but it has to be tailored to the individual. For me, weight training and football are great, for example, and I'm also very interested in parcours. ADHD has many forms and for many of us a more meditative sport such as active yoga or other less dangerous ones like athletics on the ground is suitable.

One possible answer is that exercise exhausts the ADHD patient for the moment and for a certain time afterwards the urge to move is satisfied. But then it starts all over again.


Prejudice # 5: You just worry too much!

Oh yes, I totally agree with this ADHD prejudice. The problem is just like with so many things: There is no on / off switch. Dr. Heiner Lachenmeier, specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy, has a very worth reading itemswrote about it, in which he points out that problems with self-esteem are often part of the "basic equipment" in ADHD - self-doubt and excessive thinking about supposedly big failures are part of it.

We ADHD people do not have an overview of situations, the "filter" that works in neurotypical people and differentiates between important and unimportant, applicable and incorrect, is faulty or not available in our company. He just lets everything through, overwhelms our brain with the information and this leads to exhaustion, decision-making difficulties, changed perception and distractibility. If we then fail at tasks, we attribute this to our supposed total inability and develop a sometimes fatal self-esteem problem and anxiety and depressive symptoms on the cognitive level. And so the many thoughts come about.

So one possible answer is to ask for your understanding for your thoughts. Ask for someone to bring you back down to earth, even if that involves telling you a thousand times that you are as good as you are.


Prejudice 6: You just don't want to concentrate!

This prejudice is utter nonsense. Because there are phases in which it actually gives the impression that you don't want to concentrate - after all, it works sometimes! If it works, then it really works - that's called hyperfocus. I call this the “concentration rabbit hole” - once I've been able to concentrate on one thing, when I've focused on something, then I'll stick with it.

This extreme is from Schecklmann et al.Translated by me] described as “intense concentration on interesting activities outside of the routine, which is accompanied by a temporarily weakened perception of the surroundings.” The roommates call for dinner? I do not hear. Is it getting later and later, suddenly almost midnight? Anyway, I've only been working on this one thing for eight hours. The problem with it: If the thing is not exciting (for example integral calculus, who needs that ?!), then five minutes of concentration is definitely too much to ask.

So the answer is that you'd really like to focus - it just doesn't work. There is nothing like "just concentrate" or "you have to go through that now."


Focused learning with ADHD



You have now read six prejudices about ADHD that many ADHD people hear over and over again. For some of them, I didn't know any scientifically backed arguments myself and only answered out of feeling. Now you can say that your problems and difficulties are scientifically proven.

What other prejudices do you keep hearing when you describe your problem? Feel free to write that in the comments, I'll read them and maybe I'll find a reply for you!

If you want to find out how you can rock your studies despite or with the help of your ADHD, then I have a few helpful tips for you here.

I also wrote a book - Focused learning with ADHD. In it I will show you how you can improve your concentration step by step and really get started with your studies.

If you want to get started right away, you can download a free XXL reading sample from the following link:

Concentrated learning with ADHD (reading sample)


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