As a family doctor not only do I help a lot of newly diagnosed people with ADHD, but I also see a lot of people who have been dealing with ADHD for years. After interacting with so many "ADHDers", I am always bothered when I see teachers, parents, and even popular media labeling people with ADHD as “disruptive,” “dumb,” “lazy,” or “failures.”
Although, problems with attention and/or hyperactivity can make school or work difficult for people with ADHD, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is just how successful these people can be - despite and, in some cases, because of their ADHD. Along the way, they have even taught me a few tricks about learning and getting tasks done!
People with ADHD have many positive characteristics.For example - if you were asked what do the following people have in common, what would you say?
Ansel Adams, Alexander Grahm Bell, Hans Christian Anderson, Beethoven, Andrew Carnegie, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, Bill Cosby, Leonardo da Vinci, John Denver, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Will Smith, Paul Orfalea (founder of Kinko’s), Solange Knowles (singer), Jim Carrey, Sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Airlines), James Carville (political consultant) , John Lennon, David Neeleman (founder of Jetblue Airways), and Orville & Wilber Wright....
Would you say they all are incredibly creative? Innovators in their field? Successful? Truly unique individuals? You might be surprised to learn that all of these people have been diagnosed (or would have been diagnosed) with ADHD!
People with ADHD tend to have a flair of creativity about them. They buck trends and blaze their own paths. People with ADD/ADHD are often extremely creative. Most people are surprised when they find out that many of their favorite artists, musicians, inventors, and entrepreneurs have ADHD.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start up their own company - probably because they tend to share the following characteristics:
- Creative: People with ADHD are made to think outside the box, be open minded and independent. This allows them to find creative solutions to problems.
- Enthusiastic and Spontaneous: People with ADHD tend to be free spirits. This allows them to enjoy life more fully. These characteristics can be huge assets as adults.
- Quick Minded: People with ADHD often have the ability to think very quickly on their feet. Because they thrive on stimulation then often multitask well, have the ability to absorb new information and are good in a crisis.
- High Energy: When ADHDers learn how to channel their energy into things that captures their interest, they often accomplish amazing things.
- Hyperfocused: Though it may seem counter-intuitive, many people with ADHD actually have the ability to “hyperfocus” for long periods of time on tasks that they find interesting to them. This is a huge asset if you are an inventor, athlete, artist, or entrepreneur. Michael Jordan, Pete Rose, and Michael Phelps all had problems with ADHD in school, but used their ability to hyperfocus to make it to the top of their respective sports.