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Whether you have recently been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, were diagnosed long ago or you are the parent, spouse or friend of an ADDer, you have probably heard a few funny or wacky myths about ADDer signs, symptoms, behaviors and treatments. In my own experience, before my oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD in 1995, I had heard many humorous misconceptions and idea's about ADHD.

From the time my son was two to four years old, I did not understand why my little boy was much more active, misbehaved, destructive and always getting into mischief compared to my nephews, nieces and children his own age? While boys and girls may behave totally different, I understood that boys usually play more rough than girls.

Yet, I was mystified why my son did not get along nicely with other children, why he could not keep still for one second, why he did not listen to me or his father, why he was so aggressive towards children and pets or why he was literally bouncing off the walls 24/7?

Once, during a professional psychiatric evaluation of my son, I was told that my son could NOT have ADHD because he was not "hanging off of the ceiling fan or climbing on top of my refrigerator." (Bizarre & hysterical idea, but quite an inaccurate myth.)

Coincidentally, less than one year later, my son was evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD by another professional, but he never attempted to hang off of the ceiling fan or climb on top of our refrigerator. Not that this radical behavior would never happen to an ADDer because anything is possible! However, this is most certainly not the necessary criteria to consider to make a correct diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.

Another strange myth that I heard was that individuals diagnosed with ADD/ADHD could NOT possibly be able to read a book, due to their lack of attention, impulsive behavior or lack of follow through.

I do understand this wacky misconception of assuming that the average ADDer may not concentrate long enough to complete reading an entire book, may get easily distracted, may find reading to be more of a hassle or boring, rather than fun or enjoyable. Truth be told, some ADDers are able to successfully read a book from start to finish without any complications and enjoy every minute of it! Not all ADDers struggle with reading books, magazines or newspapers.

As an ADDer, I can vouch that I enjoy reading books, such as suspense, romance, auto-biographies & motivational books. I am an avid reader who is able to pay attention long enough to read from start to finish. As far as school or college books, that is an entirely different story! Those books are boring, time consuming and rather difficult for me to get through. Anyone else feel the same way?

Have you encountered any wacky, comical or outrageous myths or misconceptions about ADD/ADHD? If so, please be sure to add them to this post!


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Agreed on the rewinding thing.  That might explain why I watch DVD/Blu-ray more often than I watch TV (since I don't have a DVR).   It is also the reason for my slow reading speed despite all the reading I did when I was younger.  I'm always going back over the line or paragraph I just read because I think I missed something.

I do that a lot too (with movies/shows as well as reading material). Sometimes it's just to try to catch some little thing like "what does it say on that person's shirt?" or "what is that thing in the corner?". Sometimes it's just because I want to see/read the same thing again though...

I re-read lines and paragraphs too. There are times that I wish all books had an index so that I could easily find stuff I've forgotten. So I'll be reading a novel and I forget the relationship of one character to another and I have to go back and find where the character was first introduced.

With movies- even movies I've seen- I want to not miss anything- so I always pause if I want to grab something from the kitchen or whatever.

When I used to have TV (have no cable or anything- can't get reception in my area without it) I could tend to hyper-focus and keep watching. Actually if I'm visiting somewhere where there's a TV on it just sucks me in; so I'm better off without it. I always wonder how "normal" people can watch TV and accomplish anything else!

I think audio & video helps ADDers retain the information. Plus, it's far more enjoyable & stimulating, which is what we yearn for!

The key to maintaining our attention for reading is that we must enjoy the topic. If not, it's boring & not stimulating, which means the book goes unread or we struggle through it.

exactly so!

"As an ADDer, I can vouch that I enjoy reading books, such as suspense, romance, auto-biographies & motivational books. I am an avid reader who is able to pay attention long enough to read from start to finish. ...Anyone else feel the same way?"


I'm new here and have not been diagnosed with ADD but to be honest I do have a hard time getting through any book though I do enjoy reading when I actually do it (most days I only read news articles on politics and current events, wiki pages, things like that).

