Despite decades of research, the media and internet continue to circulate myths, fallacies, and blatant lies about ADHD. This information War on ADHD stigmatizes affected people, reduces the credibility of providers, and delays or prevents access to treatment. In recent years, these problems have worsened with the ascendancy of "fake news" and "alternative facts" in political life.
We curate evidence by systematically reviewing the scientific literature to select studies meeting a very high level of evidence. We limit our curation to two types of evidence: meta-analyses and very large studies. Meta-analyses combine data from many studies of the same topic. By compiling large amounts of data across many studies, meta-analyses give results that are unlikely to be disproved by future work.
Going forward, we will promote the International Consensus Statement on social media, to professional organizations devoted to ADHD and to the advocacy groups that help people with ADHD and their families, worldwide. We will continue curating new evidence as it is published so that the International Consensus Statement can become a living document. And we will fight the War on ADHD through our current book project and related social media activities.
The International Consensus Statement curates key scientific discoveries from the past 20 years. It provides current and accurate information about ADHD supported by a substantial and rigorous body of evidence.
Statements about ADHD strongly supported by medical research.
Authors from 27 countries wrote the Consensus Statement.
Colleagues who have read and endorsed this manuscript.
Questions from My Latest Reddit AMA
Artificial food colorants have been shown to be a problem for some people with ADHD. No other foods are know to exacerbate the disorder.
1. Find a prescriber who is experienced in the treatment of ADHD with medications and adhere to the prescribed treatment.
2. If that treatment does not solve all issues, work with them to figure out what could be added, such as CBT.
Surprisingly, data show that sugar consumption does not worsen symptoms of ADHD. No special diet, except removing artificial food colorants, has been shown to help ADHD symptoms.
Encourage them to seek out evidence based treatments and to adhere to those treatments. Self help books by Russ Ramsey or Russ Barkley are also useful.
Research shows that caffeine helps with alertness, vigilance, attention, reaction time and attention. Effects on memory and higher-order executive functions, like decision making are not as clear. But although it helps with some types of attention, it is not effective for treating the inattention of ADHD.
Stigma and bullying are such awful problems for so many people with ADHD. These are the types of questions for which psychotherapy may be useful. It is important to keep in mind that ADHD is a problem that affects a person, it does not define that person. People with ADHD have other strengths that they need to recognize in themselves even though others can make that difficult to do.