ADHD Awareness is Key
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What Are Some of the Myths About Treatment for ADHD?

Dr. Margaret H. Sibley discusses what to do if you’re interested in a supplementary or alternative ADHD treatment you have learned about online.

Transcription follows this slightly less than 2 minute video

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ADHD Awareness Month 2022
Understanding a Shared Experience


No person with ADHD is the same as another person with ADHD. The symptoms express themselves differently in everyone, and so you would expect that everyone would have a different treatment plan from each other.

For me, I think right now some of the hot topics in this area are: there are alternative treatments that don’t have a lot of evidence that are being often sold by commercial interests for people with ADHD that advertise as being really helpful, but they don’t necessarily have the research backing, you know, or the proof, really, that they’re helping anyone.

So I think one of the biggest myths is that just because something’s advertised as effective means that it is. I think you should talk always with your doctors – your primary care physicians or, if you’re in the care of the psychiatrist or psychologist. If you heard about something online, you know, check with them to see what they say about it before you jump in, especially if something costs a lot of money.

Text cards are included at the end of the presentation

Card 1

Some complementary treatments are helpful, but not everything advertised is helpful or safe to use for ADHD.

Card 2

What questions should I ask about alternative or complementary products?

  • Were clinical trials done to prove this treatment works? (A clinical trial is a scientific evaluation of a new treatment.)
  • Can I find information about this treatment from a trusted source?
  • Is there a respected national organization of people who practice this therapy?

Card 3

What questions should I ask about alternative or complementary products?

  • Does the person giving the treatment need a state license?
  • Will my health insurance cover this treatment? (Insurance generally will not cover unproven treatments.)
  • Where can my doctor and I get peer-reviewed research on this product?

Card 4

Always talk with your health care provider before starting a complementary or alternative product.

Keep in mind that vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and other treatments can cause problems with your other medications. Discuss everything you do to treat ADHD with your doctor.

About the Speaker

Margaret Sibley

Margaret H. Sibley, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Her research is focused on ADHD in adolescence and young adulthood.