ADHD & Coronavirus: THE Bad news and THE Good News
Your teenager, without thinking about the consequences, attends a party knowing well that the recommended protocol for masks and social distancing will be ignored. You run into the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up pasta for dinner tonight. Only after you’re safely back in your car, do you realize you forgot to don your mask. Well, at least you didn’t get a fine. Eight year old Jenny hardly remembers to wash her hands, even with her adorable neon purple unicorn hand sanitizer. Above are just a few examples that support a fascinating Israeli research study showing those with ADHD are at a much higher risk for contracting Covid-19. Obviously, the hallmark ADHD traits of inattention and impulsivity are the culprits to blame for making someone with ADHD more susceptible to the virus.
I venture to add another factor to the list, not based on any scientific study. Those with untreated ADHD often struggle with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Chronic stress and anxiety are proven to weaken the immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection.
Don’t get discouraged though, because I also have some great news to share. First, you can successfully learn to overcome impulsivity and create the healthy habits and routines to lower your risk of contracting the coronavirus. Second, a study in the Journal for Attention disorders found that those with ADHD have an unusually high corona recovery rate. Preliminary research suggests that ADHD gives you a distinct genetic advantage in successfully fighting covid-19. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.