Last updated: September 26th, 2019
October is a beautiful time of the year. It’s starting to get chilly outside. The holiday season is near. And, it’s officially the start of ADHD Awareness Month, which is an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness about ADHD.
So, this article exposes 30 truths about ADHD that the public needs to know. Please do your part and share this article on social media.
Because together, we can make it known that ADHD is a real, brain-based condition that affects millions of people’s lives in various ways (good, bad, and everything in-between).
Here are the 30 ADHD truths that the public needs to know…
Truth #1. ADHD is real
The frontal lobe is responsible for your executive function, which means that people with ADHD often have trouble with organization, problem solving, motivation, focus, and impulse control.
Truth #2. ADHD affects millions of Americans
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11% of children between the ages of 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the USA. This is equal to 6.4 million children.
And, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 4% of adults in America are diagnosed with adult ADHD. This is equal to 8 million adults.
When you add in the millions of undiagnosed ADHD cases as well…it should be clear that at least 15 million Americans are struggling with ADHD in total.
Truth #3. ADHD creates extremely difficult challenges for people (we aren’t perfect)
Having ADHD makes it extremely difficult to fit into society’s mold.
This is why people with ADHD often find it challenging to:
- Make it through the American public school system
- Find a suitable career
- Make it to appointments on time
- Function like a “normal” person in everyday life
People with ADHD ultimately need to forget about fitting into society’s mold (whenever possible), and pursue the strategies that work for the ADHD brain type.
Truth #4. ADHD also has some amazing qualities (let’s focus on these)
As explained in The ADHD Advantage (one of the best books for people with ADHD), having ADHD also provides you with real hope for your life.
For example, having ADHD enables you to:
- Come up with exciting ideas that most other people won’t be able to imagine (this is great for creativity and business)
- Thrive in chaotic situations
- Work in high-pressure careers
- Be well-suited for entrepreneurship
- Take manageable risks, become a leader, and develop resilience
While ADHD has some obvious downsides, life becomes much more interesting when you embrace the positives that come with having ADHD.
Truth #5. There are many professional athletes, celebrities, and famous entrepreneurs with ADHD
For proof that people with ADHD are capable of accomplishing amazing things, you just have to look to the many professional athletes, celebrities, and entrepreneurs with ADHD:
- Michael Phelps
- Richard Branson
- Simone Biles
- Emma Watson
- Jim Carrey
- Tim Howard
- Channing Tatum
If you have ADHD, keep in mind that you can still live out your wildest dreams (just like these men and women with ADHD have done).
You’ll just have to work a little bit harder than most people. Life isn’t fair, I know.
Truth #6. Most people with ADHD are just trying to get by in life (like everyone else)
The vast majority of people with ADHD just want to live a fun, free, and meaningful life.
People with ADHD have 100% normal human needs, like the desire for love, belonging, self-esteem, and more.
So, give someone with ADHD a huge hug this month…and tell him or her that you love them.
Small gestures like this WILL make a difference in someone’s life.
Truth #7. People with ADHD are often forced to become resilient
When you have ADHD, you’re forced to become a resilient human being.
Resilience is what allows you to make it through the public school system, fail at 100+ different things, and continue to push forward in life.
When you’re resilient, you will eventually succeed, because you’ve learned how to “beat the system” even when the game feels like it’s rigged.
Truth #8. Fidgeting genuinely works for ADHD
Movement helps people focus. It’s plain and simple.
If you don’t believe me, keep in mind that some of the world’s most influential people have been known to fidget, engage in quirky habits, and generally stay in motion.
- Steve Jobs was known to walk around Palo Alto for hours on end, fidget, and frequently change seats during his meetings
- Hannibal Barca moved around constantly, and stood on one leg while reading
- Napoleon Bonaparte walked around in circles, and kicked at the logs of his fireplace during meetings
People with ADHD behave just like this.
We have all kinds of weird things that we do, because fidgeting helps you focus. Especially when you have ADHD.
Maybe fidget toys are more than just a gimmick after all?
Truth #9. People with ADHD almost always need to pursue their strengths
If there’s a “secret to success” with ADHD, it probably has something to do with pursuing your strengths.
Like all other human beings, people with ADHD have unique talents that they can take advantage of.
These talents or “strengths” enable people with ADHD to:
- Work an amazing career
- Start a business from scratch
- Create art
- Play sports
- Make music
If you have ADHD, then you need to take the time to figure out what you’re good at, and commit to doing that thing.
And best of all, once you figure out what your greatest strength is, you’ll most likely begin to love what you do. Because, everyone loves doing the things they’re really good at.
Truth #10. Millions of people still don’t know they have ADHD
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), undiagnosed ADHD is a serious problem that affects millions of people.
In most cases, undiagnosed ADHD leads to:
- Relationship problems
- Extreme stress
- Substance abuse issues (i.e. self-medicating with drugs or alcohol)
- Financial issues
- Irritability and mood imbalances
Dr. Edward Hallowell, a leading ADHD psychiatrist, believes that only 10% of adults who suffer from ADHD have been formally diagnosed.
