ADHD explained for the non-medical person

Have you ever heard someone say “that child does not have ADHD, he just has bad parents” or “that person does not have ADHD, they are just unorganized”. Wake up to modern medicine people, because nearly every mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organization in the United States long ago concluded that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a real, brain-based medical disorder. In fact  ADHD is one of the most common brain function disorders, that affects emotion, learning, and memory. Recent data indicates that up to 8-10% of school age children “pass the test” for having ADHD.

Terms Glossary
Click here for 10 things not to say to someone with ADHD

There are Three Types of ADHD

  1. Inattentive – the person shows a lack of focus in many areas but does not have problems with impulsivity or hyperactivity.  This used to be called ADD.
  2. Hyperactivity – the person doesn’t have a problem focusing, but has issues with impulse control.
  3. Combined – this is the most common type. The person struggles with paying attention as well as controlling behavior.
People who have symptoms of inattention may:
  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  • Have trouble completing or turning in assignments, often losing things and may need help to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions
People who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
  • Fidget, tap on things or squirm
  • Talk non-stop
  • Dash around, and touch things for no reason
  • Have trouble sitting still during a movie
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
People who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments
  • Show their emotions without restraint
  • Act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting in line
  • Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.
ADD/ADHD Treatments

There are several types of available treatments. They focus on reducing the symptoms of ADHD and improving functioning. Treatments include medication, various types of psychotherapy, education (training) or a combination of treatments.

Pharmacological – studies show that this is the preferred treatment of choice for ADHD. Focus is on improving attention and behavioral regulation.

Behavioral Therapy  – focus is on teaching. The strategies are designed to improve the frequency and duration of positive, on-task behaviors. A reinforcement schedule is established. Finally, you modify the environment to focus of the person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Treatment option
Check out this article on non-drug help for ADHD

People with ADHD need guidance and understanding from their work and peer group to reach their full potential and to succeed in life. Before someone is diagnosed, frustration, blame, and anger may have built up within a family. Mental health professionals can educate people about ADHD treatment and how it impacts a family.

Important Last note: ADHD is NOT caused by moral failure, poor parenting, family problems, poor teachers, too much TV, food allergies, or excess sugar. Instead, research shows that ADHD is both highly genetic (with the majority of ADHD cases having a genetic component), and a brain-based disorder (with the symptoms of ADHD linked to many specific brain areas). Just because “when I was a child, folks didn’t have an ADHD excuse, we just gave people more disciple, not medication”. I can also hear “I can’t believe these parents today, giving ‘dem little children medication – that’s disgusting and lazy”.  Well that’s fine to have a different opinion. Just remember that is was not long ago, that someone who was mentally ill was treated by the following methods.

  • Insulin-induced comas
  • Lobotomies
  • Malarial infections
  • Electroshock therapy

Today, that same person might be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, treated with medication and live a long happy life!
Our 800RecoveryHub site offers free and confidential help

19 thoughts on “ADHD explained for the non-medical person

  1. Reblogged this on innerdragon and commented:
    I did not know ADD had become “Inattentive ADHD”. If you’d like a list that describes me 100%, read below. Or above. Or wherever the reblog shows up. Reblogging from 800recoveryhubblog.


  2. I personally think the jury is still out on ADHD. I think what you have described as the 3 types are pretty common in all people. My question is, at what point do these ‘symptom’s’ become a medical issue? And, if said medical issue is only defined by what is considered to be the social norm, how is ADHD really a medical condition, i would classify it as more of a social expectation not being met. Not something one would require treatment for.

    Sorry, just adding my thoughts.


      1. So u get to deal with the good part of the day with adhd kids on the correct meds you get the good functioning part of the day not after noon hours? What i was talking about 24/7


  3. Throughout the years, I have worked many businesses. I have helped business owners improve relations with employees, increase productivity, sales, and profits. For a particular case, the owner had combined ADHD; paying attention and behavior control. I thought it interesting how many of the symptoms described were the challenges that he had in business. His father was not understanding in this regard. Thank you for a great post. Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Liked your comment people with ADHD need guidance and understanding…..
    Sometimes just a little educated support can make a huge difference. We don’t always have to ‘fix’ people, just support them to make it through the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great read! I battle this constantly, which further explains my alcoholism. I am making a appt with a nutritionist to help me develop a plan to achieve restoration of chemical imbalances and plan to bring up ADHD as well. Of course, exercise will play a major roll as well. I’ll chime back in with any news. At 53, it seems like a healthy alternative

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh boy. I have the same combination. I have been treating my alcoholism and ADHD for about 19 years now. Exercise does help. Up until recently, I did not believe that nutrition, had a place in treating these disorders. Now, I am more open-minded and I have been adjusting my diet. It is helpful. I look forward to hearing more from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve ran into a lot of skeptics but I very much believe ADHD is real. Mine is fairly severe and impacts my ability to function like other people. I’m off “listening to my head” all the time, have major issues completing tasks and organizing, have really bad impulse control, can’t focus on much without my mind wandering off, forgetting so many things, talking too much (I call it high speed rambling lol) and on and on.

    I cope with it better now than I ever have, thanks to learning so much about it. There are a lot of little tricks and things to use that help me get through each day. Strattera has also helped with certain parts of it.

    I feel for people who have it yet have people tell them it isn’t real. I don’t think others realize how damaging that can be. Growing up it caused severe issues in school and instead of looking into what was wrong, I was blamed, told I just wasn’t trying or was acting up, that if I just applied myself more… They didn’t realize I was trying as hard as I could. Years of that hit me very hard in the confidence department, to the point I thought I was stupid. To this day I’m still working on changing that kind of self talk around.

    I get that some are skeptical, but they need to be aware that if someone is struggling and you criticize them about it, what it can do in the long term. Especially when you hear it for years. It’s hard enough to try and fit in when something isn’t right, kids and adults with ADHD need all the support they can get.

    I like the articles on here, definitely following you 😀


  7. I’m so reposting this! And yes many still call adhd the need a belt syndrome. If the patents would discipline their kids blah blah..Which sometimes is needed with some kids. My ex husband kept saying something is wrong with me. After my divorce I finally saw a doctor that diagnosed me with adult ADD. Every since then my life is so much easier to work around now because I finally understand why I do the things I do. It’s real really real!


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