The Positives to Having ADD

Learning and knowing one’s personal strengths is important whether you have AD/HD or not. Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder can help offset some of the negative aspects of the disorder, but who wants to talk about that? Not me, not right now anyway! So, instead, here is a list of some of the positive personality characteristics and traits that those of us with ADD or ADHD bring to our lives, our friends and families and our work environments.

Creativity – most articles about the positive traits associated with ADD mention creativity. That’s because it’s true! Creativity is seen in a variety of ways, be it through humor, inventive ideas, writing, design, etc. In a work environment, thinking outside the box (which is not a very “outside the box” way of saying it), is appreciated. Unconventional thinking and new points of view are great for everyone involved because this enables fresh ideas to work their way into conventional situations. The ADDA-SR web site says that people with ADD “can find success in most fields utilizing creativity, mechanical, technical and service-oriented jobs.”

Problem Solving Skills – We’re inquisitive, perceptive and original thinkers, so we are at our best when trying to solve problems. Are you the go to person for your friends or family when they have problems? I am! And I love it! The ability to be helpful due to astute troubleshooting skills makes us great helpers (we just have to work on our listening skills sometimes).

Brain Storming – A rapid fire thought process combined with creativity make a great comedian or improve actor (i.e.: Robin Williams). Whether they are good or bad, we can come up with lots of ideas in one sitting if inspired. We can keep conversations going due to fast paced thinking or what I call the “Domino” effect.

Multitasking – my claim to fame. Yes, I am the Queen of multitasking. As long as we can follow through, working on multiple tasks at once is one way we fight boredom, but for others, it’s a way to get us to be productive. “To Do” lists are quite helpful here (and I’m the Queen of those as well, in addition to being the Queen of Post It Notes).

Flexibility – if you’re used to doing more than one thing at once, it’s nothing to just pick up and do another. Unless you’re like me and you like your schedule, ADDers are probably the ones to give the less grief about a major change of plans.

Quick Learner – This one is a little iffy, because it depends on the type of learning going on. I think with most ADDers it is hands on or interactive learning that makes information stick right away. You show us what to do and we can do it. This also includes learning from mistakes, which, personally, is how I learn the best (sometimes this is not such a good thing though).

Quirky – As Mary Jane Johnson wrote in her article “Eight Ways to Handle Impulsivity” – she mentions that ADD people can get “overly excited” which is definitely a quirk of mine! But this is a good thing – we bring uniqueness and positivity to situations. An article on the ADDA-SR site says that another quirk is that “feelings are expressed openly and actively. Impulsivity and activity are expressed. One with this type of ADD can usually succeed in sales, entertainment, entrepreneurship, or another fields utilizing quickness and high energy.” So we bring energy and excitement to everyone’s lives. Woohoo!

We seek “high-stimulus situations” - Edward M. Hallowell says that this characteristic can get people in trouble, but can work to our advantage by making us high energy and highly productive (http://www.add.org/articles/whats_it_like.html). But we are also attuned to the fact that the situation is high stimulus, bringing in a multitude of other special personality traits such as “See[ing] unique relationships between people and things” according to Suite 101 writer Darcy Andries. This is certainly one of my stronger, positive characteristics.

Hyper-focusing – “One with this type of ADD can usually succeed in the military, accounting, or another field utilizing computers and attention to detail and precision.” (ADDA-SR). Thank goodness for hyper-focusing! We are great multitaskers but in our attempt to overcome a lack of attention span we’ve somehow developed an ability to over compensate occasionally too. However, in situations that require exactness and remarkable attention to detail, we can really shine and show off our skills. It's great!

What are your positive personality traits as someone with AD/HD? Do you have the ones mentioned above or none of them?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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