Stigma Surrounding ADHD

Much like many other issues, there are still some stigma when it comes to ADHD. Some may be affected by it than others. However, it is still an ever present issue. There is still quite a bit of stigma and misunderstand surrounding ADHD.

Although it is a topic that I have written about in the past, it is time to take another look at the stigma around ADHD. It is a topic I’ve wanted to take another look at for a while. With October being ADHD Awareness Month, it is a good time to do so.

The Stigma Surrounding ADHD

First off, what is stigma? In an article for, Dr. Nathan Greene writes: “Stigma is a negative stereotype or perception about certain characteristics, often based on misinformation or misunderstanding.” I feel that this is a good way of explaining it.

ADHD is often misunderstood by many. So many people do not have the right information about it and have a negative perception of ADHD. Dr. Greene’s definition of stigma is quite accurate, when talking about this disorder.

Many have some misunderstanding of ADHD. Here are some:

  • ADHD isn’t real.
  • It’s diagnosed to often.
  • It only affects kids.
  • People with ADHD are over-medicated.
  • It is caused by poor parenting.

These are just some of the myths that surround ADHD, which are pretty inaccurate. 

At the end of the day, the fact that many don’t take ADHD seriously and/or have a negative perception of it doesn’t help or do any service to those with ADHD. It impacts those with ADHD, and not necessarily in a good way. 

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The Impact Stigma Has

As I mentioned, the stigma surrounding ADHD can and often does those with the condition. It can certainly have a negative impact on those with ADHD. It can also be difficult for those close to ADHDers, such as parents of young kids diagnosed with ADHD. 

Honestly, this certainly isn’t surprising to me. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

The stigma can cause challenges at school, at work, and in various social settings. It can be difficult to be comfortable talking about our ADHD, as we know that not everyone is understanding and accepting.

Not only that, but it can be easy to self-stigmatize. This is basically when those with ADHD internalize negative stereotypes, comments, etc. When we are so used to hearing these things, it can be so easy to believe them and viewing ourselves in a negative way. 

Stigma can certainly affect our mindset, how we view ourselves, and how we go through life. It can impact different aspects of our lives. 

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How to Fight Stigma

It is certainly important to do something about the stigma surrounding ADHD, mental health, and a variety of other issues. There are certainly things that we can do in order to get rid of stigma.

Although my focus will be the stigma in relation to ADHD, I am sure that some of this can be done for other issues.

One thing that we can do is share our story. If you or your child has ADHD, sharing your story and talking about your experience is a good place to start. It will definitely help bring more awareness to ADHD. You can talk about it with those in your community, or on social media. 

Getting involved in some advocacy groups and taking positive actions is another thing that can definitely help combat stigma. There are several organizations set to up to bring awareness to ADHD and it is possible for many to get involved in those organizations. 

These are just some things that we can do to help bring awareness and the right information about ADHD. There are quite a few things we can do, but these are just some examples. 

Final Thoughts

Sadly, stigma is all to present about so many different issues. ADHD is just one of them. It’s not an easy thing to have to deal with. It can have a negative impact on those with ADHD, as well as parents who have kids with ADHD. 

However, there are certainly things we can do to change them, end the stigma, and make sure to promote the right information. 

Author :


  • It’s an important topic to raise and to fight the stigma against ADHD. Although I don’t have it myself, many of my close friends do. We’ve talked about what it is and means to them. Most of them have managed to use it as a strength, while others seem to hide behind it. Self-stigmatizing it as you mentioned.
    It’s important to be open about it and discuss it, as you mentioned. Share experiences and learn to make it into a strength. Because it is a part of who you are.

    • Very well said. Thanks for sharing this. It is certainly very important to talk about these things and stop stigma around this topic.

  • This is so true. It can be so hard explaining what it’s like to those without it, but also hard for others to recognise any struggles we have, even in small daily tasks!

    • Absolutely. It can difficult explaining it from the neurodiverse side, and to understand if you’re neurotypical.

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