ADHD is a mental condition that is most commonly seen in children. An estimated 6.4 million American children ages 4 to 17 live with such conditions. Despite this, many people still have misconceptions about the disorder.
Although symptoms of the disease were discussed in the early 1900s, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was not used in medical literature until the 1980s. In the past, the diagnosis was often linked to the child’s family history of psychiatric problems or the child’s parents’ inadequacies as parental figures. A few of these preconceptions are strangely persistent even now.
In recent decades, there has been a lot of misinformation concerning ADHD and its causes, diagnosis, and treatment. These myths and lack of knowledge about mental illness keep people from getting treatment. By reading this article, you’ve already taken steps to dispel the myths and beat the stereotypes.
ADHD Medication Misconceptions
Whenever a child is diagnosed with ADHD, parents often worry about which medication is best for their children. There are various treatment methods available, and which one is appropriate for a particular child and family will depend on the circumstances. It is essential to inform oneself about ADHD medications’ myths to identify the best solutions.
Myth 1: ADHD medications act as a “sedative.”
It is commonly believed that medications for ADHD treatment are nothing more than a chemical tranquilizer designed to make the child’s conduct less annoying or bothersome. This is not true.
The reality is that most ADHD treatments are stimulants. They excite rather than anesthetize the brain. ADHD drugs boost brain functioning by enhancing the speed at which dopamine impulses go through the brain, which results in an improved capacity to focus and control one’s behavior.
In addition, they enhance the brain’s ability to process information. They were overall making ADHD individuals taking medication perform better.
Myth 2: It is irrelevant how the medication is taken if your doctor prescribes it.
Medications the doctor prescribed can help; it is crucial, however, that you take the prescription exactly as prescribed. Also, immediately inform your doctor of everything occurring with your child.
For example, vyvanse, is an FDA-approved drug to treat ADHD and is very effective for impulse control. You have to take vyvanse as prescribed by your doctor and follow the medication label instructions exactly.
Your dosage may be adjusted by your doctor from time to time depending on the circumstances. However, you should not take more than the recommended dose or take it for a longer time than recommended.
Myth 3: Drug and alcohol misuse are side effects of ADHD medication.
Specific ADHD treatments indeed use the same ingredients found in street narcotics such as amphetamine. However, there is a considerable difference between these prescriptions and psychoactive drugs. While injecting or snorting illegal drugs can lead to dependence and addiction, taking medication prescribed by a doctor does not.
Treatment for ADHD, according to a Massachusetts General Hospital study, reduced drug use by 84%. Intuitively, they make sense as these medications alleviate the condition’s symptoms that lead to drug usage.
People with ADHD who behave without thinking, such as those with impulsivity, are far more prone to use drugs than those with ADHD who have symptoms that may be treated with medication.
Myth 4: Medication for ADHD causes anomalies in the brain.
People with ADHD exhibit structural and functional abnormalities in their brains. Critics of ADHD say that the drugs used to treat ADHD are to blame for these neurological issues. ADHD patients who have never been medicated have been shown to have anomalies in their brains.
Brain anomalies in ADHD patients who had never been treated for their condition were discovered by researchers at the US National Institutes of Mental Health. Some areas of ADHD sufferers’ brains were shown to be underactive. Because the patients had never taken medication, the findings could not result.
Many brain imaging studies have found that the abnormalities identified in ADHD patients are not caused by the drugs used to treat the disorder.
Myth 5: Medications can make you smarter.
It is true that certain medicines, such as Vyvanse, can help you focus, but they won’t help you learn better or raise your GPA. Some even abuse the substance to boost their cognitive abilities, leading to addiction and abnormalities.
Throughout a lifetime, learning develops neural pathways through repetition and practice. Prescription stimulant abuse, for example, is a shortcut that does not engage the brain. Stimulant use without a medical justification can interfere with brain function. When used incorrectly or excessively, these drugs can lead to mood changes and sleep deprivation, as well as raise your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Break The Stigma!
It is essential to know that medication only alleviates the symptoms and does not cure ADHD. Taking medicines for ADHD allows the person to temporarily manage their symptoms and benefit from the programs and education that are being provided. Moreover, it is best treated with medication combined with behavioral therapy.
Many older adults and teens can plan their lives and adopt tactics that allow them to skip medical care, but a large percentage maintain various forms of treatment and support throughout their lives. As they age, they may or may not need to continue taking medication or other therapies for ADHD, depending on the conditions and demands they face.