ADHD Awareness Month 2023

By Ashley Barnes M.S.

Why ADHD Awareness Month?

October is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month! In 2004, ADHD Awareness Month started as ADHD Awareness Day but has since expanded to the entire month of October with the purpose of spreading awareness and providing education on this form of neurodivergence.

What is Neurodivergence?

In understanding neurodivergence, it is important to understand the concept of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the concept that there are a variety of ways that people’s brains function, present behaviorally, and process information. Like fingerprints, no two brains are the same.

Neurodivergence describes how brain differences impact brain functioning and people whose brains function differently than what is deemed standard or typical. These brain differences present neurodivergent individuals with unique strengths and challenges. Possible challenges include learning disabilities, medical disorders, and differences in social functioning. Potential strengths include enhanced pattern recognition and memory. Forms of neurodivergence include but aren’t limited to Autism, ADHD, and dyslexia.

Those who aren’t neurodivergent are neurotypical, simply meaning that  their strengths and challenges aren’t affected by any kind of difference that changes how their brains work.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among one of the most common brain-based psychiatric disorders that affects children, though it also affects many adults. Some symptoms of ADHD include inattention (difficulty focusing), hyperactivity (excess movement), and impulsivity (acting hastily without thought) (APA, 2021). Some individuals have primary difficulty with inattention, some have primary difficulty with hyperactivity, and yet others experience profound challenges with both.

It is a form of neurodivergence, often impairs an individual’s ability to focus, remember important tasks, and interact in social situations. Though ADHD looks different across those who have it, common emotions experienced are shame, frustration, and overwhelm due to the ways in which the disorder can impair social, professional, and various other realms of life. ADHD is treatable with proper evaluation and mediation management by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.


  • Around 9.4% of all children are diagnosed with ADHD at some point before the age of 18 (CDC, 2021).
  • Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (CDC, 2021).
  • The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7 years of age (CDC, 2021).

Psychological Impact and Treatment of ADHD.

In addition to the extra difficulties that those with ADHD face as previously described, the diagnosis is often accompanied by co-occurring, or comorbid, psychological disorders. According to a national parent survey conducted in 2016, approximately 6 in 10 children with ADHD had at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder; such comorbid disorders included a behavior or conduct disorder, an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or tourette syndrome (CDC, 2021).

Treatment for ADHD often includes medication and behavioral therapy. For children 6 years of age and older, “the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends behavior therapy and medication, preferably both together. For children under 6 years of age behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment” (CDC, 2021). Adults with ADHD also benefit from treatment involving psychotherapy, medication, or both combined. Additionally, behavior management strategies, which often involve immediate family members, aim to minimize distractions as well as increase organization and structure (APA, 2021).

Please contact the Mental Health Center today to be connected to doctors who can help treat ADHD!

Online Resources:

  • CHADD: The National Resource on ADHD provides helpful information and resources to those with ADHD. Provides helpful information regarding navigating COVID-19 with ADHD, including tips for working and attending school from home.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) provides resources and information to adults with ADHD.
  • APSARD provides resources and  information pertaining to ADHD, and contact information for special interest groups.




American Psychiatric Association. (2021). What is ADHD? Retrieved October 22, 2021, from 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Data and statistics about ADHD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from