Imagine being unable to read a paragraph or follow a conversation without your mind wandering.

“Losing track of time is something that you are known for among family and friends, and you can’t seem to meet deadlines despite your best efforts.”

Your tendency to speak without thinking is sometimes harmful. You may interrupt people to make them remember what you are saying.

Imagine if your friends and family told you that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not a real condition.

Stigma is a negative perception of certain characteristics. It can lead to bad consequences. Stigma is a factor in mental health conditions.

There are many misunderstandings about the mental health condition of attention deficit disorder, which leads to stigma.

According to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), these myths include the following:

  • “It isn’t a real disorder.”
  • It only affects children.
  • It only affects boys, or not as severe as girls and women.
  • It is diagnosed too often.
  • Bad parenting leads to problems.
  • People with attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are over-medicated.

Stigma can make living with a disorder difficult. It can be difficult for parents to care for children with attention deficit disorder.

There are challenges in social, job, and school settings due to the stigma of the disease. It may affect how a person with attention deficit disorder views themselves. This is called self-stigma.

ADHD symptoms, such as impulsivity and inattention, affect everyday functioning and interactions with others. According to research from 2019, this means people with ADHD can sometimes be perceived as:

  • impolite.
  • unreliable
  • Is it immature?
  • Weak in character.
  • emotionally chaotic

Stigma can lead people with ADHD and caregivers to avoid seeking care, which means delayed diagnosis and treatment. Untreated ADHD is linked to several negative outcomes, according to a 2015 research review. These include:

  • anxiety
  • Depression.
  • personality disorders
  • low self-esteem.
  • relationship problems
  • job instability
  • Parent-child interactions are problematic.
  • Substance use disorders.
  • Motor vehicle accidents have higher rates.
  • Increased mortality rate

There is a stigma attached to treating attention deficit disorder with medication. People with attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be less likely to seek treatment if they are perceived as being an easy fix.

Stigma in different age groups

People of all ages are affected by the condition. Stigma can affect people at any stage of life.

Adults with attention deficit disorder may be afraid of revealing their diagnosis at work. Children with attention deficit disorder may feel judged by their classmates at school for their behavior, which can be hard to fit in.

Some research suggests children with ADHD are four times more likely to be rejected by their peers compared with neurotypical children. This can happen after even just a few hours of interaction.

In adulthood, different kinds of stigma can make it more challenging to live with ADHD. Participants in a 2018 study reported experiencing effects from:

  • It is stigmatized.
  • Discrimination is anticipated.
  • Public stigma.

“The media covers stories about children with attention deficit disorder in school. This makes the idea that adults don’t experience the effects of ADHD seem more realistic.”

In reality, estimates suggest 50 to 70 percent of children with ADHD will continue to have it in adulthood.

There are challenges for caring for a child with attention deficit disorder. Many caregivers are in this situation.

“It is possible that you have felt scrutinized by other parents, the child’s teachers, and even healthcare professionals. Stigma can affect the decision you make about treatment and care for your child.”

These feelings may be caused by affiliate stigma. Affiliate stigma is a type of It is stigmatized. that affects family members or caregivers of people with a condition, such as ADHD.

Research from 2020 suggested affiliate stigma can:

  • The quality of life is lower.
  • Increase stress.
  • The level of care given to a person with attention deficit disorder.
  • Less cooperation with healthcare professionals will happen.
  • Negative attitudes toward treatment for the disorder.

Education is a powerful tool that can reduce stigma. Research has found that personal contact with people who have ADHD and education about ADHD myths are two effective ways to reduce stigma.

Sharing is a way to help combat the stigma of ADHD.

  • Your own story. If you’re living with ADHD or caring for a child with ADHD, you can raise awareness by sharing your story. Take advantage of opportunities to increase awareness of the condition in your own social network, local school systems and organizations, news outlets, and beyond.
  • Information about treatment. Inform others that medication is not a way to compensate for inadequate parenting or laziness. Instead, it works by correcting ADHD brain chemical differences, and it’s usually effective.
  • New research findings. Sharing information about ADHD research can reduce stigma by demonstrating the medical validity of the condition. For example, a 2017 brain imaging study revealed neurologic differences in boys with ADHD when compared with neurotypical peers. This allowed researchers to identify different subtypes of ADHD in the group.
  • Reputable sources for learning. Organizations, like Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and CHADD, are good places to start for ADHD resources and support.

The stigma of the condition makes it more difficult to live with. Stigma can affect diagnosis and treatment.

Sharing accurate information about the disorder is a good way to reduce stigma. You can help build a bridge between people with and without attention deficit disorder by sharing your own stories or facts from reliable sources.