What are your favorite traits that ADHD has given you?

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    • #40281
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user Lilapsophile in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      My favorite traits from my ADHD are creativity and a bent sense of humor, and well as perseverance. What are your favorite traits you have been given by your ADHD??????

    • #42339
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Burraak in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Fortunate ADHD’s often describe Creativity, Sense of Humour and Extra kick of energy as their gifts but
      Generally I don’t like anything about ADHD however
      Creativity is something I like the most but not so helpful if I have no opportunity in hand to use it,
      Sense of humour without understanding social cues and people psychology often brought embarrassment

      Pardon me I may go off topic but these extra gifts are not so helpful in our quest to survival

    • #42345
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Keaton04 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      IF there is a last minute something to be done I can get it done without panic or freaking out! I can do some of best work under the gun, However I do not like to let that happen and do my best to avoid that situation at all cost! Strange sense of humor! I visualize everything! I have a thing with numbers! I am like 411! I can remember phone numbers from way way back!

    • #42348
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Michael Freeman in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Directly my ADHD has caused me severe difficulty and lifelong struggles, but such difficulty and struggling has given me insight and empathy into other people, especially those with complex behavioral and emotional difficulties.

      I have a lot of empathy for others who have not had the most fortunate circumstances in life, this is without a doubt due to the disadvantage that i have suffered.

      For some reason also, I am very good at interacting with younger people and children.

    • #43794

      I am very computer savvy, a creative problem-solver, have an unending reservoir of ideas, am curious and can get myself interested in just about anything, can spell check better than Microsoft, read emotions in peoples’ body language like a book, empathetic, protector of the underdogs, more energy than anyone else. In hyperfocus I can work faster and more accuratly than anyone in the department.

    • #43795

      Oops – I spelled “accurately” wrong – but that was because I wasn’t paying attention, not because I don’t know how to spell it.

    • #51498

      The best thing I get from ADD is that adrenaline dumps dopamine into the brain. That means that in a crisis, when everyone else is freaking out, my brain suddenly becomes normal, leaving me calm and focused.

      • #51599

        The best thing I get from ADD is that adrenaline dumps dopamine into the brain. That means that in a crisis, when everyone else is freaking out, my brain suddenly becomes normal, leaving me calm and focused.

        This is why I’m a meeting planner! I am super calm under pressure and give the illusion that everything is just fine.

        Other than that, there’s the creativity aspect. When I was younger I wrote stories like crazy. However, I never finished them (there’s the ADHD kicking in). I am VERY particular about spelling and grammar (which is a good and bad thing) – hyperfocus and all that.

      • #51933

        Hmm… I’ve never connected this to ADHD…. I have found that I am that way, it isn’t a problem, just the opposite actually, so I never focused on WHY it is. I just figured some folks are like that and some aren’t and am grateful that I am. But…. your comment makes a lot of sense. Thanks for posting it.

        But yeah, it was a little strange to me really, the first few times I noticed it.
        Others are freaking out but… it’s like…. I’m looking at things in a very analytical, calm, logical way without the usual distracting thoughts and “stuff” in the periphery.
        It’s almost as if the situation has shoved all the normal distractions aside and suddenly things have slowed down, become clearer and it’s simply a matter of dealing with the issue.

        I’ve even joked before when asked why I wasn’t freaking out too, “well, It’s an emergency… there’s plenty of time to freak out afterward, let’s fix it first.”

      • #55791
        Uncle Dharma

        I remain calm in an emergency.
        Sometimes this can be a personality thing, as my son and my father also step forward and help but neither have ADD.
        At work, I have been a fire warden for about 25 years.

    • #51630

      My husband has ADHD. He is an excellent mutli-tasker and problem solver. Additionally, he is action oriented and good at doing large projects in a short period of time.

