21 Things People With ADHD Want You To Know

1. First of all, ADHD is a legitimate neurobehavioral disorder — it’s not just feeling distracted and disorganized.

“ADHD is a bonafide neurological disorder recognized by the DSM and countless major institutions, and backed up with years of research,” says Kevin Murphy, Ph.D, President of the Adult ADHD Clinic of Central Massachusetts. Many people still struggle and blame themselves for what they think is a defect in character, he says, when in reality it’s a very treatable disorder.

2. The brain of someone with ADHD is literally different.

The frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive functioning, is actually wired differently in individuals with ADHD. “There is under-activity due to decreased blood flow, decreased glucose metabolism (a measure of brain activity), and lower levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine,” says Murphy. He describes it as having a frontal cortex that, at baseline, is running on fumes instead of gasoline.

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