A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes,
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a well-studied, thoroughly legitimate mental disorder that causes sometimes devastating suffering for more than 17 million Americans. Yet, in the first quarter of the 21st century misunderstandings about ADHD abound, especially as new data about the causes and course of the disorder have reshaped our view of the disorder. In the 20th century, ADHD was besieged by special interest groups, bloggers, clinicians, authors, the anti-psychiatry movement, and misguided journalists who claim it does not exist, or portray it as the result of character flaws or inept parenting.
In the 21st century understanding ADHD faces new challenges. Although social media has provided some safe havens for those with the disorder, like r/ADHD on the Reddit platform, the new world of 'alternative facts' has compounded the misunderstandings of ADHD the lead to the exceptional cultural stigma surrounding this disorder and create challenges for patients, parents and healthcare professionals.
Stephen Faraone, PhD is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University and President of the World Federation of ADHD.
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.
We’re collaborating on a new and unprecedented book. The Misunderstood Mind: ADHD in the 21st Century will take aim at the barrage of misinformation targeted at ADHD and the exceptional stigma surrounding this disorder. It will investigate how a determined group of “skeptics” spread misinformation about the science, medication, and alternative treatments involved with ADHD. We will refute many myths about the disorder, arm doctors, parents and patients with the 21st century facts they need to combat this propaganda and help them optimize the lives of people with ADHD.
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