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Picture attempting to concentrate on a task but finding your thoughts drifting away in countless directions, like a butterfly in a Columbus garden darting around with no specific route. This is the daily struggle for individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But what exactly is ADHD, and perhaps also, what isn’t it? In a world where distractions abound, and multitasking is glorified, understanding the nuances of this complex neurodevelopmental disorder becomes increasingly vital. So, let’s unravel some of the mysteries of ADHD and debunk common misconceptions surrounding it. Through this exploration, we aim to shed light on what truly sets ADHD apart from the myriad distractions that clutter our modern lives.

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To qualify for ADHD, it’s important to know there are three different types: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or a combination of the two. It’s inattentive if at least six symptoms from the following list have been present for at least six months, exceeding the expected developmental level and causing significant disruption in social, academic, and occupational functioning. 

  • Repeatedly overlooks important details or commits errors in school assignments, job tasks, or various activities.
  • Often needs help to maintain focus during tasks or play activities, as they find it challenging to stay engaged during speeches, conversations, or extended reading periods.
  • Frequently appear distracted and inattentive when directly addressed, their mind seemingly preoccupied even without apparent distractions.
  • Oftentimes needs help to complete tasks and tends to get distracted easily, leading to unfinished schoolwork, chores, or work responsibilities.
  • Continually struggles with getting things in order, like keeping tasks in line and belongings tidy, messy work, or missing deadlines due to poor time management.
  • Does not enjoy or want to do tasks that require a lot of thinking (like schoolwork or homework; for older teens and grown-ups, things like writing reports, filling out forms, or reading long papers).
  • Frequently misplaces important items needed for various tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pens, books, tools, wallets, keys, documents, glasses, and phones.
  • Gets easily sidetracked by things that don’t really matter (for older teens and grown-ups, this might mean thinking about unrelated stuff).
  • Tends to frequently forget things during everyday tasks like doing chores, running errands, returning calls, paying bills, or keeping appointments. 

It’s hyperactive/impulsive if at least six symptoms from the list below have been going on for over six months, affecting social and work/school activities more than expected for someone’s age. Also, the signs aren’t just because of being stubborn, rebellious, angry, or not understanding the tasks. People 17 and older need to have at least five symptoms.

  • Frequently moves hands or feet restlessly or wiggles around in a chair.
  • Often gets up from their seat in situations where staying seated is usual, such as leaving their spot in the classroom, at work, or in other settings that call for staying put.
  • Continually moves around or climbs in places where it’s not suitable (older individuals may feel restless).
  • Repeatedly finds it hard to participate in recreational activities without making noise.
  • Constantly moves around as if running off a motor. Can’t sit still for long periods, like in restaurants or meetings, and others might find them restless or hard to keep up with.
  • Talks a lot.
  • Frequently interrupts by jumping in with an answer before the question is finished (like finishing others’ sentences; struggles to wait for their turn to speak).
  • Often struggles with waiting in line and taking turns.
  • Continually interrupts or disrupts others like jumping into conversations, games, or activities; might use someone else’s belongings without asking; for older folks, could take over or interrupt what others are doing).

It’s Combined ADHD if the individual meets the inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive criteria, and it’s important to note that for all types, symptoms must have shown up before the age of 12 and be noticeable in different places like home, school, or work, with friends or family, and during other activities. These symptoms should clearly disrupt daily life and not be part of schizophrenia or another mental disorder.

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To begin, coffee can be a sort of litmus test because if someone has ADHD, the brain is wired a lot of the time to use stimulants as more of a downer, unlike those who do not have ADHD and get an upper effect from it.

When it comes to children, one common misconception about ADHD is that it is simply a lack of discipline or laziness. In actuality, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the brain’s ability to focus, organize, and control impulses. It is not a character trait but an actual medical condition that requires understanding and support.

ADHD should not be dismissed as just a phase or something kids will outgrow. It requires proper diagnosis, management strategies, and support from parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals to help children with ADHD thrive academically and socially.

It’s crucial to dismantle the misconceptions surrounding ADHD in adults, as it often manifests differently than in children. Contrary to popular belief, ADHD is not just about being hyperactive or easily distracted. In adults, it can manifest as chronic disorganization, difficulty following through on tasks, and struggles with time management. It’s not simply a lack of focus but a complex cognitive condition that impacts daily life in various ways.

The idea that only hyperactive boys have ADHD perpetuates the misconception that it doesn’t affect girls. In reality, females with ADHD may have internalized symptoms like low self-esteem, chronic underachievement, and anxiety as ADHD in females often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to misconceptions about how it presents since it can come off as being labeled easily distracted, forgetful, disorganized, and prone to emotional dysregulation.


As CHADD states on its website, “Medication does not cure ADHD; when effective, it eases ADHD symptoms during the time it is active.” Medication has undergone significant changes in its impact on individuals, making it a more viable option, even if not always the first choice. With advancements in pharmaceutical research, medications have been developed that are more tailored to individual needs and sensitivities. These newer formulations aim to minimize unwanted side effects while maximizing the positive impact on cognitive function and behavior. Just be sure to discuss possible side effects and risks with your healthcare provider. 

In addition to traditional medications like stimulants and non-stimulants, some individuals with ADHD have found success with natural treatments and remedies like specific diets low in processed foods and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help alleviate symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. 

Therapy can also be a powerful tool in managing ADHD symptoms, as it provides individuals with strategies to cope with their challenges. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, helps individuals identify negative thought patterns and develop skills to modify them. This can lead to improved emotional regulation and better impulse control. One key aspect of treating ADHD with therapy is creating a structured environment that supports the individual’s ability to focus and stay organized. By implementing routines and schedules, individuals with ADHD can better manage their time and tasks. Another important strategy is setting clear goals and breaking them down into smaller steps, which can help reduce feelings of overwhelm often experienced by those with ADHD. Overall, therapy offers a holistic approach to managing ADHD by addressing both the psychological and behavioral aspects of the condition.

Overall, exploring a combination of treatments tailored to individual needs can be key in effectively managing ADHD symptoms and improving one’s quality of life.

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Hopefully, it makes more sense how ADHD as a neurodevelopmental condition impacts individuals in Columbus of all ages, manifesting in symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It’s crucial to understand that ADHD is not a reflection of laziness or lack of discipline but rather a multifaceted disorder rooted in biology. Contrary to common beliefs, individuals with ADHD can achieve success and satisfaction with appropriate support and interventions. Treatment approaches for ADHD encompass medication, therapy, behavioral strategies, and lifestyle adjustments. We believe that enhancing awareness and comprehension of ADHD in Columbus is essential to combat stigma and guarantee that affected individuals receive the necessary assistance to flourish.


Sometimes, doing everything we can isn’t enough to combat the effects of ADHD, but a trained mental health therapist can help. You can take the first step to feeling like the more fulfilled you by contacting us for an appointment. Your counseling journey with Blue Boat Counseling begins with these easy steps:

  1. Get in touch with us by clicking the scheduling button below
  2. Meet with one of our highly skilled counselors
  3. Start on your path to improved mental health and feeling more like you!


Our therapists offer many mental health services to help a variety of needs. In addition to treating all that can come with ADHD, we also offer therapy for teens, families, couples, veterans as well as treatment for depression, anxiety, and trauma. Online therapy is also an option for those living in the state of Ohio. Contact us to get scheduled for an appointment and check out our blog for more information on mental health.