    • #54126

      Reading this has been very helpful to me in understanding aspects of ADHD that I never understood. I agree with Kevin Ju (previous poster): Directly my ADHD has caused me severe difficulty and lifelong struggles. I didn’t even know I had ADHD until I was over 65. 1) I may be glad I didn’t know it before because I wouldn’t have attempted to do some of the impossible things I did if I had known. However, if I had known and didn’t attempt those things?? Well, I don’t regret it because I would have been the loser. 2) Also like Kevin Ju, I believe, knowing it or not, ADHD has given me greater insight and empathy for those who also struggle with other types of “limitations”: I have always been a magnet for children, the elderly and those with disabilities. I’ve just have never been able to relate to my peers LOL. 3) Thank you, Anomalocaris for commenting. I too have had this strange (to me) ability to be calm in emergencies and to think rationally – even when i can’t always do that in normal circumstances because I am so anxiety ridden. I never understood it but this makes sense. 4) Lastly, no offense, Befree, but I assume you were joking? I doubt anyone on this forum reading your comment would question that you didn’t know how to spell “accurately”. Making careless mistakes is one of the biggies of attention deficit. I made A’s in Calculus I and II in my Master’s program because I can understand concepts that others struggle with. However, I can add a column of 10 2-digit numbers multiple times and not get the same answer. Usually I just go with the 2 out of 10 that match, if I am lucky! I believe now that this is due to the inability to maintain focus on the numbers that I am adding. One mini-second distraction is enough to leave something out or see it twice. I also have hyperfocus. To me it seems like I’m in a time-warp and doing amazing things. I think sometimes, however, that’s just how it seems to me. If you have ADHD – you will be making careless mistakes, I think, regardless of hyperfocus. The thing I get from hyperfocus is the ability to see and understand more complicated concepts. I was able to go into exams and make straight A’s in philosophy and complex math courses because of my ability to hyperfocus and get things out of reading material that others didn’t even see…not because I knew perfect grammar and never misspelled words. I used to joke that I absorbed information through osmosis.

    • #54182

      I like the fact that I also remain calm in situations….I actually get kind of excited about solving the problem! I like that I think outside the box and I’m excellent at brainstorming.

    • #55003

      Hello! My adhd has given me more creativity sometimes i feel that it can be a bit overwhelming at times but i noticed that i am definitely more creative than other people

    • #55137

      I’m very resourceful, think well on my feet, see the world from a skewed perspective, am a creative problem-solver, improvise and act extemporaneously, and if I am enjoying what I’m reading or watching, I will continue past the point of exhaustion.

    • #55809
      Uncle Dharma

      Creativity and inventing things, especially if it an item that I can build or adapt or repair or improve.
      When working as a demonstrator in a hardware store, I knew how to do everything – almost.

      I can visualize everything, and I can draw it in 3D.
      When working as a geologist, I would ‘read’ the landscape, then draw the structures in 3D.

      I am a problem-solver, think laterally, and have a zillion ideas.
      I am interested in just about everything.
      … After a fire at our house, the cleaner said that she had never seen a study with such a large range of topics on the bookshelves. Other people are so boring!

      I enjoy improving a process so that I can work faster and better. But when I get moved for being “annoying” or something, I have often been replaced by two workers. And the manager still thought I was not productive, but kept using my improved process!

      Keeping calm was good when I worked as an orderly in a busy operating theatre in hospital. Sometimes replacing freaked out nurses.

    • #56950

      Thank you all for starting & sharing on this topic. I was officially diagnosed last year at 40 & I have been struggling to reframe my ADHD traits in a positive way, while learning new strategies for managing the problematic symptoms.
      I’ve always succeeded when it’s been OK to let my hyperfocus “out” to go to work. It’s good to learn I’m not unfeeling or spooky to be really focused & good in a crisis, when others are frozen, but to understand that it’s adrenaline kicking my prefrontal cortex into “normal” gear.

