Posted by: Lorene | 2011-04-30


IS ADD a mental illness?

Could you please tell me whether ADD or ADHD is a mental illness? My daughter has just been diagnosed with ADD and I''m very scared that our friends and family will find out, because it feels to me as if she''s been diagnosed with something being mentally wrong for her. I read that there are schools for ADD children, but my child is not different from others, she is very social, very liked by other kids, happy most of the time, does above average at school, etc. I''m afraid of how people will treat her when they find out.

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Dear Lorene,

Before I go any further, it is evident that this news has caused you some distress. I wonder if you would consider speaking with a counsellor or psychologist regarding your feelings toward this, and possibly allow your daughter the same opportunity so that she can carry on with her life as happily as before without feeling that there is anything 'wrong' with her?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, therefore, yes it is classed as a disorder. That aside, ADHD is NOTHING to be ashamed about. There is nothing mentally wrong with your daughter - she is not crazy or sick; she has lowered levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline which make concentrating difficult.

As you have mentioned, she is very likeable; should friends and family discard her because of a name, you and she are better off without them.

As long as your daughter is coping in her current school there is no need to move her to a different one.

I urge you to contact me either telephonically or via Email should you feel uncomfortable consulting with someone else.

Kind regards,

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Lulandi | 2011-05-24

I am a bit upset, I struggle to understand why a mother would be afraid of what people will think of them when her child is diagnosed with any type of disorder. Should you rather seek a way to make as comforatable and uncomplicated as possible towards the education of this child and normal being? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having ADHD - especially nothing to be ashamed of. With the necessary medication, she will turn out to be one of the most successfull woman her age. Rather support her, than beign worried about what people will think, this is not about you or your reputaion, this is about making a success of your daughter! I have a boy with severe ADHD and trust me, it''s a hard road to walk - but it''s all worth it! Just don''t ever make her think she''s " sick"  or " 
special" , because she''s not, the second you''re going to make her think there''s something wrong with her, you just made your life a lot more difficult! Embrace the situation and grow stronger as person who doesn''t care what the people thinks, because my dear... YOU are the people!

Reply to Lulandi

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