Hallowell thinks this happens because ADHD is commonly perceived as a childhood disorder. When in reality, it’s estimated that ADHD continues into adulthood in 60-70% of all ADHD cases.
So, it’s extremely important for you to know what ADHD symptoms look like. And, please have the courage to reach out to a professional if you feel like you need to get diagnosed.
Truth #11. ADHD is often linked to other disorders
In medicine, comorbidity means that one or more additional conditions co-exist with a primary disorder.
ADHD is often comorbid with anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or a number of other conditions.
This is a large part of the reason why people with ADHD often need all of the professional and personal support they can get.
In many cases, ADHD is just the “tip of the iceberg,” and there are other underlying issues that must be worked through to achieve the best results for your life.
Truth #12. ADHD isn’t always easy to manage
You can’t just tell someone with ADHD to “focus” or “get their head in the game”.
If only life were that easy…
It can actually take several weeks, months, or even years to determine a diet plan, fitness routine, medication regimen, career, and lifestyle that works with your ADHD rather than against it.
Truth #13. ADHD is never your fault
No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. But, we do know that ADHD is never the victim’s fault.
In fact, the best data that we have available suggests that ADHD is a genetically determined neurodevelopmental condition. This means that having ADHD is entirely out of your control.
If you have ADHD, then there’s no need to worry. You aren’t responsible for having ADHD. You’re just responsible for how you choose to live your life while dealing with ADHD symptoms.
Truth #14. Natural remedies can work wonders for ADHD
Studies have shown that natural remedies like fish oil, vitamin D3, and vitamin B can work wonders for the ADHD brain. You can take advantage of natural remedies in the form of organic, whole foods, or high-quality supplements.
Some people feel the benefits of natural remedies working in as little as 1-2 weeks.
But, for the very best results, it helps to continuously use natural remedies over many months. This way, you’ll feel healthier, happier, and more clear-headed.
Truth #15. Using ADHD medication to treat ADHD is also a normal and healthy decision for many people
While natural remedies are a safe and smart choice for managing ADHD symptoms, they don’t always give you the “oomph” that you need to stay organized, tackle your workload, and excel in your career.
Oftentimes, taking ADHD medication is a normal and healthy decision for people with ADHD. This is because taking ADHD medication typically gives you fast and effective results.
Using high-quality ADHD medication can immediately boost your career performance, social life, and your overall quality of life.
And remember, when people with ADHD use ADHD medication, we’re literally just taking medicine for a medical condition.
You can think of this as “leveling the playing field.”
We just want equal opportunities in life. That’s all.
Truth #16. You can use natural remedies and ADHD medication simultaneously
For some reason, there’s a big divide between people who only use natural remedies to treat ADHD, and those who swear by ADHD medication.
When in reality, there’s nothing wrong with using natural remedies and ADHD medication simultaneously.
In fact, this is a lot like having the best of both worlds.
Just make sure to talk to your doctor about any supplements that you may be taking, if you use ADHD medication.
Drug interactions are still a possibility that you have to watch out for.
Truth #17. You may or may not “grow out of” ADHD
For whatever reason, some people find that ADHD doesn’t follow them into adulthood. This is a great thing.
But for many others, ADHD persists for a lifetime. This is a much more frustrating challenge to deal with.
Truth #18. People with ADHD are often sensitive to gluten, artificial dyes, and other harmful ingredients
Did you know that it’s common for people who suffer from ADHD to also have gluten sensitivities?
The link between ADHD and gluten isn’t totally clear. But, many experts recommend eliminating gluten from your diet, so that you can see if your ADHD symptoms are reduced.
Gluten is most commonly found in breads, condiments, cereals, pastas, noodles, and many other food sources.
Additionally, there are all kinds of artificial dyes, toxins, and other harmful ingredients that people with ADHD need to avoid.
People with ADHD have to be extra cautious about the foods they eat, because certain foods can easily make ADHD symptoms much, much worse.
Truth #19. Sugar can drastically worsen ADHD symptoms
Of all the harmful ingredients that a person with ADHD can consume, sugar has to be the worst offender.
To be fair, sugar consumption has not been linked directly to ADHD. But, excess sugar consumption has been linked to brain fog, chronic illness, and serious brain-based diseases.
As you may know, people with ADHD need all of the brain function they can get. So, it’s best for those with ADHD to avoid consuming sugar whenever possible.
Truth #20. Exercise is crucial for people with ADHD
Choosing to exercise regularly is one of the healthiest and most productive decisions that people with ADHD can make.
Exercising causes your body to release endorphins. And, releasing endorphins increases your sense of pleasure, fights depression, reduces stress, and provides you with a number of other health benefits.
But most importantly for people with ADHD, exercise also increases your BDNF, which is a protein linked to brain health.
So, it’s safe to say that exercising regularly is one of the very best ways for people with ADHD to think and feel better every single day.
Truth #21. People with ADHD think differently
There’s a good reason why some people with ADHD become great leaders, entrepreneurs, and professional athletes.
People with ADHD possess distinct advantages like risk-taking ability, creativity, and resilience.