    • #57070

      Besides all of the traits listed previously, I have found others that people have commented about me. Of those are my empathy to others; my ability to understand what others want or need when they have difficulty describing it. For example; a customer will come into The Home Depot, where I’m employed, I am able to assist and problem solve when others can’t. My peers and management have noticed my ability to find a solution or answer when others fail. When an associate or customer doesn’t know if we have a product/ or not, and where it might be located, I can direct them to the exact aisle, bay, and shelf. When a customer comes in needing a part, but has trouble knowing what its called, or describing what it looks like, and how it works, I instantly know the answers. I take the cryptic pieces of their description, and assemble a visual of what it is in my mind.

      This is only one, of the many gifts that my ADHD has given me.

    • #57071

      I also wanted to add. Even if I don’t know a topic or subject, I’ve found I’m able to teach it to others is such a way that they have clarity, understanding and new knowledge and skills. As an example, I do not know a thing about speaking and reading Spanish. I was asked to try and tutor a high school student with learning Spanish I. The student was a full semester behind the others in Spanish I. After I was done helping them for a few short weeks, they were not only caught up, but passed with flying colors the final exam of the Spanish II. I still only know a hand full of words and their English meanings. I can’t speak or read Spanish.

    • #57084

      Lol! Good question. Probably my favorite trait my ADD has given me is my ability to retain information I am interested with little effort . (It is a different story when it comes to information I could care less about or things like where I left my keys 🙈)

      I also am kind of found of my dry, sarcastic sense of humor. 🙈😊

    • #57511

      A few things I like:
      When a family member has a problem that her/him stuck, I can usually give them options they hadn’t thought of themselves.
      When hyperfocus kicks in, and I’ll research the heck out of something that needs to be checked out.
      I learned to see admitting to and learning about any limitation(s) as a path to making life easier. I also have learned to not feel the shame that often occrs. This has resulted in the people around me feeling safe in speaking with me when they face new or undiagnosed differences for themselves or their kids.

    • #57517

      Greetings Tribe, These posts have been really special to read! Thank you all for sharing! One of my favorite things about being ADHD is when it makes me laugh like today. I was running around getting ready for an appointment. This was after two days of hyperfocus on an already late project, and then oh bother (yes, BOTHER, not brother), I had to pee. Being a woman, I sat down and then all at once cracked myself up! I had forgot to take down my britches!

    • #58234

      Hyperfocus and creativity

    • #58596

      Hyper focus. I can become close to an expert in many things weirdly fast.

      But it’s not really a healthy thing, all around. Medicated controlled attention is better.

      I’m really good with dealing with difficult kids other people can’t handle. I can get a fingernail under almost any kid and get them moving the right way. I think because it’s hard to motivate ME. LOL.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by gentlygenli.
    • #64165

      Well, this is refreshing, as if we’re on this site, we certainly know the problems it causes.

      1 As others have mentioned it has given me a lot of creativity.

      2. Spontinaity makes you a very fun person to be around, but I’d caution there is a fine line between spontaneity and impulsiveness. I do now, it the past this was self-destructive, however.

      3. Humor: it’s the best tool! I tend to be self-deprecating, and sarcastic, which has been a tremendous coping mechanism, and if you’re good at it, others enjoy it, and it builds self-confidence.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by MVDetroit. Reason: grammatical errors
    • #64591

      Hi guys some really interesting posts here!
      One thing I know is ADHD or mental illness is genetical. My dad cannot sit down and focus on a TV show with mum without his mind wandering off. He also becomes obsesssive with certain things which has caused a lot of issues in our family. For example he became obsessed with work/money for the last five years and kept dwelling on a job he lost years ago. Dad And Mum talk about getting degrees and having money For years on end which has effected me mentally. I’ve got to the stage where I can’t tLk to them about those issues which you should go to your parents for.
      With my career I’ve struggled big time. I’m 25 and don’t yet have a bachelor degree and unsure of my career. Out of all the jobs I’ve had, I’ve never been promoted and have struggled to understand. I’ve worked in an office in Logistics and hated it, mainly because I was sitting down all day and I hated the meetings. I was so scared to say something in them as I was so tired plus I was completely depressed.

