October Is ADHD Awareness Month
What is ADHD Awareness Month? This is the perfect time to learn more about this mental condition and support those around you who live with it. Whether you know someone with ADHD or live with it yourself, there are many things you should be aware of. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and has three subtypes: Predominantly Inattentive Type, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, and Combined Type. Join us as we dive into a bit more detail below.
What Does Living With ADHD Mean?
Those with ADHD experience an ongoing pattern of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Issues with executive function are typical. This essentially means a challenge with the ability to prioritize tasks by order of urgency and then to follow through on completing them. Symptoms often manifest in early childhood but can go undiagnosed until later in life. Many experts in the field often compare ADHD vs. what was historically referred to as “normal” brains. They are now known as neurodivergent and neurotypical brains.
How Can You Support Someone With ADHD?
If you know someone living with ADHD, there are many ways to support them. First, research the disorder, so you understand how it affects your loved one’s daily routine and mental state. Second, be patient when they ask for help since tasks like getting ready for work, school, or household tasks every morning may take longer than usual due to their inability to focus on any given task at hand without distraction from others around them.
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The Three Types Of ADHD
ADHD is divided into three categories: Predominantly Inattentive Type, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, and Combined Type. Let’s take a look at each category below.
Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD
This category was formerly called ADD. Those who live with Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD may struggle to focus on tasks or instructions. As a result, they may become distracted very easily and forget daily activities like work tasks, housework, etc. Symptoms include: losing things frequently, becoming bored quickly in any given situation, daydreaming excessively, making careless mistakes when doing schoolwork, work, errands, or things around the house.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD
People who live with Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD may constantly be moving and fidgeting. Symptoms include: talking excessively; difficulty engaging in quiet activities or listening to directions, blurting out inappropriate comments/jokes, interrupting others when they speak, having trouble sitting still during meals or other tasks requiring them to sit for extended periods of time.
Combined Type ADHD
The Combined Type is if both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms are present. Symptoms include: feeling restless even when not moving; excessive talking or interrupting others while they speak; difficulty working quietly, playing quietly, etc.; trouble sitting still during meals at restaurants with friends/family members; forgetting to complete daily tasks.
Common Misconceptions About ADHD
Here are some common misconceptions about ADHD:
“ADHD is not a real disorder.” – While there is still controversy among the medical community, it’s essential to understand that neurodivergents with ADHD experience ongoing patterns of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, even if not always visible. They may struggle more than others when they appear fine on the outside.
“ADHD is just an excuse to be lazy.” – Like other mental conditions, ADHD can’t always be controlled. While ADHD is experienced differently for every individual who has it, it’s a lifelong condition that, for many, requires daily management and treatment.
“It’s only children who have ADHD.” – While it may look slightly different in childhood versus adulthood, the disorder itself does not go away. It’s a lifelong condition that may require daily management for many individuals.
Awareness Makes It Easier To Support Friends, Loved Ones, Or Yourself
There are many misconceptions about ADHD, but knowing the facts can help support someone living with it. Living with ADHD means different things for each person, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting them. Some people may need a more structured environment, while others thrive in an open space where they have choices about how their day unfolds. You might be able to create a plan that includes accommodations specific to your loved one’s needs if you know what those needs are! We hope this article has been helpful as we take on the topic of ADHD Awareness Month together by helping dispel some myths surrounding the condition and providing tips for working alongside someone who lives with it.