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The Bitter Truth Of Neglecting ADHD

February 12, 2023

9 min read

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Author : United We Care
The Bitter Truth Of Neglecting ADHD


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has different symptoms in each individual, making diagnosing this disorder reasonably tricky. Most often, adults may not even know that they may have ADHD, which makes cases of neglected ADHD very common. In this article, we hope to highlight some of the significant disadvantages of ignoring ADHD. 

Why is it important not to neglect ADHD?

Although mental health is taboo in most circles, it is essential to understand it and give it as much importance as physical health. If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, we urge you to seek medical advice immediately to avoid the ill effects of neglected ADHD, as it can last for the rest of the individual’s life. 

ADHD often displays symptoms early in life; however, when left undiagnosed, this disorder can affect the individual’s performance at work, relationships, and mental health. In most cases of neglected ADHD, people living with the individual can also face significant hardships[3]. 

We also urge parents with children who are displaying symptoms of ADHD to consult their paediatrician to find out how to get them tested. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD but hasn’t taken a test, we suggest you consult a doctor and seek treatment as soon as possible.  

Disadvantages of neglecting ADHD

Here are some disadvantages of neglecting ADHD[2]:

Children with ADHD are four times more likely to be suspended from school.

A parent survey found that children who display symptoms of ADHD or other learning disabilities are more likely to get suspended from school than those without such disorders. Neglected ADHD puts a child at higher risk of suspension as neither the parents nor the teachers know their difficulty. It can result in adults not meeting the special educational needs of these children. 

While a suspension is a quick fix for children with disruptive behaviour, it can have a lasting effect on the mental health of these children. Along with the immediate punishment of missing out on their classes, suspension for kids with neglected ADHD can result in severe long-term social, emotional, and academic consequences.

Vigilance is the only solution to this problem. If a teacher finds that a child is constantly disrupting their class or if parents find recurrent complaints from the school, they should get their child tested for ADHD. 

Children with neglected ADHD are likelier to have lower grades and repeat a step. 

It is one of the long-term outcomes of ADHD in kids. Although more schools have started recognising ADHD as a severe psychiatric condition, without a diagnosis, a child with neglected ADHD will go through their entire school life thinking they are not as bright as others in their class. Without the exceptional academic help they need, a child with neglected ADHD may fall behind in their lessons, resulting in lower grades.

Participation in group projects and assigning grades happens according to the teacher’s bias, which can be another disadvantage for children with neglected ADHD[1]. Students with ADHD may struggle with child’s social, organisational, and time management skills; these grades typically depend on these matters[5].

Higher cognitive functioning is often related to better academic functioning. The primary symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsiveness, inattention, or a combination of these symptoms. They can highly decrease a child’s cognitive skills, resulting in lower grades or the chance of them repeating a step. InsideADHD suggests that holding back a child with learning disabilities can negatively affect their social-emotional adjustments and attitude towards school. 

About 20% of college students with ADHD drop out.

College students with neglected ADHD[4] tend to have many academic difficulties, including lower grades and a higher possibility of dropping out[8]. It is especially true if a student suffers from combination ADHD, which, as the name suggests, means both hyperactive-type ADHD and inattentive-type ADHD. 

Studies show that college students with ADHD score an average of half a grade lower than their peers in college[7],[8]. It highlights the magnitude of academic deficits a college student with ADHD experiences even though they successfully cleared their high school and higher secondary courses. 

The above findings highlight the need for a precise diagnosis of ADHD in children and young adults to receive the academic support they need to strengthen their executive functioning skills early and keep up with their peers from all walks of life. 

Increased risks of accidents 

Many studies have shown that children and adults with ADHD have a higher risk of unintentional accidents [10],[11]and injuries if the symptoms of ADHD are left untreated. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in the mortality rate due to unnatural causes, such as accidents linked with neglected ADHD. 

These accidents in those with neglected ADHD are due to risky behaviour and impaired impulse control. It is because children and adults with ADHD have issues with advocate responses, controlling interferences, and stopping an ongoing response after feedback on errors. Individuals with ADHD have a higher risk of injuries and accidents throughout life, which peaks between 9-12 and 18-25. Studies show the type and severity of these injuries can differ with age. It is why we urge parents of children who display symptoms of ADHD to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. 

Poor self-image

ADHD is a mental health condition that affects the structure of specific brain areas. It makes it hard for individuals with ADHD to focus or restrain their impulses, making them act out even if it is an inappropriate time. While these symptoms are not the individual’s fault, most people misunderstand them and assume they are a character flaw instead of a neurological disorder. 

Poor self-image[12] in individuals with neglected ADHD can result in difficulties in pursuing goals and trying new things because of the constant assumption of failure. These individuals also tend to isolate themselves because they fear criticism and rejection from others. People with neglected ADHD also have difficulty saying no and enforcing boundaries, as they have an inbuilt desire to seek approval from everyone they know. 

