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5 Debunked Causes Of ADHD We Can Now Laugh At


This meal did not cause my ADHD
This meal did not cause my ADHD

There was a time when there existed people who disbelieved in the existence of ADHD. I can hear you gasping as you ask incredulously “When?”

Prepare yourselves for a shock, the time … is now. There are still people out there who believe that ADHD does not exist. But that time is fast approaching its end. The proof may never be clear enough for the average person on the street to understand, but its wide spread acceptance by the medical community heralds the end of the time of doubt.

You see, genes have been isolated, risks calculated, detriments catalogued, impairments noted, deficits evidenced. Conclusion? There is a psychological disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

So now we take a break … right?

There seems nothing left to do now but to sit back and say “I told you so.”

Sadly, this is not the case. While ADHD exists, and its existence is now a proven fact, it is still greatly misunderstood. The actual mechanics of this disorder are still being held secret by mother nature. And since ADHD is such a mystery, there’s room, sadly, for controversy and doubt.

So while we struggle with challenges that repeat daily, it’s good for us to know some truths. And knowing what is false is as educational as knowing what is true.

Here now, are five defunct causes of ADHD, theories that no longer hold the waters of proof. They would be amusing, if it weren’t such a short time since these theories were espoused as truths.

The big five:

  1. ADHD is caused by problems in the home. I have no doubt that this was an easy conclusion to come to. Enough ADHD in a home will cause problems.
  2. ADHD is caused by to much TV and/or video games. This one is a bit more of a stretch to see the connection, but it exists. People without ADHD have no idea what it’s like to lack focus, no idea what it is like to have our focus held. Hyperfocus, or perseverance as Dr. Russel Barkley calls it, is addictive, it’s experiencing the closest thing to persistent focus that we may ever know.
    But again, the claimed cause is actually the effect. ADHD isn’t caused by excessive screen time, ADHD causes excessive screen time.
  3. ADHD is caused by poor diet. Here are some facts about food. Some foods contain stimulants, some are higher in carbohydrates, some are higher in proteins. All these things affect the brain, and the ADHD brain is no exception. On the contrary, the ADHD brain may be more susceptible. So, observing changes from an altered diet does not surprise.
    Observing changes in the behaviour of an electric motor when you change the electrical current does not prove that the electrical current causes the motor to be a motor.
  4. ADHD is caused by lack of love and attention. Here I offer my personal experience. I suffered no lack of love or attention as a child, and I have ADHD. Maybe I’m the wrong person to address this topic, but maybe I’m the right one. Trust me when I say that lack of love has no bearing on the existence of ADHD.
  5. ADHD is caused by teacher/school intolerance. This is the age old lie that educators seek diagnosis of children in order to have them drugged and rendered more manageable. Not every teacher is a good teacher. Yet not every teacher is a bad teacher. If it were true that most were using this tactic to facilitate a calm and quiet classroom, others would be blowing the whistle. I believe that this is another example of the effect being mistaken for the cause. I’m sure the resultant quiet classroom is a welcome occurrence and is most conducive to the educational process. That was the reason for the diagnosis and the resultant therapies used to treat ADHD, but those benefits were primarily for the student who received the diagnosis and treatment, the fact that the teacher might become more effective in the classroom is just a happy coincidence.

So remember, don’t be to hasty to accept a statement of cause as fact when it comes to ADHD. The truth is on its way.

In the interim, are there any other so called causes of ADHD you’ve come across that we need to address here?

5 Debunked Causes Of ADHD We Can Now Laugh At

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). 5 Debunked Causes Of ADHD We Can Now Laugh At. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Apr 2013
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