Adult-to-Adult: ADDitude Asked…

As an adult with ADHD, do you consider your diagnosis and symptoms to be a gift, a challenge, or both?

Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed due to overlapping symptoms with other conditions
Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed due to overlapping symptoms with other conditions.

ADDitude asked: Do you consider attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be a gift, a challenge, or both? Most of you said the condition is both, a handful call it a burden — and worse! — and a few of you haven’t made up your minds yet.

“Some days, I see how creative our 12-year-old son is, and other days, the challenge of raising him seems too great.” -A.J., Kentucky

“I find it to be both. It gives me more energy, and allows me to notice more details than most people do. However, it’s a challenge to concentrate and get things done.” -K.K., Texas

“I think of it as a gift. We have strengths, and balance out all the type-A, perfection-driven people in the world.” -Maureen, New York

“ADHD is the most challenging gift God has given me. I have to wear many hats as a church secretary, and I have a hard time staying focused on long-term projects.” -Joymarie, South Dakota

“Our daughter’s ADHD is a great challenge, but it has drawn us closer as a family.” -Barbara, Missouri

“It’s a challenge that I work at every day. I struggle with organization, but one small success came when I started entering only date- and time-specific tasks in the ‘today’ section of my planner. I used to put down everything in that section, and it overwhelmed me.” -Robert, Georgia

“It depends on the situation. Eating out in a noisy restaurant with friends is agony. But, on balance, ADHD is a gift. The obstacles ADHD puts in your path teach you to persevere after others have given up.” -Candace, Ontario, Canada

“I think it’s an albatross. Anyone who considers this condition a ‘gift’ has either been misdiagnosed or is suffering from some other mental health issue.” -Brian, New York

“It is a challenging gift that I love and hate.” -Clyde, The Hague, The Netherlands

“I guess it depends on the day. Most days, I think it’s a gift. On my bad days, not so much.” -An ADDitude Reader

“Depending on the project, it could be either. It is a gift when big deadlines are near, and every move is critical to success. It is a challenge when things are slow, and I miss my only meeting scheduled for the day.” -Catherine, Ohio

“I’m a therapist, and I felt broken when I was diagnosed with ADHD. But I learned to make the condition work for me.” -Laura, Oklahoma

“Neither…it’s just a burden. Society is built for the normal, and there’s little room for us.” -Chris, Indiana

“Both! I find it difficult to remain on task and to get to work on time, but my ADHD comes in handy when my supervisors need quick, creative solutions.” -Heather, Arizona

“ADHD is a challenge when it comes to the job and my most important relationships.” -An ADDitude Reader

“A little of each. It allows me to be more creative, flexible, and dedicated than most people are. But my poor time-management skills cause problems at work.” -Lena, California

“I have suffered from ADHD more than I have gained. I enjoy the fact that I am not an ordinary linear thinker. But I work in the field of science, where accuracy and a good memory are key. ADHD hasn’t helped me much at my job.” -Margaret, Arizona