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Resilience

STUDENT BLOG: The Benefits of ADHD.

When you look up ADHD on the internet, you’ll see tons of information, articles, and newsletters about how difficult children with ADHD tend to be, and how hard parenting them is. The problem is that kids with ADHD grow up thinking that they’ve been cursed with some horrible disease.

Children with ADHD grow up not being taught about it. While the average age of ADHD diagnosis is around 7 years old, I had not heard about ADHD prior to my diagnosis at the age of 6, and wasn’t taught about it in school until the end of my 5th grade year when students are typically 10 years old. Because of this, for four years, I knew very little about my ADHD other than what my parents would tell me. When we finally were taught about ADHD in school, the conversation was led by teachers and lasted just 30 minutes. There wasn’t a conversation after our introduction to ADHD, nor was it ever really discussed amongst the students.

For years I grew up thinking that my ADHD was a weakness; it was something to be embarrassed about and something that needed to be hidden.

Toward the end of middle school and high school especially, I began to feel more comfortable telling people about my ADHD. After that, I started to notice that people actually appreciated some of my personality traits that I attribute to my ADHD.

I’ve realized that despite what literally everyone else thinks, sometimes, having ADHD can be pretty great.

For starters, I’ve never had a lull in a conversation or any of those dreadful awkward pauses. This is because my mind is constantly racing during conversation with new things popping up in all different directions and all over the place. Some of my friends have even said that they feel as though I could talk to a wall–so quite literally anyone. I would most definitely attribute this to my ADHD, and how my mind is constantly buzzing and bouncing between so many different thoughts.

Even now, when I’m looking up “good things about ADHD ” on the internet, I’m finding characteristics of myself that I didn’t even know I could potentially attribute to it. Many blogs and other websites commend people with ADHD for their resilience, a strong sense of fairness, intuition, and attention to detail. I’ve always been hyper aware of my attention to detail, or more specifically, how others don’t notice specific things I’m noticing. I never thought it had anything to do with ADHD, as I assumed that paying specific or strong attention to certain details was uncharacteristic of attention-deficit-hyperactive-disorder. This, however, is not the case; I learned that it’s actually quite common that people with ADHD seem to notice things others miss.

According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, the average brain manages to sort and filter all incoming sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch sensations to a “manageable 40 bits of information per second.”

The ADHD brain, on the other hand, is overloaded with sensory input, so sometimes, little things that normally wouldn’t be noticed by most everyone else do get through the filter and are noticed, which is pretty cool.

There’s this blog website ADDitude that lists “25 Things to Love About ADD.” While not every single thing resonated with me, a lot of them did – some I had never even acknowledged. The list notes the benefit of “the drive of hyperfocus,” and “always being there to provide a different perspective,” as well as a strong willingness to fight for what you believe in. I’m sure that if those of you with ADHD checked out the website, you’d resonate with a lot of these great qualities too.

So yeah, while having ADHD can definitely be a struggle sometimes, especially when trying to manage classes in school, I’m realizing that there are parts of it that I really love, and are actually really great!

 

Resources

ADDitude Mag

ADHD At Work

About the Coach

Katherine Emery.

Student Intern

Katherine Emery is a rising senior at Bucknell University majoring in Psychology.

Meet Katherine