But, people with ADHD actually need to tap into these advantages, and use them often, in order to make the most of them.
Truth #22. Most people with ADHD require autonomy in their day-to-day life
Having ADHD means that you need to live your life a little bit differently than most people.
Because when you have ADHD, you probably don’t respond well to strict demands or rigid deadlines.
There’s a good chance that you need a certain amount of creative freedom which enables you to live life on your terms.
When it comes to ADHD, autonomy is happiness. Always remember this.
Truth #23. Children with ADHD desperately need better accommodations from the public education system
There’s a massive problem when 90% of children don’t look forward to going to school on most days.
Learning is supposed to be an exciting process. And, school isn’t supposed to feel like a prison.
If neurotypical children don’t enjoy the public education system, just think about how ADHD children feel about trying to fit into a school system that hardly cares about them.
It’s for this reason that public schools desperately need to implement:
- Standing desks
- More brain-based exercises (painting, creative writing, problem-solving, etc.)
- Freedom of movement (ADHD children need to fidget)
- More physical exercise or competitive sports
- A focus on the development of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Children with ADHD need better accommodations available to them.
Thankfully, there is some progress being made in this area, as standing desks are becoming used more often in some schools.
But, plenty of changes still need to be made if we want our ADHD children to develop into happy, healthy, and emotionally well-adjusted adults.
Truth #24. Seeking professional help just might be one of the best decisions that you ever make
Getting diagnosed with ADHD is actually a huge relief, because it will help you make sense of your entire life.
For example, if you find out that you have ADHD, you will come to understand the reasons why you found school difficult, constantly got in trouble, rebelled against authority figures, experienced difficulty in past careers, and so much more.
Seeking professional help is an amazing decision to make. You will feel so much better afterwards.
If you suspect that you have ADHD, please don’t hesitate to contact a psychologist, mental health counselor, or even your family doctor. Just make sure to talk to someone. You won’t regret it.
Truth #25. Hyperfocus is a double-edged sword (so use it wisely)
One of the tell-tale signs of having ADHD is hyperfocus.
Hyperfocus can be used for good or bad.
For example, if you lose track of time while watching random YouTube videos for a number of hours, then you most likely accidentally entered a state of hyperfocus. You went down the rabbit hole of procrastination.
But, if you find yourself in a “flow state” while creating art, drawing, writing, exercising, working, or doing any other activity that you enjoy, this is a great use of hyperfocus.
So, hyperfocus is a major double-edged sword. You have to make your hyperfocus count.
Truth #26. ADHD Awareness Month stems from “ADHD Awareness Day,” which was an official resolution instated by the U.S. Senate
Senate resolution 370 went into effect on September 7th, 2004. This resolution designated September 7th as “National Attention Deficit Disorder Day”.
Since that time, National ADD day eventually evolved into “ADHD Awareness Month”.
Now, October 1st marks the beginning of ADHD Awareness Month, with October 31st being the final day of “celebration”.
This is a full, month-long event that takes place every single year. The goal is always to spread awareness about ADHD, and help people who may not know that they suffer from ADHD (undiagnosed ADHD).
ADHD is still considered a public health crisis, because ADHD can be dangerous when it’s undiagnosed. So please spread the word!
Truth #27. Goal-setting doesn’t always work for people with ADHD (there are much better alternatives available)
Setting goals doesn’t always work for people with ADHD, and the reason why is simple:
Most people with ADHD have failed to meet their goals time and time again. So in most people’s minds, goals have negative thoughts and feelings associated with them.
Rather than setting goals, people with ADHD should focus on creating systems that move them closer towards a greater vision.
Forget about goals. Build systems. This way, you can achieve the vision that you’ve created for your life without having to deal with unnecessary pain and anxiety.
Truth #28. Understanding how your ADHD brain works is 90% of the battle
Simply knowing how your ADHD brain works is 90% of the battle. This is because knowledge is power.
When you understand how your ADHD brain works, you will be better equipped to make strong decisions for your career, relationships, and life in general.
Truth #29. You should never feel ashamed to have ADHD
Having ADHD is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s quite the opposite, really.
Having ADHD simply means that your brain works differently than most.
So, this might require you to learn, study, and work in unique ways. But, it doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty about ADHD in the least bit.
You are unique. Embrace this.
Truth #30. ADHD is ultimately what you make of it (don’t let ADHD be your excuse)
At the end of the day, ADHD is ultimately what you make of it.
ADHD can be a gift. Or it can be a curse.
It’s entirely up to you to decide how you want to live your life with ADHD.
I truly hope that you make the right decision, because almost anything is possible, even when you have ADHD.
Please share this article about ADHD Awareness Month (do your part)
Overall, if this article can help even just one person get help for their ADHD, I will consider this ADHD Awareness Month to be a great success.
ADHD is a serious condition that significantly affects the way that people live their lives.
So, I hope that you’re able to spread these 30 truths about ADHD, and help anyone who needs assistance with ADHD.
Please take a moment to share this article on social media, so that you can play an important role in supporting ADHD Awareness Month too.
Thank you so much for your support.