Hey everyone, I’m Angela, my passion is to break the stigma of mental health issues among fellow Christians. I’m here to help you live a life of purpose—in your relationship with God and with one another.
Today we’re going to talk about: Exposing 4 Myths about ADHD.
We’ve all heard someone say: “Ugh, I’m so ADD.” What they usually mean is that they’re forgetful, or scatterbrained, or kind of hyper.
Attention deficit disorder is not something you have for ten minutes when you forget where you parked your car, or didn’t show up for an appointment.
When Michael and I we were 4 years into our marriage we were desperately trying to figure out what he was struggling with. He had been diagnosed with ADHD as a child, so that seemed to be the obvious place to start.
The first thing I did was read the amazing book: You Mean I’m Not Crazy, Lazy, or Stupid by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. http://amzn.to/2w53I2G We wanted some answers. I mistakenly felt like he just didn’t want to grow up, and since I’ve been an adult from the age of 3, this didn’t create marital bliss of anykind.
Michael had trouble:
- Sitting still in a church service. In fact, he would get up 3 or 4 times during the course of a couple hours.
- He had difficulty concentrating or focusing.
- He would blurt out inappropriate comments in social settings. But I’ll give him a partial pass on this because at that time, I was super uptight.
- He didn’t see the long term consequences of his choices.
- The bottom line was that his brain works differently than mine and we were clashing big time.
If you’ve ever wondered what ADHD is all about let me expose some of the cultural myths that keep us from understanding this illness.
Exposing 4 Myths about ADHD:
1. It comes from bad parenting.
I personally take offense at this, because both of my kids have ADD. Knowing their dad has ADD, I prayed everyday while I was pregnant that they wouldn’t struggle with this disorder. I did “all the right things” to give them a great start and hopefully prevent it altogether. I read to them daily. I rarely let them watch TV until they were older and then only 15 minutes at a time. I kept our life organized, simple, and scheduled. You don’t want to know all the things I tried. I wouldn’t change it, because I loved the way I approached parenting, but it didn’t prevent ADD.
2. It isn’t a medical disorder, it’s just an excuse.
ADHD is a condition that inhibits your mental operations and interferes with basic executive functioning skills in the brain. Because of that, it’s classified as a psychiatric disorder. It’s biologically based period. It’s an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain.
3. If you take ADHD medications as a child, you are more likely to abuse drugs.
ADHD medication is NOT a gateway drug. The medications used to treat this disorder have been used for over 50 years. Teens who are treated for ADD are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Obviously, medication is not the only way to treat ADD and I’ll have more on that topic soon.
4. People with ADD can’t be successful and shouldn’t go to college or try to attain high level careers.
This makes me FIRED UP. People with ADD often have above average intelligence. Do you know of anyone more successful than
- Benjamin Franklin
- Abraham Lincoln
They were all thought to have ADD. Today we know that Richard Branson, Dr. Ed Hallowell, and many others who fight this disorder and still represent perseverance, high IQ’s and using their strengths to succeed.
Let’s challenge these myths and believe the truth about who we are. We are made in God’s image. We may live in an imperfect world, but as:
1 Corinthians 12:4 says: God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit.
Question and Action Steps:
What ADHD myths have you heard and how can you debunk them? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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