Lately I have been hearing from some ADHD professionals about how great it is to have ADHD. I’m beginning to wonder where it is these people are hanging out and who they have been talking to. I’m also beginning to wonder what color the sky in their worlds are. It’s really hard for me to get this "ADHD is Great" concept. See, I am somebody who has really struggled over the years because I have ADHD.

It’s not just me who has struggled either. The thousands of people with ADHD I have come in contact with over the years have also struggled too. Those who hired me as an ADHD Coach over the past several years have come to me to help them because ADHD has negatively impacted their lives. The people who take classes at are there to learn more about ADHD because ADHD is challenging for them.

Yes, people with ADHD like anybody else have great talents, strengths and gifts. As an ADHD Coach in addition to helping my clients learn better strategies I also help them focus on their strengths too. But, as both an ADHD professional and a person with ADHD myself I am really getting tired of hearing about how great ADHD is because for most of us it’s not. For most of us who have struggled because of ADHD saying ADHD is great is down right insulting!

Do you think ADHD is great?

    7 replies to "Is ADHD Great??"

    • Cathy W

      I definitely agree with you that ADD is not great! If it was, it would not be called a disorder. I also see how such a focus can serve to invalidate those people whose experience with ADD is anything but great. However, on the side of those who have been promoting the idea of ADD as a wonderful “gift” I think they are basically coming from a good place. There has been so much of a negative focus on ADD and on how it impacts people’s lives that it has served to reinforce the low self-esteem from which so many people with ADD suffer. Anything that puts a positive light on a person’s situation is, in my opinion, worth supporting. Having said that, I hope that we can maintain a good balance between seeing the negative side of the disorder and the positive qualities of the person with the disorder. My concern is that if the focus on ADD as being such a great thing, swings too far, treatments will cease and people with ADD will be left to struggle and suffer alone.

    • Akania

      I also have ADD, and it gets irritating sometimes. I get where they are coming from but it’s not much use for adults who have had to suffer years and years of problems. It would have been good for me when I was a child so I didn’t reach this stage.
      Also I think if your ADD is milder, ADD is great for you but not if yours is more severe. Distraction from time to time is good, helps you become creative but not if that’s your normal state of mind a lot of the time at work, at home… it becomes a big problem.
      They just seem to be simplifying and ignoring the complexities. I also get the feeling it’s my fault that I haven’t used my ADD to my benefit because if ADD IS GREAT!, the reason I’m having problems must be me.

    • Susan

      I am an adult with ADHD. I’m glad I have it; it’s part and parcel of who I am. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, and it has had negative effects on my life. I take medication, and I’m glad to have it. But still, I’m glad to have ADHD. I subscribe to Dr. Hallowell’s attitude–we think differently, not worse. We think quickly, make connections other people don’t, keep lots of balls in the air at once. And we’re fun. What more could you ask? 🙂

    • Jessica

      I agree with your viewpoint Tara, that having ADD is NOT great. The anxiety I feel on a daily basis–trying to keep it all together, is certainly not GREAT. Not being able to accomplish the routine things that I find boring and literally painful to do–things that most people do without thinking twice about–like straightening the house, making the beds, sorting through papers, actually sitting still long enough to READ THE NEWSPAPER, and doing the laundry and actually putting it away, doesn’t make for GREAT. That’s what having ADD represents for me in my life.

      I sometimes have some creative ideas, but having ADD in conjunction with LD, certainly has not given me wonderful opportunities to make them happen in my career. I did successfully hold a great birthday party for my child recently–that was actually very creative–but was that ADD or was that me just having a creative flair when it comes to planning my child’s birthday parties?

      Maybe ADD is GREAT, when you’ve been taught how to compensate for it, or have the right tools to figure how to compensate on your own. Maybe it’s just having the money and the right connections who can help you (the guy who owns Virgin Airlines comes to mind), so that all of that POSITVE ADD ENERGY can surface?

    • Scott Hutson

      A gift? My ADD was diagnosed by a NeuroPsychologist. What led to this was/is symptoms of cognition,that came about after discovering 12 brain lesions/tumors(?)via MRI, in Aug.06(I was 45yrs old).

      After many tests(including a brain biopsy),I am now being treated for Atypical M.S. It,s a long story, but I have discovered via. reading about ADHD, I have had ADHD all My life,and these brain disease has just magnified it extremely.

      Yes, I do have many great intellectual thoughts and abilities, that come to Me very fast(racing thoughts),that border on a genius level,in solving physical construction repairs and installation of things. Explaining them and being frustrated by partners/helpers,and they’re misunderstanding…It’s no gift,for me.


    • Josh

      I’m in the middle of hyperfocusing on learning programming, so I will keep this short and simple.

      While I can understand the viewpoints I have read in this thread, I only do so with the belief that you all think ADD is a nightmare because you do not understand, or do not use what you are given.
      I try not to be to judgmental on things like this, but as you all know, impulsivity is our bread and butter.

      In truth, I can not even begin to explain how strange and sickning it is to hear people complain and wine because their brain moves to fast, or they have the ability to percieve things that no one else can. Hell the hell do you guys call this a nightmare?

      Honestly, quick complaining about your gift, as if it was responsible for the choices you have made, and go be a scientist, engineer, or political figure, that your brain was designed for.


    • George

      Not sure about great but it does have it’s advantages. I was diagnosed at age 56. The diagnosis was the first correct diagnosis. I try to work with my brain and not make excuses. I have to be aware of alot more issues now but I try to see it as an advantage that needs channeling. I stopped trying to “Fit In.”
      TITLE: ADD: The Good, The Bad,
      BLOG NAME: Experiencing ADDvantages
      DATE: 12/11/2007 03:43:26 PM
      There’s been an intense discussion going on among some members in the ADHD Coaches Organization. Some coaches think that ADD is a good thing, and wouldn’t trade it for anything. They believe that the benefits of ADD well outweigh the

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