‘ADHD is an influencer fad.’ The heated argument between Abbie Chatfield and Megan Marx, explained.

There's a disagreement taking place on social media at the moment. It's between podcaster/influencer/radio host Abbie Chatfield and former Bachelor star Megan Marx – and it has everything to do with ADHD.

On Monday night, Marx uploaded a series of responses to a fan's questions via Instagram. One of the questions asked for an 'unpopular opinion', asking Marx: "Do you reckon ADHD is an influencer fad?"

She replied: "Holy s**t I feel like I'm going to get myself into trouble with this one. I do think that ADHD diagnoses, there's a possibility it could be a little bit of a trend. People are seeking treatment for ADHD and it could be a plethora of other issues going on – depression, bipolar, a bunch of different mood disorders that it could be – it could be an overstimulation of using social media, but this isn't discussed. I think it's dodgy as f**k."

She also said: "Who doesn't have problems concentrating on work? I also wonder about all these influencers that are being diagnosed and medicated for ADHD that have suddenly lost a lot of weight. And they're not talking about it. ADHD medication is basically meth – you lose your appetite."

Megan Marx's comments on her Instagram. @megan.leto.marx/@sodramaticpodcast_


Along with the video of her thoughts, she also uploaded a series of dot points further breaking down her opinion, which included points such as the alleged influence of pharmaceutical companies "benefiting" from the increased medicalisation of ADHD. 

Soon after sharing her thoughts on Instagram, Marx's videos were then re-uploaded onto gossip and reality TV forums, where it gained further attention. And this is where Abbie Chatfield comes into the picture.

Chatfield, who has been open about her recent ADHD diagnosis, criticised Marx for her comments.

She called the opinion "invalid and ableist", saying it's inaccurate to say all people are using ADHD medication for weight loss, or to say ADHD is just a fad.

"It's the new influencer drug for weight loss you reckon. Do you know how f**king hard it is to get ADHD medication or to get diagnosed? Women are so undiagnosed particularly. Maybe the reason we're seeing an increase in diagnoses is because people are actually f**king understanding that ADHD isn't just naughty boys ripping things apart. It's actually a diagnosis and health condition that affects people's lives. The symptoms are debilitating," Chatfield said via her Instagram stories.


Unpacking the suggestion that ADHD is a trend, Chatfield disagreed with that sentiment, instead noting that the increase in diagnoses likely comes down to wider education and understanding – prompting people to get tested. 

She also said it cost her $1,500 and 18 months to receive her diagnosis – highlighting the difficulty and time challenges for people to receive the correct diagnosis.

Abbie Chatfield's response. Image: Instagram @abbiechatfield.


Regarding the suggestion that "high-functioning influencers" are driving people to get diagnosed, Chatfield also disagreed, along with the rhetoric that influencers are only using it as a trend to lose weight.

"It's a long and hard process. People get turned away all the time, and you have to do five million tests beforehand," Chatfield said. "Weight loss and weight gain are deeply personal issues and experiences. The weight loss can be quite triggering. The reason people don't speak about ADHD medication making you lose weight is because you don't want to encourage people to take medication to lose weight. This is why I didn't speak about it for a long time."

"It isn't weight loss medication. It isn't practically meth. It is not to be able to get more work done or study harder. It is to normalise our brains."

Marx has since shared in a now-deleted Instagram post that she herself is ADHD diagnosed and is on medication for it.

She explained that both the diagnosis and medication "literally changed my life for the better" and that she "understands the process very well". Rather she said, she wishes the side effects were "being discussed" and that people shouldn't jump on board "the hate train".


"There is a dark side that is clearly not being discussed. I know a bunch of people that got 'diagnosed' even though they claim not to have ADHD (faked or stretched the truth significantly) because they like the effects of amphetamines," she said in a follow-up statement.

"We all know that dextroamphetamine and Methylphenidate are used as a real treatment which is fantastic, and as a party drug and for weight loss... Yes, some influencers are lowering the credibility of a diagnosis. Not all influencers, again, this isn't a blanket statement."

She also acknowledged that there was "some truth" to what other influencers have said in response to her comments.

As Chatfield previously said to Mamamia about her own diagnosis: "My whole anxiety is feeling that I'm always behind on something – you know, like on holiday, and you think you've forgotten something very important? That's my feeling at all times. It's kind of like, I'm confirmed. There is something that's – not wrong – but is different, that can be fixed."

For more information on what it's really like to be an adult with ADHD, you can head to our resource centre

Mamamia reached out to both Megan Marx and Abbie Chatfield for a right of reply. Megan said she would provide a comment but is yet to reply. When she chooses to, we will include it in this article.

Feature Image: Instagram @abbiechatfield/@megan.leto.marx.

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