6 strengths and benefits of ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that may affect children and adults. People diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on tasks, an inability to control their impulses, and have hyperactive tendencies. However, there are numerous strengths and benefits that also come with the condition.
Anyone can receive an ADHD diagnosis at any point during their lives. However, symptoms of ADHD must be present by the age of 12 for someone to receive such a diagnosis. While some people may not know they have ADHD until adulthood, the condition must have developed in childhood for a diagnosis. Experts have not yet pinpointed its exact cause.
If individuals receive a diagnosis of ADHD, they may find it challenging to believe that there are benefits to living with this condition. However, people with ADHD also can have incredible skills, such as being more creative and optimistic than others, allowing them to excel in specific areas. In fact, many people now refer to these abilities as “ADHD superpowers.”
Keep reading to learn more about the potential strengths and benefits of ADHD, including how an individual can make the most of these unique abilities and characteristics.
What are some ADHD benefits?
If someone receives a diagnosis of ADHD, they should not be disheartened or allow the disadvantages of the condition to overshadow its numerous potential strengths.
Here are some of the ADHD benefits that someone may experience:
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 if the individual is doing a job that 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.
Learn more about ADHD and hyperfocus here.
Teachers view more than half of all children with ADHD as resilient. Living with ADHD comes with many challenges that those with ADHD must work against every day. These difficulties could mean that individuals with ADHD may experience setbacks and adversity, which they must overcome.
Experiencing these obstacles, and working past them, means that people with ADHD are able to build up resilience because they have practiced recovering from setbacks more often than other individuals. While this may seem like a double-edged sword, overcoming obstacles and challenges and building resilience in this way can lead to a strong character and prove beneficial in many cases.
Another study highlights the constant self-awareness that people with ADHD must have. 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 flourish.
Those 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.
Conversational skills and humanity
People with ADHD are often great conversationalists. This ability applies especially to those who have more of the inattentive type of ADHD.
Those with ADHD are often talkative, which means that they can spark an intriguing conversation in most scenarios.
Another study highlights that people with ADHD may have higher levels of social intelligence, humor, and recognition of feeling, or empathy. Study participants recognized their own ability to have a more positive mental approach, and in turn, more “social success.”
Spontaneity and 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.
Research suggests that this spontaneity can often lead people with ADHD to seek out thrill and adventure, with the added courage they gain from that spontaneity.
One of the defining aspects of ADHD is 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. This can have numerous positive impacts on a person’s life.
Why are they sometimes called superpowers?
Many people view the benefits of ADHD as “superpowers” because they are additional skills that their neurotypical counterparts do not have. ADHD gifts people a unique perspective on the world that those without ADHD are unlikely to understand.
For example, not everyone has the ability to hyperfocus. When an individual with ADHD enters this state, they can spend the time extremely productively and accomplish amazing things.
Moreover, the boundless energy that some individuals living with ADHD puts them at an advantage when performing physical activities. Often they can outlast everyone around them. There are numerous elite athletes with ADHD, and perhaps the condition has allowed them to excel.
Michael Jordan, for example, generally considered the greatest basketball player in history, is one such athlete with ADHD.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the combination of hyperactivity and the ability to hyperfocus on certain tasks, such as training, can allow some athletes to develop their skills to another level.
How to make the most of these abilities
The best way to make the most of ADHD superpowers is to manage the person’s environment in order to allow them to flourish.
If the individual is a great conversationalist, they could use that skill to their advantage by joining a debate team, speaking at events, or networking. These people can build successful businesses and connections through their conversational skills.
Those who tend to have periods of hyperfocus could use these periods to work diligently on their craft, whether that’s a science experiment, writing a book, or training in the finer skills of a sport. People may be able to achieve a great deal in a shorter amount of time.
Managing the challenges
There are, naturally, some challenges associated with ADHD symptoms. Sometimes, others view people with ADHD as distracting or too talkative. Behavior therapy is one of the best ways to handle these challenges while still optimizing the strengths.
Those with ADHD may sometimes have weak executive functioning skills. These skills include organizing time, planning, making decisions, controlling emotions, and learning from past mistakes.
Here are some ways to help improve these skills:
Creating checklists can help ensure that those with ADHD complete all their tasks for the day.
It can be easy for individuals with ADHD to bounce around from topic to topic, forgetting some of the jobs they must complete. Checklists ensure that everything someone wants to remember is in one place, helping to make sure that they do not forget anything.
Those with ADHD are especially susceptible to underestimating how long a task or project takes. Because of this, they should include a time limit along with a job so that they can better plan for the project.
Those with ADHD may have a hard time controlling emotions, especially compelling ones, such as anger and frustration.
Practicing relaxation techniques can help people calm down at the moment and better grasp their emotions. Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing, imagery, and yoga.
Exercise may also help with the more challenging effects of ADHD. Learn more here.
Learn more about ADHD remedies here.
If an individual finds that the challenges of ADHD become overwhelming, they should consult a doctor or healthcare provider. A doctor can provide referrals to behavior therapists or prescribe medication that can help an individual balance their ADHD symptoms.
Learn more about ADHD diagnosis here.
People living with ADHD may have a variety of skills and abilities beyond those of their neurotypical counterparts. These may include hyperfocus, resilience, creativity, conversational skills, spontaneity, and abundant energy.
Many people view these benefits as “superpowers” because those with ADHD can hone them to their advantage. People with ADHD have a unique perspective that others may find interesting and valuable.
The best way someone can optimize their abilities is by creating an environment where they can use these skills to thrive. Additionally, utilizing tactics such as checklists, time limits, and relaxation techniques can help to minimize the challenges associated with ADHD while still reaping the benefits.
Category: adhd awareness