What usually happens is I get distracted by my own thoughts...I'm not a particularly hyper person and tend to be seen by others as lethargic if anything but I do tend to "pace" a lot and have a hard time staying seated when home alone and it's kind of hard to read while pacing.

What usually happens is I will find a book that seems interesting and if it captures my attention and I really enjoy the material I can read for hours but some days I may have a hard time concentrating, I may put the book down and not pick it back up. As days go by I think about it less and less. Sometimes I will end up starting the same book over from the beginning months later (been so long I will have forgotten much of what was read).

I did read the Catcher In the Rye about a year back (wonderful book) but I think part of the reason I was able to read it (first novel I've read in many, many years though I hate to admit that, I have read some non-fiction books in the interval though not all in their entirety) is because it was pretty short, also I just really enjoyed it all the way through. Even still I think I read the first part, quit reading it and then picked it up again months later reading a little at a time for a couple of weeks.

I too have a much harder time reading something I find dry or uninteresting so I understand what you mean there...

Anyways I apologize for rambling. I'm new here and just trying to figure things out...

I am a semi-avid reader. I completely agree with your paragraph about reading books. What I find difficult is when a book wants you to complete some action; this is common in self-help and motivational books. I just spoke with a woman who wants to start a 3 person ADD support group and she spoke about using some kind of curriculum... I'm hoping that if it is  "fill-in-the-blank," "goal-setting," or similar format, that being in a group would help me to keep up with it.

I think that with books I get into hyper-focus easily if it's a book I enjoy. I'll say to myself 'just til the end of this chapter,' but I end up reading until I'm nodding off. But when it's something I'm not interested in I procrastinate reading.

It's ironic when I think about it, but several years ago I was seeing a Counselor and she had brought up the possibility of me having ADHD, but one of her assignments was to read a incredibly dry, boring book. It was probably the only book she had had me read that I actually finished and I sort of joked with her that I couldn't have ADHD or I couldn't have finished that book. Wish I hadn't discounted it back then. It wasn't until several years later that, as I was reading up on it, had taken several "self-tests," and subsequently had a different counselor, that I got a formal diagnosis. So I had even believed some gross generalization about it myself.

I guess misconceptions about a lot of things abound: a friend of mine was coming along with me to another friend's house for dinner- I wanted to let my friend know that my other friend had Asperger's (which is in the Autism spectrum but varies greatly in severity from one person to another)- Well, friend #1 seemed to think that all "Aspies" were geniuses...I guess she had in mind "Rainman" or something- But I digress.

A family member (Who is also a psychology professional) recently said that she couldn't believe I was diagnosed with ADHD, because I was not hyper all the time and something else must be wrong with me because at family gatherings i am "Unable to have a good time."

Despite her less than accurate ideas of what ADHD is (Which i don't understand at all since she has a psychology degree) I have several projects going at a time: I'm working on a 3d animation, a 2d animation, a second book in a series of novels (Yes, I wrote a novel and finished it) some digital paintings...etc.

I don't enjoy gatherings because i have 50 things going in my head at any given time and a group of people all talking over each other just adds to the noise.

May I resspectfully suggest a glimpse at the section on ADHD on the website <>? Life in general is complicated enough and to have the ADHD-type brain (ADHD is not a 'diagnosis', more a 'recognition' of having a slightly different type of brain, common ot one in ten or so persons world wide) is an extra mixed blessing (not always bad; it's certainly not a 'disorder').  The reason ADHD is mixed up in a PTSD website is that to have an ADHD-type brain is to have an extra risk factor for getting PTSD (of any severity) in response to any acutely-frightening experience (of alsmost any severity).  Getting PTSD (of any severity) readily  exacerbates ADHD-related difficulties, so best get rid of the PTSD (easy enough to do, which is what the website is mostly about).

like over stimulation and distraction?

i think these comments about reading are right on target, especially dana's.

we can hyper focus on things that interest us (or that are novel, or challenging or have a heavy immeditae deadline), but otherwise - our focus center is not turned.  then if its something we really need to do, we need to have sstrategies to turn on our attention center.


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