• Müşerref Aydın

Living with ADHD During COVID-19

Source: Unsplash Firmbee

According to Cortese et al. (2020), the COVID-19 pandemic has generated bizarre hardships for all societal layers of the community. People diagnosed with neurodevelopment disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are more susceptible to the stress emerging due to the pandemic itself as well as its obligations, such as social distancing. Due to these conditions they may show a tendency to develop higher behavioral problems.

From the Children’s Perspective

The alterations in the habits, framework, and social interaction connected to COVID-19 precautions, in addition to rising ambiguity, might aggravate the symptoms of ADHD and related problems(Sciberras et al. (2020)). It is conceivable that COVID-19 may create hardships especially for children with ADHD. The increase in the time spent inside and the inadequate opportunity to exercise may lead to a deterioration of sleep and higher social media use in children with ADHD. On the other hand, benefits may be encountered through the COVID-19 precautions. Staying at home much more; more specifically, participating in online classes instead of going to school, might eliminate the presence of stress factors related to school that children with ADHD prevalently experience (e.g. disappointment due to poor academic performance and social disparities).

What Should Be Done?

According to Cortese et al. (2020), the European ADHD Guidelines Group (EAGG) suggests that families having children with ADHD should follow behavioral parenting strategies that advance parenting and have advantageous impacts in declining adversarial audacious and unruly behavior, which is the most frequent outcome of ADHD. Under the ongoing conditions, when face-to-face assistance is not achievable, families should depend on self-help forms of evidence-based systems. The influence of these systems on families is endorsed by evidence. Some online systems, in addition, have been displayed to be effective. Nonetheless, families must be circumspect and refrain from purchasing untested utilizations that are more likely to harm rather than doing good.

Some fundamental directives suggested by EAGG:

→ Enhance the child’s self-confidence and assure every individual in the family knows what they are required to do

→ People with ADHD should, if clinically determined, be given the chance to commence on a pharmacological treatment

→ Adolescents or adults with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD should prevent enlarging doses despite not being recommended by the health care professionals, even when it seems necessary to control an emergency or distress due to the Covid-related restrictions


Speaking Plainly:

  • COVID-19 has had unprecedented effects on every component of society and people with ADHD are one of the most affected subgroups.

  • Even though there are benefits of the confinement for children with ADHD, the negative effects cannot be neglected.

  • If parents of the children with ADHD rely on behavioral parenting strategies, and if they follow self-aid forms supported by evidence when face-to-face communication is impossible, children with ADHD would have a hand in overcoming the crisis.