A diagnosis of ADHD can help an individual recognise these problems as mental health issues and not problems with their character so that they can work on these issues instead of letting them affect their self-worth. 

Difficulty maintaining friends and social interactions. 

Problems with attention, impulsiveness and mood swings are some of the main symptoms of ADHD that strain adult relationships. People with neglected ADHD struggle to maintain friendships and other social relationships[13] with co-workers or peers because they often get overwhelmed trying to handle multiple day-to-day tasks and social interactions. 

Adults with neglected ADHD have the misconception that being pleasant with others is all or nothing, which can mean they are either talking too much or withdrawing from the situation entirely. Hyperactivity also displays itself by the individual being too loud, personal, or too much for some people to handle. These complaints can prompt them to retreat into a shell so that they are not in anyone’s way, which takes a toll on their relationships[14]. 

How can you better manage ADHD? 

Getting diagnosed with ADHD can often be a relief for those who have been living with neglected ADHD. It offers them a better insight into the source of their problems and allows them to successfully identify symptoms to manage their condition. Although there is no permanent cure for ADHD, several strategies can help manage this disorder’s symptoms in children and adults. 

How can you better manage ADHD



Stimulant medications can help improve the attentiveness of individuals with ADHD. You can also get non-stimulant options, but they will take longer to work. 


Therapy can help adults and kids with neglected ADHD address the symptoms of co-occurring conditions, which can also help them cope with negative thinking patterns and improve their relationships overall. 


It is one of the best strategies for those with ADHD, as each individual is different, and they can find which technique works best for them. 


Childhood ADHD can go untreated in adults when left undiagnosed. Lack of awareness, masking symptoms, and the stigma involved can be barriers to the growth of an individual with ADHD.

Neglected ADHD can be a reason for many complications in an individual’s life, including how they interact with others in society. It is crucial to get your child or yourself tested as soon as you have even the slightest doubt that symptoms of ADHD are visible. 




“School suspension risk higher for students with ADHD,” CHADD, 08-May-2018. [Online]. Available: https://chadd.org/adhd-weekly/school-suspension-risk-higher-for-students-with-adhd/. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


“What can happen if you don’t treat ADHD?” WebMD. [Online]. Available: https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/risks-of-untreated-adhd. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


K. Iavarone, “Untreated ADHD in adults: Symptoms, consequences, and risks,” Medicalnewstoday.com, 17-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/untreated-adhd-in-adults. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


K. Cherry, “Untreated ADHD in Adults,” Verywell Mind, 22-Mar-2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.verywellmind.com/untreated-adhd-in-adults-signs-causes-impact-and-treatment-5222929 [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


L. E. Arnold, P. Hodgkins, J. Kahle, M. Madhoo, and G. Kewley, “Long-term outcomes of ADHD: Academic achievement and performance,” J. Atten. Disord., vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 73–85, 2020.


L. Rhinehart, S. Iyer, and D. Haager, “Children who receive special education services for ADHD: Early indicators and evidence of disproportionate representation in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K: 2011),” J. Emot. Behav. Disord., p. 106342662110397, 2021.


“Will repeating a grade in school help a child with ADHD?” Insideadhd.org. [Online]. Available: https://www.insideadhd.org/AskTheExperts.aspx?id=608. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


P. B.-U. Davis, “Teens with ADHD more likely to drop out,” Futurity, 31-Aug-2010. [Online]. Available: https://www.futurity.org/teens-with-adhd-more-likely-to-drop-out/. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


L. Constance, “Study: College students with ADHD at greater risk for low grades, dropping out,” ADDitude, 24-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.additudemag.com/college-students-with-adhd-risks-outcomes/. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


N. Brunkhorst-Kanaan, B. Libutzki, A. Reif, H. Larsson, R. V. McNeill, and S. Kittel-Schneider, “ADHD and accidents over the life span – A systematic review,” Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev., vol. 125, pp. 582–591, 2021.


H. Sadeghi, Y. Shabani, A. Pakniyat, K. Karimian, M. Harorani, and Y. Naderi Rajeh, “Road crashes in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and risky driving behaviour,” Iran. J. Psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 105–111, 2020.


E. Swaim, “What’s the connection between ADHD and self-esteem?,” Healthline, 02-May-2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-and-self-esteem. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


“Being social and making friends as an adult with ADHD,” CHADD, 17-Sep-2020. [Online]. Available: https://chadd.org/adhd-news/adhd-news-adults/being-social-and-making-friends-as-an-adult-with-adhd/. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].


K. Low, “ADHD and Friendships,” Verywell Mind, 27-Mar-2008. [Online]. Available: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-make-friends-when-you-have-adhd-20402. [Accessed: 11-Feb-2023].

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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