Too frequently we hear the drone of the problem side of ADHD/ADD but are there any benefits to having ADHD/ADD?
I believe the answer to that question is an emphatic YES! Once diagnosed and treated, a person can move past the perceived drawbacks, learn to make adjustments, and move from deficit thinking to benefit thinking.
ADHD folks are incredible thinkers and oftentimes think outside the box from some of their “normie” counterparts. They can use the ADHD brain to approach the problem or situation and come up with novel answers. Look at Richard Branson who founded Virgin Airlines and the Virgin Group of over 400 different companies. Many ADHD’s can see beyond the surface and see things in greater detail and greater depth. Having said this, ADHD folk are not the kind that do well in highly repetitive tasks that could be mundane like widget maker on a conveyor belt eight hours a day. The ADHD brain is highly developed and needs change to stimulate it, which is why so many find it difficult to slow down and only do one thing at a time. Ever notice the desire to multi-task and do all of them well at the same time?
ADHD folk are also creative in writing, acting, music, film, sports and other endeavors. Some of the more famous ADHD folks in this realm include Adam Levine, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Katherine Ellison, Woody Harrelson, Mariette Hartley, Solange Knowles, Howie Mandell, and Michael Phelps. The list of famous people who have ADHD continues to grow as more come out and share their diagnosis. This is crucial as it shines a much needed light on the disorder as it cuts across all segments of society. It emboldens others to come forward and speak up against those who either minimize ADHD as non existent or feel that getting diagnosed and treated are unnecessary. It also puts a human face on those folks who while having good intentions, continue to feel that ADHD is over reported and over treated with unnecessary medications. If anything, the literature is replete with studies that indicate once diagnosed and treated, ADHD folks benefit most from a combination of medication and therapy/coaching.
In short ADHD folks can be highly intelligent, possess great sense of humor, are master generators of ideas, can think outside the box, are passionate, adaptive, compassionate and empathic. ADHD folk understand what it means to have others tell you that you aren’t working up to your potential or that all you have to do is “try” harder. They are highly resilient which is why I love working with this field so much. I do suggest that if any of these words applies to you, that you take action today to make changes in your life and start seeing the benefits in ADHD/ADD and what that might do to your overall functioning.
As always if you or someone you know or love thinks they may have ADHD/ ADD and lives in the greater Portland Oregon (OR) area, have them give me a call to discuss their situation. I welcome all you thoughts, suggestions and comments.