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Myths, Misinformation, & Messages about ADHD

So, on January 1st, I switched insurance companies. I discovered – January 2nd – that my new insurance needed to provide “Prior Authorization” before I could receive the Adderall that I had been taking for the past year.

So my pharmacy sent the request to my doctor, who submitted my ADHD medical history (which can be found here), to the insurance company, and we waited. Weeks later, I finally received a response from them: a denial. According to my insurance company there was not enough medical evidence that I required it.


So, the criteria on this list is all wrong for all sorts of reasons, but lets start small and personal. Just because the Adderall wasn’t being explicitly listed to help my depression and anxiety, I do have them, and the medication did help. And just because I hadn’t been diagnosed with ADHD as a child – or have any documented symptoms – doesn’t mean that I didn’t have it and wasn’t presenting symptoms.


This list implies that, for the most part, Adderall is prescribed to keep children under control. Therefore, the only reason to take it past the age of 18 is if there are other health complications. So I’m going to go over some facts.

  • Yes, ADHD is often over-diagnosed, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. It is very real and, due to its over-diagnosis, now often ignored.
  • Girls are just as susceptible to ADHD as boys are, but they present differently – girls are usually more inattentive (daydreamers, scatterbrained), while boys are hyper-active.
  • Yes, it is possible to manage without medication. But why should anybody have to? ADHD is a learning disability – it is possible to learn to work with it, but it is exhausting. It is not as simple as “learning to concentrate better” or “study harder.”
  • ADHD does not magically disappear when you turn 18.

So many people suffer and struggle with ADHD, and society makes us feel like drug-seeking piranhas for wanting medication – and now insurance forces their members to jump through hoops. I, personally, had to wait until 2 days ago (a 2 month wait) before I was finally approved and given my medication.

No-one should have to fight to receive their medication, and thus we need to change the stigma of ADHD.


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