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Do we all have ADHD?

The TikTok trend rages on, but at what cost

Do we all have ADHD? The TikTok trend rages on, but at what cost

TikTok registers about 157 million posts related to mental health - more specifically, to the “Mental Health Trend”. From videos that humorously address mental health issues to informative ones explaining how to recognize them, the social platform favored by Gen Z is teeming with such content. The favorite topic on TikTok, which emerged at the top of all mental health trends during the pandemic, still seems to be ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which currently has 159.9 million posts. On one hand, creators who strive to create content on the topic - and the platform itself - claim to contribute to awareness about the disorder and have made it easier to «access authoritative information on mental health»; on the other hand, the ever-growing wave of videos mentioning ADHD as an oddity to make a personality trait worsens the situation, as do the influencer-doctors encouraging self-diagnosis.

What is ADHD

@therapytothepoint 7 Subtle Signs of ADHD. #adhd #adhdtiktok #adhdsigns #signsofadhd #adhdsymptoms #symptomsofadhd #attentiondeficitdisorder #fyp #foryou #foryoupage Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono - moshimo sound design

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses among children. Symptoms include a general inability to maintain concentration, excessive movement disproportionate to the circumstances, and impulsivity. It is said to be easier to identify attention disorder in males because females tend to exhibit symptoms more subtly, inactively, but in recent times phenomena like awareness on TikTok and other social platforms have increased the number of check-ups among all adults. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of American adults taking ADHD medications has been growing for years, but it saw a significant spike during the pandemic, especially among women aged 20 to 49.

TikTok and the promotion of mental disorder content

@shopnestclothing Replying to @Ashlyn this helps to much with my anxiety even with my anger tbh since it has a built in stress ball and no one even knows iys there so it’s super convenient for college work etc i literally live in it

While TikTok and creators who share mental health content are convinced that publishing medical information on a platform mainly used by very young people can be the right way for awareness, many think differently. Besides the fact that social media are among the main contributors to the epidemic of depression and loneliness among Gen Z, a new study by Comprehensive Psychiatry shows that online platforms like TikTok are «incubators of personality and behavioral psychopathology», fertile ground for infecting users with psychosomatic illnesses they had not previously experienced. Furthermore, the boom in searches, clicks, and views on the topic has given rise to a sort of subculture that Big Pharma, fashion brands, and online sites are already profiting from, with self-diagnosis quizzes and t-shirts that read phrases like “Overthinking, Overstimulated, Overwhelmed”. To entirely attribute the problem of misdiagnoses or the shortage of psychotropic drugs to TikTok would be an exaggeration, but it is possible that, like all trends, the commercialization of a disease has not done it much good.