Contrary to popular belief, having ADHD is not all bad. In fact, those with ADHD tend to be more creative than those without, and many artists have had this condition.
Staff A of Attention Deficit Connect notes that adults with ADHD must cope with symptoms that can have negative effects on their family, professional and social lives. Difficulty paying attention and impulsive behavior are two of the most common However, there is also a silver lining as the condition may also come with traits and characteristics that may actually benefit you in your life, such as the following:
Creativity: Others may see those of us with ADHD as easily distracted and unfocused in the here and now, yet all that time spent daydreaming might be attributed to a heightened sense of creativity. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Michigan found that people with ADHD appear to have a greater capacity for thinking outside the box.
“Results indicated that adults with ADHD showed higher levels of original creative thinking … and higher levels of real-world creative achievement, compared to adults without ADHD,” the study said.
Some of the world’s greatest artists, creators and inventors may have had had this disorder. This list includes people such as Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Edgar Allan Poe.
Strong leadership skills: While leadership is not a symptom of ADHD, many people with this mental disorder discover they have characteristics well-suited for moving to the head of the pack. One reason may be because they tend to develop their own ways of getting things done as a coping mechanism of their condition. This may make them better able to handle changing environments, multitasking and problem solving.
Many leaders throughout history are believed to have had ADHD. The list includes Christopher Columbus, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
Athleticism: When people with ADHD are able to harness excess energy that otherwise shows itself as hyperactivity, they can reach great feats of athleticism. Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan and Pete Rose all had this mental disorder, as did the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, Michael Phelps. In an interview with Everyday Health, the swimmer’s mother, Debbie Phelps, discussed how Michael utilized physical activity to help him cope with his symptoms while using his keen ability to focus to perfect his technique.
“Michael manages with physical training and behavior modification, [using] the tools he learned at a young age,” Debbie said to Everyday Health. “Michael has a mental toughness. He’s very intense, but he never used to be able to focus. But even at ages 9 and 10, at swim meets he would be focused for four hours – even though he’d only be swimming himself for three to four minutes – because swimming is his passion.”
Athleticism, creativity and leadership skills are only a few of the many benefits of ADHD. The heightened focus and hyperactivity associated with the condition may lead to a variety of other perks to better one’s life. However, learning to channel one’s weaknesses to turn them into strengths is a key part to realizing these benefits.
The only way to do that is to start with the child at an early age to recognize his strengths and weaknesses within his condition and not allow ADHD to be used as a crutch. As has been noted above, children with ADHD can grow up to be successful in many different areas of life if we, as the loving and responsible adults in their lives, hold them accountable as we teach them the coping mechanisms they will need to reach their highest potential.