Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the label currently used to describe what was once known only as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADHD is a neurobehavioral syndrome that affects millions of American children and commonly lasts throughout adulthood. Though ADHD is frequently diagnosed during adolescence, adults can also be diagnosed with ADHD symptoms later in life.
The Benefits of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The root cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is believed to be part genetic and part environmental although the exact cause is not yet completely known. Research does support the theory that there is a genetically linked chemical imbalance in the brain of some people with ADHD. A large percentage of children born to mothers who smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol or had complicated pregnancies tend to also exhibit ADHD symptoms.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has three different classifications:
- Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
- Predominately Inattentive Type
- Combined Type
ADHD symptoms include:
- Inability to sit quietly
- Inability to concentrate for extended periods of time
- Lack of control over impulsive behaviors
While some ADHD symptoms may be present in children without ADHD, a pediatrician, psychologist, or other mental health professional is able to appropriately diagnose whether or not a child actually has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or not.
Children and others with ADHD will often make thoughtless blunders in class work or homework. People with ADHD will also often have difficulties listening to and following directions. They sometimes are prone to leaving tasks uncompleted, are often disorganized, easily distracted and can be very forgetful. At the same time, their hyperactivity syndrome involves fidgeting, constant chattering, an inability to remain seated at appropriate times and a severe difficulty waiting for their turn when interacting with others. Such disruptive behaviors often call for special attention for school-aged students and can be distracting to other children in a classroom setting.
As children grow into adulthood, the symptoms of ADHD do not disappear and they often become worse if not properly managed. An adult who hasn’t managed to control ADHD symptoms may experience extreme difficulties focusing in college or on a job. These difficulties can lead to poor achievement, ridicule, and low self-esteem. Adults with unmanaged ADHD symptoms are sometimes prone to be quick-tempered, verbally insulting and become easily agitated with peers and co-workers. These unmanaged behaviors also can have a negative impact on their family and social interactions.
Though Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is considered a disability of sorts, ADHD also has many benefits that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. ADHD benefits are as follows:
- A person with ADHD is often hyper-aware of their surroundings and is sometimes prone to realize irregularities in an environment or slightly unusual things that other people may overlook.
- People with ADHD are sometimes good at multi-tasking and, thus, if able to develop this skill, can become highly efficient at managing more than one activity at a time.
- People with ADHD are often creative visionaries.
- People with ADHD symptoms are sometimes quite charismatic and their energy can be contagious in an environment where vigor is needed, such as in sports or entertainment.
According to Cori Malinowski, author of Benefits of ADHD: 10 Surprising Facts there are many surprising benefits including:
- Many ADHD’ers are millionaires
- Artists, musicians, actors, and athletes often have ADHD
- ADHD people can have a very high IQ
- ADHD people thrive on intensity
- Many ADHD’ers start their own businesses
- When ADHD people find their passion, they are unstoppable
- ADHD people are high energy, fun, and make life more exciting
When children with ADHD symptoms are allowed and encouraged to view these traits as positive and when such traits are nurtured as a special gift, these children often grow into high-achieving adults.
Examples of famous people with ADHD symptoms are:
- Michael Phelps
- Jim Carey
- Steven Spielberg
- Robin Williams
- Stevie Wonder
- Anthony Hopkins
- Will Smith
- Ann Bancroft
- Ted Turner
- Pablo Picasso
- Babe Ruth
- Thomas Edison
- Albert Einstein
- Abraham Lincoln
- Walt Disney
- President George Bush, Sr.
- President George Bush, Jr.
- Bill Gates
- Emily Dickinson
If any of the above were stifled into believing that their hyperactivity, restlessness or other traits associated with ADHD were a curse, our society would have missed out on some of the most influential people in arts, entertainment, science, politics and sports to ever live. Instead, individuals with ADHD symptoms who learn how to live powerfully with their symptoms and see them as a benefit often can and do accomplish incredible feats.
In a life focused on holistic health, it is discovered that some of the properly managed characteristics of a person with ADHD symptoms can be useful to their personal development. However, such a discovery requires that we first honor the fact that we are all uniquely created and that our differences, including ADHD symptoms, can be celebrated.
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