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ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a term frequently tossed around in conversation. While in recent years we have come to understand ADHD in new ways, there are many myths out there today on the topic. A recent article on Bustle.com tackled the topic and set out to clarify the “truth”:

1. ADHD Can Occur In Adults As Well As Children

ADHD is often seen as a disorder for children — but it can also occur in adults. Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, explains the Mayo Clinic, has a wide variety of emotional and cognitive symptoms, including “impulsiveness, disorganization and problems prioritizing, poor time management skills, problems focusing on a task,” mood swings and frequent frustration. If you experience all of these and also find it very difficult to follow through and complete tasks, it’s possible you might have adult ADHD.

2. It Creates Hyperfocus

There’s an interesting aspect to ADHD in adults: hyperfocus. “According to Pepperdine University, some people with ADHD may become hyperfocused. This makes them so intently focused on a task that they may not even notice the world around them,” notes Healthline. “The benefit to this is when given an assignment, a person with ADHD may work at it until its completion without breaking concentration.” Jenara Nerenberg observed for The Cut in 2016 that this can look like “flow”, or being in the groove with a particular task, but it’s actually a feature of the neurocognitive elements of ADHD.

3. It’s Possible Leonardo Da Vinci Had ADHD

A new study from King’s College London has suggested that Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous productivity and tendency to leave projects unfinished may be explained by adult ADHD. “The story of Da Vinci is one of a paradox—a great mind that has compassed the wonders of anatomy, natural philosophy and art, but also failed to complete so many projects,” the scientists noted. They argue that evidence from Leonardo’s life, including “difficulties with procrastination and time management” and his easily frustrated temperament, suggest he might have had ADHD. It’s impossible to prove, of course, but it’s a fascinating hypothesis.

4. ADHD Can Present Very Differently In Girls & Women

The majority of ADHD diagnoses in children tend to be in boys, but research now confirms that girls get ADHD too, and simply present their symptoms in a different way. “It is thought that girls may be underrepresented in referrals to ADHD services and ADHD can go unrecognised [sic] in girls. There are several possible reasons for why this might be,” notes Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. “One theory is that girls tend to present with more inattentive symptoms than hyperactivity (although not always the case) and therefore are not noticed or seen as a problem.” Girls’ symptoms tend to be more ‘inward’ and relate to emotional distress and anger, which means they can be more easily missed.

5. ADHD Comprises Three Types

ADHD actually is comprised of three types. The predominantly inattentive type means that people can be very easily distracted, don’t appear to follow instructions, can’t pay attention and are seriously forgetful, while the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type fidgets, is restless, can’t do anything quietly. talks a lot, is incredibly impatient, and acts “as if driven by a motor”, according to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The third type is a combination of these two.

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