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7 Things You Should Know About ADHD

Whether you have ADHD, or someone you love has ADHD, there are a few things you should know. Understanding and accepting how our brain works is the first step in creating a fulfilling life in which every day is not a struggle. So lets dig into it.

1. There are 3 different types of ADHD

There are three types of ADHD, and while everyone's symptoms can present differently, they will fall under one of these three types.

Hyperactive/Impulsive Type

Hyperactive/Impulsive type ADHD is characterized by... you guessed it, hyperactive and/or impulsive behaviors. People with this type of ADHD tend to feel the constant need to move. They are often fidgety and restless. Girls and women (in particular) are considered "chatty". They are impulsive with money, struggle to wait their turn, and interrupt constantly. *or as I call it, participate in competitive talking*.

This type is the least common. To be diagnosed with hyperactive type ADHD, you show the symptoms of hyperactive ADHD without any of the symptoms of inattentive type ADHD.

Inattentive Type

People diagnosed with this type of ADHD really struggle with paying attention. They make often make "silly" mistakes, are easily distracted, often lose things, and struggle to organize tasks and activities.

Combined Type

And combined type is a combination of the other two ADHD types. This is the most commonly diagnosed type of ADHD. And the symptoms fall under both Hyperactive/Impulsive and Inattentive.

2. ADHD doesn't impact intelligence

While ADHD is often diagnosed along with learning disabilities, mental illnesses, addiction, and a slew of other things *worthy of a blog post on its own*, ADHD does not actually impact your intelligence. There are many successful, intelligent people out there with ADHD such as: Albert Einstein, Emma Watson, Leonardo Da Vinci, JFK, Bill Gates, and so many more. ADHD can and does create hurdles, BUT it comes with its perks too. And those perks can be a sort of super power if utilized correctly.

3. ADHD changes through the lifespan

Your brain changes throughout your life, and this is why your ADHD symptoms will also change. Things like neuroplasticity, synaptic pruning, and general life experiences all impact how your ADHD shows up.

I was chatty as a child but didn't struggle in school. As a teenager I was emotional and impulsive and struggled in school, but not because school was hard. It was because I was impulsive and made choices like skipping class and hanging out with the wrong crowd. In my early 20's I really felt the struggle. Holding a job was difficult. Relationships were extremely rocky. I just couldn't figure out how to adult. Now, in my 30's my symptoms are more obvious but they are also easier to mange. Because I am not driven by hormones and the resulting emotions, my symptoms fall more under inattentive type then they used to. We are always growing and changing. And so is our ADHD.

4. You can't "grow out of" ADHD

It was a common misconception that children diagnosed with ADHD would grow out of that ADHD as they went into adulthood. As outlined above, your ADHD doesn't go away, it just changes. An ADHD child who bounces of the walls may grow into and ADHD adult who struggles with anxiety. Thankfully there is more resources and research out there now to support us adults with ADHD.

5. We don't know what causes ADHD

While we know that ADHD has a pretty strong genetic link, we don't really know the underlying cause of ADHD. There are a lot of great theories and ideas about where ADHD came from. But honestly, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to understanding our brain.

So parents, this is your que to stop blaming yourself :)

6. Medication doesn't "fix" ADHD

If I could highlight anything from this list, it would be this point. MEDICATION DOES NOT FIX ADHD. Medication is a beautiful tool that can really improve quality of life for those of us with ADHD. I am personally a big fan. BUT, and that's a big but, it is not a cure all, it is not a fix. ADHD can not be managed entirely with pharmaceuticals. At risk of sounding cliché, that is like trying to fix a bullet wound with a band aid. But there is hope!

7. There is a "Gold Standard" treatment for ADHD

And here comes the hope. There is a gold standard when it comes to ADHD management. And this is called "Multimodal Therapy" or MMT. The goal of multimodal therapy is to create a effective, individualized, and holistic treatment for clients. Multimodal therapy involves a slew of practitioners to address the whole person, including: psychologists, therapists, occupational therapists, education, and ADHD coaches.

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