Monday, September 17, 2012

Joys of living with ADHD


Accentuating the Positive


By Terry Orr
(ADD/ADHD-er)
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Multi-tasking at its best, once you learn how to harness the power of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – I have rarely considered this a negative in my life (I see the glass half full).  In fact, just the opposite – because most folks simply are unable to do what ADD/ADHD folks can do.  So let’s take closer look into these special abilities.
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Last September we covered ADHD from a clinical and non-clinical perspective:
  • Symptoms;
  • Signs and Test;
  • Treatment;
  • Medications;
  • Behavior Therapy; and
  • Some well-known people who are ADD/ADHD.


10 Most Positive Things about ADHD (by Bryan L. Hutchinson). In my research for this article I was thrilled to find Bryan's Web/Blog site (www.adderworld.com) “Positive Thinking of ADHD” chucked full of good information on ADD/ADHD.  A summary of these ten are provided below, you can download the complete package at Bryan's site:

  • Passion: Passion is energy, it is enthusiasm and it is intuitiveness.  Passion is life, it is ever constant.
  • Creativity: Creativity is found in all people, not just those of us with ADHD; however, it does seem that people with ADHD have a way of thinking which makes what we create stand out as unique and distinctive.
  • Dynamic: I believe people with ADHD are dynamic by nature. Dynamic people vibrate with energy and exude a kind of poise, which is too often misinterpreted.
  • Resilient: We have had to be in order to keep on, keeping on!
  • Playful: One of our most charming qualities is our playfulness.
  • Entertaining: I personally believe that most all entertainers are ADDers! We are natural born entertainers.  It’s not an art form for us, it’s a way of life.
  • Overachiever: One of our most underrated, least talked about traits is our desire to achieve, to do well and live a successful life.  Too many think we live by an excuse for our behavior and are unwilling to strive. The fact is: we are constantly striving!
  • Imagination: If there is one thing I love about my ADHD mind above all others, it is my vivid imagination. When I dream it is like watching a movie in my head, with the intricate sounds, vibrant colors and ever so subtle movements.
  • Hyper-Focus: I like to think of my hyper focus as my personal super power, which gives me tremendous advantages when I have it under my control.
  • Positivity: Is a trait of ADHD?  Perhaps not officially.  It is for me, finally! {This has been for me as long as I can remember}

Bryan also has published three books (which I purchased over the weekend and downloaded on my iPad):
  • One Boy's Struggle: A Memoir: Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD;
  • The Brilliant Reality of ADHD; and
  • Adult ADHD Can Be Sexy!
And has a fourth book in the works, “10 Things I Hate about ADHD”.
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In our recent post Positive Thinking (link) is an update to last year’s very successful article (link) on that same topic we shared information on the importance of being positive in every part of your life.   These are a nice Segway into - 


The Positive Characteristics of ADD / ADHD

People with ADD / ADHD also have many positive traits that are directly tied to their active, impulsive minds:


  • CreativityPeople with ADD excel at thinking outside of the box, brainstorming, and finding creative solutions to problems. Because of their flexible way of thinking about things, they tend to be more open-minded, independent, and ready to improvise.
  • Enthusiasm and spontaneityPeople with ADD are free spirits with lively minds—qualities that makes for good company and engrossing conversation. Their enthusiasm and spontaneous approach to life can be infectious.
  • A quick mind - People with ADD have the ability to think on their feet, quickly absorb new information (as long as it’s interesting), and multitask with ease. Their rapid-fire minds thrive on stimulation. They adapt well to change and are great in a crisis.
  • High energy levelPeople with ADD have loads of energy. When their attention is captured by something that interests them, they can have virtually unlimited stamina and drive.

