As an adult with ADHD, I’ve experienced my share of challenges. I’ve struggled with focus, time management, ogranization, memory, overwhelm, and so much more, just like everyone else with ADHD.

But I wouldn’t trade my ADHD for anything! Why? Because despite some difficulties, I’m also well aware of the benefits that I’ve enjoyed. While the ADHD-wired brain certainly presents some challenges, it also offers some incredible advantages. And when you learn to effectively manage your ADHD, then you can really enjoy these benefits!

The following is a list of positive qualities and characteristics that I consistently see in my clients, friends, and colleagues with ADHD, and in myself, too.

  1. Compassion
    People with ADHD have a tremendous power to connect with other people. But it goes a step further than that. We also have an advanced ability to empathize with others, and to see many different perspectives. It’s easy for us to put ourselves “in someone else’s shoes” and to understand where they’re coming from.
  2. Creativity
    I’ve never met an ADHDer who wasn’t creative! Writers, painters, musicians, film makers, designers, sculptors, comedians – the list goes on! Artistic talents are abundant. Composers Mozart and Beethoven are believed to have had ADHD*.
  3. Drive
    When an ADHDer is bored with a task, completing it can seem like torture. But give us an interesting project to work on and watch out!  When we want to succeed, and we have the necessary tools to do so, there is no stopping us!
  4. Problem Solving Ability
    ADHDers thrive on solving problems and puzzles. Give us an interesting problem to solve and we won’t be able to drop it until we’ve found the solution! Inventor Thomas Edison is believed to have had ADHD.*
  5.  Hyper-Focus
    The ability to hyper-focus is something that we can use to our advantage. When kept under control and directed towards productive tasks, like accomplishing goals and living dreams, it can be an incredible asset that allows us to get the job done, and done well!
  6. Sense of Humor/Comedic Flair
    Most ADHDers love to laugh, and many also have a knack for making others laugh! I’m always amazed and pleasantly surprised to find my clients cracking me up on our coaching calls. Famous comedians such as Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams are rumored to have ADHD.*
  7. Resiliency
    There’s no denying that even though there are many great qualities that come along with ADHD, there are also challenges. But ADHDers have an incredible ability to bounce back from those challenges and to keep moving forward.
  8. Intuition
    ADHDers have a sharp sense of intuition. This may be due to highly tuned levels of perception, or great insight into the human mind, or something else that we have yet to understand. Whatever the reason, it’s a very useful gift!
  9. Idea Generating
    ADHDers are wonderful idea generators. We don’t usually like to be bothered with details, but we can come up with ideas at lightning speed! We’re a true asset in brainstorming meetings.
  10. That “Special Something”
    Many ADHDers feel that they have a unique way of looking at the world, a perspective that others just don’t understand.  That is, until the ADHDer meets other people with ADHD!  You might say that we’re on our own wavelength! That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important that connect with each other on a regular basis for support and inspiration.

*Of course, we’ll never really know if these famous people actually do/did have ADHD, but they’ve certainly exhibited many of the symptoms—and benefits!

So, did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know what ADHD benefits you enjoy!


Jennifer Koretsky About Jennifer Koretsky

Jennifer Koretsky, SCAC is the Managing Partner of the ADD Management Group, LLC and Chief Executive Officer of ADHDmanagement.com. She is a Senior Certified ADHD Coach, and the author of Odd One Out: The Maverick's Guide to Adult ADD.

Comments

  1. Awesome article, love the new site and new look.

    If I may, I would add that we have an entrepreneurial spirit. I have been a serial entrepreneur my entire life. I actually had a lemonade stand as a kid. I have started and sold three companies thus far and working on selling a fourth right now. I do it for love of the game and not for money. I have a talent for knowing what people want and giving it to them.

    I have seen this quality in my daughter and now in my granddaughter. I commented on her lovely stuffed bear at Christmas and she offered to sell it to me.

  2. I’ve only been on this site for about 5 minutes, and I’m already loving it. (Ha. Like we can trust and ADDer’s sense of time) @JP Keep up the good work.

  3. Jennifer Koretsky Jennifer Koretsky says:

    @JP, I agree. Many of us do have that entrepreneurial spirit. And your granddaughter sounds adorable!
    @Adam, thanks for the great feedback!

