The Truth About Non-Prescription ADHD Medication: Separating Fact From Fiction

Most of the myths about ADHD medication are actually myths about ADHD itself, or else they are at least informed by those myths. From medication’s effectiveness to the rarity of the condition, there is a lot the general public misunderstands about ADHD. That’s why you should demystify and debunk by getting informed if you are considering stimulant vs non stimulant ADHD meds.

Prevalence and Myths

There is a widespread misconception that ADHD is rare, and it tends to go with the myth that it has been overdiagnosed recently. While there is a debate to be had about the kind of medication prescribed and the tendency to use stimulant medications first, ADHD is not being overdiagnosed, it is simply more prevalent than once believed. Many other myths about ADHD are just as based on misconception as that one, too.

  • That ADHD causes behavioral problems
  • Stimulant medication addresses behavioral issues and life skills
  • Non-stimulant medication is ineffective or experimental
  • All people with ADHD need medication
  • All people with ADHD show signs of hyperactivity

These are just a few of the myths out there, and they are all untrue. Some of them persist because they were once believed to be true, but better evidence is now available. Others are just based on misconceptions rooted in stigma.

Debunking Myths

Behavioral myths about ADHD are among the most persistent, and they are based on two misconceptions, even when they diverge a bit from the simple idea that ADHD causes bad behavior and medication fixes it. The fact is that ADHD creates challenges to self-regulation, but there are many ways to support self-regulation. Medication alone does not do that.

In the case of stimulant medication, some stimulants indeed support better executive function and working memory for people with ADHD. That does not mean they produce better behavior, though. Children still need to be taught self-regulation. Stimulants also introduce the potential for behavioral chaos, because most of them have side effects that include impulsiveness, restlessness, and in some extreme cases, psychosis.

Non-stimulant medication usually does not have these side effects, but there are many reasons. Some non-stimulant ADHD medications are supplements that provide your body with the building blocks it needs to produce neurotransmitters more efficiently, supporting better cognitive function overall. This is a very different mechanism from stimulant treatment for ADHD, and you can learn more by reading about Thesis nootropics vs Adderall for ADHD treatment. In other cases, medications with a different original purpose turn out to be good for focus or anxiety issues common for ADHD patients, as is the case with some antidepressant medications.

Lastly, the myths about hyperactivity can be especially harmful, as can the myth that everyone needs medication. ADHD comes in a few types, some of which show hyperactive behavior. It can also present as inattentiveness, and sometimes it can coexist with anxiety disorders in ways that make them hard to separate. Yoga and other non-medication treatments that help with anxiety and depression also help some people with ADHD.

Links Between Anxiety and Attention

The link between anxiety and ADHD can be so strong that many non-prescription ADHD treatments are also natural anxiety meds. Keep that in mind as you weigh your options and consider which symptoms they treat and what side effects you might need to navigate.

By Edward Robinson

Looking to share my thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. Robinson aims to make an enjoyable corner of the internet that brings a bit of lighthearted entertainment to readers' days. As the site develops, he intends to bring on a few other bloggers to add additional voices and expand the range of subjects covered beyond just his personal interests. Robinson sees long-term potential in becoming a popular online destination.

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