If you have ADHD or you have a child who has ADHD it can be especially hard to think of this condition in a positive light. There is genuine suffering for those who have it as they struggle to perform day to day tasks at school, in the home, and on the job. Let's face it, life is not easy for those who have ADHD. As with any life circumstance, however, there is a glass half full side to this. I am not going to Pollyanna you into seeing rainbows and sunshine or diminish the seriousness of living with this condition. But I am going to give you a way to reframe ADHD as something which is not all gloom and doom. Most of all I want to give you hope that you or your child can survive and lead a good life. Finding the positive in all this can help with acceptance and to live a happier life despite the ADHD.
Here is my list of positive things about ADHD:
1. There is treatment: There are things you can do today to ease the struggle of having ADHD. You can visit our ADHD treatment page to start learning about the various and many ways to manage your ADHD or to help your child manage his or her ADHD For example there are behavior management strategies, sensory integration approaches, social skills training, and even things like yoga, and special diets. There are also medications which can help some children and adults lessen the symptoms of ADHD. The point is that there are many ways to treat ADHD so that you or your child can lead a better life.
2. There is support: If you are a parent of a child who has ADHD the world can sometimes seem to be a lonely place. Sometimes it is hard to find other people even within our own family who understand what you go through in trying to help your child. Or if you are an adult with ADHD your friends, family, and employers may also not quite get how this condition can hinder your life in so many ways. The people who I find best understand are those who have firsthand experience with ADHD whether it be from a parent or someone who has ADHD. At ADHD Central we understand what you are going through. I find it is very healing to share your story with others who are thinking they are the only one in the world to deal with this. I encourage you to reach out on this site and connect with others who can help support you along your journey.
3. There is advocacy: As I write this post there are people out there who are working tirelessly on our behalf to promote legislation to help those who have ADHD. One of those people include E. Clarke Ross, caregiver and CEO of CHADD, an organization devoted to providing information, support and advocacy to children and adults with ADHD. You can see CHADD's latest efforts to reform health care right here.
4.Even Celebrities have ADHD: If you think that you are alone in having ADHD you would be very wrong in this assumption. ADHD is a disorder which crosses all ages and demographics. And to boot, there are many celebrities who engage in a day to day battle with their ADHD symptoms. For example celebrities like Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars or Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps have ADHD. If you missed it, our Eileen Bailey did a fabulous interview with Howie Mandel that you will definitely want to check out. Howie also has ADHD. It just goes to show you that no matter what you are dealing with, it is possible to persevere and lead a productive life.
5. There are many creative outlets for managing ADHD symptoms: One of the coping mechanisms that children and adults with ADHD commonly use is their sense of creativity. My son, for example, has a passion for drawing that I have never seen before. There has not been a day that goes by that he has not created some type of art whether it be a self portrait in markers or a paper sculpture church. The thing is, there are many different creative outlets to choose from including painting, sculpting, writing, acting or even comedy. If your ADHD child is the class clown maybe let him or her take some acting classes or practice a stand up routine. Take the things that they enjoy with a passion and find a good outlet for expression.
6. There are many physical outlets for managing ADHD symptoms: Take a look at the celebrities I have mentioned like Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars. She puts her energy into dancing as a way to manage her ADHD symptoms. Pro-wrestler Matt Morgan talks about wrestling and ADHD in a video for CHADD. There are many people who have ADHD who turn to athletics and sports as a way to cope with their symptoms. These people have turned this outlet into careers.
7. You can harness the power of hyperfocus: I wrote an article here recently about how many people with ADHD have the ability to hyperfocus. Hyperfocus is intense concentration and interest upon an activity so much so that one can be oblivious to the outside world. While this hyperfocus can be detrimental in some cases as in not eating or sleeping because you have to finish playing a video game, it can also be a gift for those who use it wisely. Hyperfocus has been described by some as "finding flow" with their job or creative expression. It may be just what it needed to excel and succeed with certain life goals and ambitions.
8. Joie de vivre (the translation of this French term is the Joy of living): I don't know about you but my son's hyperactive frantic life is punctuated by periods of pure joy and bliss. He gets excited about so many things! Everything we do is an adventure because of his passion for life. When I spend time with my son there is a lot of laughter. And life is some great whirlwind of delights. When I look at the world through his eyes the world is something to be consumed like some great big chocolate chip cookie. He reminds me to seize the day and enjoy my life to the fullest.
9.Resilience: I find that my son has a special resilience to keep trying no matter what. He has had so many obstacles to overcome but he still hangs in there and doesn't give up. I am sure you have seen this strength in your child as well.
10. People with ADHD have that special something: I think the special something is that ability to look at the world from a different perspective than most people. There are many creative brilliant people who have ADHD whose talents and gifts may go unrecognized. If you or your child has ADHD take the time to discover those traits, passions, and positive characteristics which can lead to opportunities in life.
I hope this has been helpful to take a look at the brighter and more hopeful side to ADHD. If you have anything to add to this list please do so in the form of a comment to this post. We absolutely want to hear from you. Your thoughts, opinions, and experiences are important to us!