Positives and Negatives of ADHD
So, you’ve got ADHD--now what?
First of all, breathe a sigh of relief. You’re not lazy. You’re not stupid. You’re not careless. You’re not inconsiderate. You’re just wired differently. In future posts we will discuss more of how to manage ADHD and symptoms. But before we get to that, let’s discuss the many negative AND positive ways ADHD has impacted your life so far.
Although I don’t like starting things from a negative standpoint, odds are you were diagnosed due to a recognition of how it impacted your life in a negative manner. You might miss deadlines, constantly run late, lose your keys, act impulsively or you might find yourself frequently bored, struggling to concentrate at work, beating yourself up because your house is mess and you have no idea where your birth certificate, tax documents, grocery list or the kids’ school picture forms are and when they are due (I can’t be the only one, right?). But please recognize, not everyone with ADHD presents in the same manner. Some of you may find this does not apply to you at all, while some of you will find yourself nodding vigorously at every single item. Take what fits from this and ignore the rest.
Folks with ADHD often have co-occurring disorders that are directly related to the repercussions of dealing with ADHD. You are more likely to deal with anxiety and depression. Your self-esteem can take a hit from constantly feeling like you can’t get things done that “normal” people can. And beyond that, people with ADHD are significantly more likely to develop substance abuse issues. This is why it is so important to recognize and make efforts to address the unique way your particular brain works.
BUT, it’s not ALL bad!
There are positives that can come with having a brain that works a million miles an hour in a million different directions.
Energy – Some may find they can maintain their higher levels of energy in productive ways that may help in work, sports, or school.
Spontaneity - While impulsivity may be considered a negative trait, the other, more positive side of that is that you may be able to shift gears at a moment’s notice. How fun is that?
Creativity – You have spent a chunk of your life finding new ways to address things that come naturally to others. You think outside the box and may be more creative in your approach to challenges.
Hyperfocus – THIS is the ADHD superpower!! When someone with ADHD gets in the zone, nothing is going to stop them. You may find yourself so absorbed in a task that you cease noticing the things going on around them. The benefit to this is that when you start a new task, you may work at it until it is done.
ADHD can impact your life in many, many ways. Understanding these implications are the first step to unlocking new ways to address them.