ADHD is a Superpower!
Everyone can understand what it feels like to have a hard time sitting still, or to find it almost impossible to stay focused during a college lecture, or to constantly misplace your phone or car keys. For some people, these challenges are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their home, academics, social/dating life, and work life.
Some people who face these struggles are diagnosed with ADHD. This neurodevelopmental disorder is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that gets in the way of daily life. People with ADHD may also have challenges with executive functioning skills (the brain’s ability to begin an activity, organize itself and manage tasks), processing and working memory. There are three presentations of ADHD: Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined Inattentive & Hyperactive-Impulsive.
If someone receives a diagnosis of ADHD, they may need support to counter the challenges they face. But there is also much to celebrate about having ADHD as many folks with ADHD consider it their Superpower. Here are some of the benefits:
Hyperfocusing is a state where an individual with ADHD can focus on a task for hours on end, essentially tuning out everything around them. It often happens when the person is doing a job they enjoy and find interesting.
While hyperfocusing, the person can improve their performance, meaning they work even more efficiently. This process allows them to complete a task without any distractions, and the outcome is often of great quality.
Kids who grow up with the challenges that ADHD can bring may experience setbacks and adversity, which they must overcome. Experiencing these obstacles, and working past them, means that people with ADHD are often able to build up their resilience because they have practiced recovering from setbacks more often than other individuals. This can become a personal strength that leads to developing a strong sense of self and belief in one’s abilities.
People with ADHD often develop a higher level of self-awareness. They learn that they must be careful to not be overstimulated or bored, and find that balance in the middle, which again leads to greater self-awareness and therefore resilience. It is a form of self-protective strength, which again, can allow individuals to thrive.
People with ADHD are often highly creative, especially when given a goal-oriented task. Living with ADHD also requires people to approach tasks differently, which means they can become great problem solvers. Those with ADHD often think of unusual solutions because of their different perspectives.
Spontaneity & Courage
Many people enjoy the unplanned moments and adventures that keep life interesting, and individuals with ADHD excel in this area.
Their impulsive nature lends itself to spontaneous activities that often leave enjoyable and lasting memories. People with ADHD are not afraid to do whatever they enjoy at the moment without concerning themselves with long-term implications or overthinking situations.
This spontaneity can often lead people with ADHD to seek out thrill and adventure, with the added courage they gain from that spontaneity.
Some people with ADHD experience hyperactivity. While most people think of this negatively in terms of disruption to classmates or work colleagues, hyperactivity means that those with ADHD are excellent at sports and other physical activities. They have plenty of energy to burn and thrive in an environment where movement is advantageous and encouraged. Those folks with the self-awareness of their high energy often excel in careers that require constant movement and new challenges.
During October’s ADHD Awareness month, we celebrate individuals with ADHD. Here are some ways to join the celebration:
- Wear Orange! Orange is the official color of ADHD Awareness Month
- Use your voice: social media is a great way to spread awareness by sharing your ADHD story. Use the hashtag #ADHDAwarenessMonth
- Attend ADHD workshops and seminars. These events bring people together in support of a common cause.