Why do some people get ADHD, while others do not? How early in life or in the womb is the seed of ADHD sown?

Now, for me, as an ADHD Coach, those questions are just Brain Candy; in other words, the answers may be yummy to chew on but of little nutritional value. That’s because coaching is not a scholastic exercise; I meet clients where they are with how their ADHD or other challenges show up in life.  But for the heck of it, I threw the above questions into Chat GPT, asked it to write the blog for me, and it spat out what followed. It pulled from whatever I would have found online about the subject but only up until something like 2021, so don’t take it as gospel:

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning or development. The exact causes of ADHD are not fully understood, but research suggests that it may be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors.

Genetics and ADHD:

One of the most significant risk factors for ADHD is genetics. Studies have shown that ADHD tends to run in families, with the condition being more common among siblings and first-degree relatives of those with ADHD. Researchers have identified several genes that may be associated with ADHD, including genes that regulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in attention, motivation, and reward processing.

Environmental factors and ADHD:

Environmental factors may also play a role in the development of ADHD. Exposure to toxins during pregnancy, such as lead or nicotine, has been linked to an increased risk of ADHD. Premature birth, low birth weight, and maternal stress during pregnancy have also been associated with ADHD.

Neurobiological factors and ADHD:

Neurobiological factors like brain structure and function may also contribute to ADHD. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD may have differences in brain regions involved in attention, impulse control, and executive function. These differences may affect the way the brain processes information and regulates behavior.

The exact timing of when the seed of ADHD is sown is still unclear. Research suggests that ADHD may develop early in life, possibly even before birth. Studies have found that children who later develop ADHD may have different brain structures and functions compared to children who do not develop ADHD. For example, one study found that infants who later developed ADHD had smaller brain volumes in certain areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in executive function.

In conclusion, ADHD is a complex disorder that is likely influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. While the exact timing of when ADHD develops is still unknown, research suggests that it may begin early in life, possibly even before birth. More research is needed to better understand the causes of ADHD and to develop more effective treatments for those who are affected by this condition.

While all this is interesting, I am a coach, not a diagnostician or researcher. As an ADHD Coach, I help people with their problematic tendencies regardless of diagnosis. So if you’re a creative professional who is struggling with “ADHD traits,” like underestimating time, getting hyper-focused on distractions, or not being able to finish anything… I’ll be happy to speak with you to see if I can help.