The Most-Searched ADHD Topics

Jillian Enright

The Most-Searched ADHD-Related Topics of 2021 So Far

The ADHD-related terms most frequently searched on Google in 2021

I realize 2021 isn’t quite over, but I have ADHD and am very impatient. When I get an idea in my head, it has to happen right now, so you’re welcome.

7) ADHD in Women

My ADHD diagnosis took more than three decades. I wasn’t diagnosed until 36 and my story is not uncommon.

In October, I wrote an article touching on some of the reasons that women, non-binary, and female-presenting people have a much more difficult time receiving an accurate diagnosis.

My ADHD Diagnosis Took More Than Three Decades

6) Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) is an interesting one. It’s a term made up by Dr. William Dodson describing severe physical and emotional pain suffered when people encounter real or perceived rejection, criticism, or teasing.

RSD is not in any DSM or other diagnostic manual. Research has demonstrated that repeated negative feedback from others can make some people with ADHD more sensitive to perceived rejection and criticism.

If a significant number of our social interactions involve criticism or rejection, then it stands to reason that we would anticipate and perceive rejection more often than others.

On one hand, isn’t being hypersensitive to perceived rejection or criticism a normal response to actually being constantly rejected and criticized? Pathologizing a human response that most people would have is not helpful.

That said, many have found the description of RSD very helpful, a way of validating their own experience. Some people with ADHD may indeed be more sensitive to rejection, even without having experienced excessive criticism in their lives.

This is why it’s not so straightforward. There isn’t enough research, and the claims that Dr. Dodson has made are only substantiated by his extensive clinical experience; they are not peer-reviewed, nor have they been challenged by controlled studies.

Rejection Is Often More Painful For Neurodivergent People

5) Is ADHD a Disability?

Is ADHD a disability? Yes.

Well, yes and no.

Yes, ADHD is a disability in that it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts significant aspects of a person’s life.

However, what is often most disabling about being neurodivergent is the lack of understanding, knowledge, and accommodation in general society.

These topics are much too complex to cover in one or two articles, but you’re in luck! I compiled a series of articles dispelling myths and challenging misconceptions about ADHD.

ADHD Myths and Misconceptions

4) Is ADHD a Mental Illness?

No.

(Okay, that one was easy.)

3) DSM-V ADHD & ADHD Checklist

Yes, people like a simple checklist they can go over in order to see how many ADHD signs and symptoms they, or their child, exhibit.

Checklists are an over-simplification of a very complex neurodevelopmental disorder, however it is okay to use something simple as a stepping stone to seeking advice from a qualified professional.

On that note, I break down the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing ADHD, and outline the symptoms a significant portion of people with ADHD report, yet are not in the DSM-V.

Actual ADHD symptoms the DSM-5 misses

2) ADHD Iceberg

The ADHD Iceberg is a pretty good visual to help us understand that the externalized behaviour we see is only a very small piece of the puzzle, but why is it so important to understand this?

We are very quick to assume a person’s intent based on the behaviour we observe, but there is much more below the surface.

Many of us know these things intellectually, but when it comes down to supporting children, or dealing with behaviour, we often revert back to old habits.

The ADHD Iceberg Explained

1) ADHD Paralysis

It’s totally a thing, but not really a thing…

ADHD Paralysis is kind of a cool term, but it’s pretty non-specific. It’s another catchy term that isn’t in the DSM-V, or any diagnostic manual, but that does a good job of describing a common experience for many people with ADHD.

In my article, I break it down in relation to problems with executive functioning.

ADHD Paralysis Explained

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References

Bondü, Rebecca & Esser, Günter. (2015). Justice and rejection sensitivity in children and adolescents with ADHD symptoms. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 24, 185–198. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-014-0560-9

Jellinek, M. (2010). Don’t Let ADHD Crush Children’s Self-Esteem. Clinical Psychiatry News. https://mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/23971/pediatrics/dont-let-adhd-crush-childrens-self-esteem

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Neurodivergent. 20+ years social work and psychology experience. I write about mental health, neurodiversity, advocacy, education, and parenting. Founder of ADHD 2e MB. CYW, BA Psychology.

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