  4. Just finished reading The Gift of Adult ADD recently. Many similar points in that book as your article.
    After reading I decided not to apologize for anything any longer. I do try each day to accomplish
    one task start to finish but use a timer ( I have 4 of them) to break it into chunks to keep down the “overwhelm”. Makes the mundane less painful. Put me in front of a canvas or a table full of beads & I can go forever. Too bad we have to stop & eat or make sure kid’s homework is done or remember
    to pick them up from practice or go to work …. Now if I could just get my husband to stop trying to “fix” me.

  5. Wow I love this positive approach toward ADHD. The choice of having a “disease” or an advantage depends on the person itself. Thanks for sharing this wonderful info

  6. I always thought of ADHD as my superpower and I would get annoyed at all those articles by those non ADHD peasants calling it a disorder and trying to kill its awesomeness with medicine.
    I believe that in the coming years, with all the ADHDs getting educated and learning to control their superpower, this “disorder” will be re-diagnosed as another category of genius.

  7. Im 18 and i just knew i had it last month, and i think its the reason im very strong physically, cos im angry throughout my childhood that i have many enemies thinking they dont want me, reason why i joined almost all sports and listening to Metal songs making me very strong. Hatred had me on my childhood but now only just a little.. Im very creative i believe i can draw literal faces, i love to sing, play musical instruments, and i excell at football and basketball. But i dont have many friends :( still heartbreaking.

  8. Hi Jennifer,

    I’m a recently diagnosed ADHD 39 year old .

    I’ve been trying to fully understand the condition and it is proving difficult to separate the myth from the established facts. As such, I’ve been doing a bit of research and the more I learn the more confused I get.

    In reference to your interesting article, do you have any research backed evidence for any of the claims that you have made? By research, I mean peer reviewed research, rather than books by people in the “industry”. I’m not trying to be rude, I genuinely would like some solid information.

    • Jennifer Koretsky Jennifer Koretsky says:

      Hi Shane,
      This list was created as an observation of common traits I have seen in adults with ADHD. I’ve been coaching ADHDers for over a decade, and I am one, myself, so I have quite a bit of experience to draw from! If you are interested in ADHD research, I suggest looking into the work of Russell Barkley.

      And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Virtual AD/HD Conference, which is an online event happening next week. We have ADHD experts teaching Master Classes in the topics that are most important to adults with ADHD. Many of them are doctors and psychologists who will be explaining and referencing research and studies in such a way that even the non-scientific minded will understand and benefit. http://www.ADHDconference.com

      Best wishes! :)

  9. I’ve always found that people without ADHD have a hard time understanding me. But when I’ve found someone else who has it, we always have an intense understanding of each other. I think the reason that ADHD is looked on as a disorder, is we appear to not care, or not try in things that don’t interest us. But as you said, when we find something that truly interests us, we reveal our true genius.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi
    I don’t know how to tell people stuff very well so just bear with me. I hate having ADHD. It messes with almost everything in my life. It’s so frustrating to never know when homework is due, to have to constantly be reminded to do things, to constantly not remember things that you wanted to say, to miss out on important stuff because you were off in another world, to have people get frustrated with you because you weren’t listing to them. sometimes it feels like my brain just stops working. I hate that people don’t understand me or what I’m going through.

    • I don’t like having ADD either. I tend to understand people with ADHD/ADD too. They just don’t seem to understand me. We do appear uncaring to others..lazy. But I encourage people like my relatives to understand the “disorder.” My son has it and he seems not to care but I know he does. He can hyper focus on things he loves.

  11. Well I have ADHD, and I’ve never been the creative type. In fact, I can’t stand art and can’t write for shit. Maybe I’m one of the screwed over ones, like the ones in prison?
    I wonder about these sites that claim ADHD is a gift from God. If God was truly generous he wouldn’t have given me all these attributes for failure (poverty, dark skin color, ADHD).
    At least now that im diagnosed I know why I am such a flunkie in life.

    • Jennifer Koretsky Jennifer Koretsky says:

      Onel,
      I’m sorry to hear that you feel this way. The point of the article is to provide a counter-balance to the negative feelings about ADHD that can sometimes overtake us. I stand behind the assertion that ADHDers are creative. It doesn’t always show up in the form of art–it may show up in the form of problem solving, sense of humor, etc. I’m willing to bet you have a creative bone somewhere in your body.
      :)

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