Famous People with ADHD

Bill Cosby
Jim Carey
Whoopi Goldberg
Will Smith
Paris Hilton
Vincent Van Gogh
Orville & Wilber Wright
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Edison
Abraham Lincoln
John F. Kennedy (father and son both)
Walt Disney
Samuel Clemens
Emily Dickenson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Positive Characteristics of People with Attention Deficit Disorder:
Ability to find alternate paths to overcome obstacles; Able to take on large situations; Adaptive/collaborative; Adventurous, courageous, lives outside of boundaries; Always finding alternate routes to any given location; Always willing to help others; Ambitious – you want to be everything when “you grow up”; Artistic; Attractive personality – magnetic due to high energy; Being able to see the big picture; Being able to see the patterns in the chaos; Being intuitive towards others’ difficulties; Broad focus – can see more, notice things more; Can create order from chaos; Can do many projects at once; Can make people feel they are heard; Can see the big picture; Can talk about several things at one time; Can think on my feet; Career variety; Centre of attention; Comfortable talking in front of groups; Comfortable with change and chaos; Compassion for others and for themselves; Conceptualizes well; Confidence; Constantly evolving; Courageous; Creates connections easily; Creative; Creative writing; Creative – musical, artistic, “dramatic”; Down to Earth; Good in a crisis; Good at customer relations; Dedicated; Detail-oriented; Determined to gain more control; Eager to make friends; Eager to try new things; Empathetic, sensitive; Energetic; Entrepreneurial; Excellent organizers using journals and reminders (notes etc.); Flexible – changes as the situation requires; Fun guy to be around; Goal-oriented; Good at conceptualizing; Good at motivating self and others; Good at multitasking; Good at problem solving; Good at public speaking; Good at understanding others/mind reading – empathetic; Good conversationalist; Good delegator and good at organizing others; Good in emergency situations; Good listener; Good looking and aware of it; Good people skills; Good self-esteem, energetic; Great brain-stormer; Great multi-tasker; Great self-company; Great sense of humor; Great storyteller; Great with kids (central figure around kids); Hands-on workers; Hard worker; Has friendly relations with their family; Has the gift of gab; Helpful; Helps others who are also in trouble; High energy – go, go, go; Humor, very healthy, quick picking up ideas; Hyper focus !!; Hypersensitive – very empathetic and good at non-verbal communications; Idea generator; Imaginative; Impulsive (in a good way) not afraid to act; Initiators; Intelligent; Intuitive; It’s ok to not finish everything; Learning as much as I can to help children and others with ADHD; Less sleep is good (midnight to 6 am); Like to talk a lot; Likes learning new things; Look at multidimensional sides to a situation; Lots of interests; Loves to cook and be creative; Magnetic; Master idea generator; Mentoring others/helpful; Mentoring people with low self-esteem; Modesty; Move on fast – never hold a grudge; Multitasks well; Never bored and rarely boring; Never intimidated to try new things; Non-linear, multi-dimensional/edge of chaos; Not afraid to speak mind; Not contained by boundaries; On stage and ready; Optimistic; Outgoing; Passionate; Persistent; Philosophical; Holistic thinking; Playful; Pragmatic; Problem solver; Profound; Quick thinking; Quick witted; Relates to people easily; Resistant; Resourceful; Saves money in the short term by forgetting to file tax returns; See and remember details – recount them later; Sees the big picture; Socially adaptive and flexible; Spontaneous; Stabilizer during difficult situations; Stable; Successful; Takes initiative; Tenacious; Theoretical; Think outside the box; Thinks two meters ahead of the world; Thinks big, dreams big; Thorough; Tolerant; Trusting, Unconventional; Unlimited energy; Unorthodox; Versatile; Very creative, able to generate a lot of ideas; Very hard working to compensate – workaholic; Very intuitive; Very resourceful; Very successful; Visionary; Visual learner; Willing to explore; Willing to take risks; Willingness to help others; Witty; Won’t tolerate boredom; Works well under pressure; and Worldly.

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Whew!  That’s quite a list of Positive Characteristics and surprisingly is spot on for me in all but four.  How many of them accurately depict your characteristics?


References and Links:

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