ADHD is one of the most common mental health problems in America. As many as 11% may have the condition, and there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. Many aspects of ADHD are relatively unknown to the public. With that in mind, here are 21 things you might not have known about this condition.
1. There Are Three Subtypes
The first is the inattentive type.
The inattentive type has trouble paying attention to details or makes thoughtless mistakes on homework or class assignments. They can appear, naturally enough, to be inattentive, unorganized, and disobedient because they are unable to keep their mind on any given person or thing for long. Their mind wanders, so exerting mental effort is difficult.
They will frequently lose their toys or schoolwork, and they will often forget to brush their teeth or make their bed.
The second type is the hyperactive-impulsive type.
Instead of being unable to focus, these children will be unable to sit still. They will fidget or squirm whenever they are forced to remain in one place and often have problems with the volume of their voice. They always want to play and like to yell and scream.
When they’re not on the move, hyperactive types tend to talk entirely too much or give answers before they’ve heard the entire question.
A combined type is a combination of the first two. The most common symptoms include general hyperactivity and inattention in varying amounts.
2. ADHD Is Nearly Always Present in Childhood
ADHD is always a childhood condition, though it often lasts into adulthood. If an adult is diagnosed with ADHD without having been diagnosed as a child, they likely had ADHD for a much longer time – it just hadn’t been diagnosed yet.
The only time this is not the case is when ADHD is caused by a brain injury or disease. This is the only known way to acquire ADHD outside of already having it.
3. There Are Numerous Causes of ADHD
While a number of genes have been linked to ADHD, there is no single gene that will cause it in a child. However, several risk factors have been identified. These include:
- Smoking or drinking during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
- Brain injuries during birth
- Low birth weight
- Lead exposure
Unlike what some common myths would tell you, bad parenting cannot cause ADHD, but certain parenting methods can improve or worsen ADHD symptoms.
Likewise, sugar, television, and social factors do not play any part in the onset of ADHD, but several factors, including those listed, can exacerbate symptoms.