      One job I have recently got is a Sports Instructor for 2-6 years olds and it’s by far the best and most satisfying job I’ve ever had. Heaps of people have always said throughout the years it great with children and maybe they were right. I think the one thing that makes me so good with them is I can be myself and I feel so comfortable around them all. My sense of humour works with them well as I act childish half the time anyway..
      I want to pursue a career with children but I don’t know what. I’m thinking Primary School Teaching but I’m so scared that I’ll forget or do something wrong making me look like a complete idiot…does any other user here work with children?

      And another user mentioned hyperfocus…I can become obsessed with things to the point where they overtake my life..it’s bad if it’s a negative thing. I guess whenever I feel like this I try and look at positives and say things could be worse.

    • #64592

      What’s people’s tips for being better at time management/ organisation? My organisation and time management has been horrible for years! Some simple tips/advice would be great!?!

      • #64605
        Penny Williams

        Please start a new thread/discussion for this question. It’s a different topic.

        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #64732

      I agree that my ADD (diagnosed at 56) has given me an immense amount of creativity. Combining colors and textures and building something beautiful is a brainstorm of energy for me. I am a quilter who can sew for hours and not notice the day has gone by. But I have a terrible time sitting to watch a tv show with my hubby. If I can work on a hand sewing project in my lap, OK. But I can’t sit and actually pay attention to a show I’m not fascinated by. And forget watching a movie in a theater. I haven’t been for years!
      My father was so proud of my memory skills as a kid, he would treat it like a parlor trick; he’d say “If I name any book in the house she can tell me exactly where it is located.” But required things like math or science were a real drag because I was so inept.
      I have a daughter who was treated for ADD in middle school & high school. She is now an empathetic Social Worker which I admire. I have worked in healthcare for years and I seem to be the one in a crisis who can take charge and remain calm.

    • #64815

      Well, I know that it’s bad form to compliment yourself, so I’ll try to make it as un-biased as possible.

      Just kidding, I’m better than all of you.

      Anyhow, one thing that this glorious disorder has given me is a high IQ. After all, most ADHD peeps are extra creative and smart. I haven’t told anyone my IQ before, but it’s supposedly pretty high.
      Before I go on to the next trait, I’d like to point out that I’m thirteen.
      Now that that’s done, I can tell you how glad I am that, unlike most kids my age, I can type grammatically correct sentences without cussing. At the same time. Isn’t that crazy? I must be the first of my kind!
      I also like how funny I am, and how good I am at debating.
      That’s about it tho 😛

    • #70879

      Moving on! No matter how I messed up my life, I will move on,

    • #70912

      I’m highly creative, pretty much the one in my group of friends who can be relied on to finish tasks first (a plus since it gives me more time to help out the rest of the bunch), and I’m a natural speed reader. That last trait helped me pass medical school!

    • #70936
      Uncle Dharma

      Chatting with a psychologist recently, I did an IQ test.
      I scored 135+ which is a lot higher than previous tests.
      The psych just said “that seems correct”
      When I mentioned the change from previous test scores, she said I was probably relaxed and able to focus properly.

    • #73370

      ADHD causes a lot of issues in my life, but I am happy to have it in the end. I’m a highly intelligent individual and I believe a lot of it comes from having ADHD, which has given me these traits:

      1. Hyperfocus – when something really interests me, I can master it very quickly. Language is one of those things.
      2. Intense curiosity, which leads to a wealth of knowledge – I want to know the answers to everything, so I find the answers to anything and everything I don’t know about. Yesterday I researched crab anatomy. I know a ridiculous amount about skin and aging, I’ve watched so many surgery videos I am confident I could perform some of them. I’ve taken out my own stitches multiple times, including 40 sutures in the back of my mouth. Got named Rambo for that one hahah. I know how to do a lot of things and I know way more about a spectrum of topics than anyone else I know.
      3. Strong empathy – I am a huge empath. Most times this just causes me a lot of pain, especially when it comes to the treatment of animals, but it also makes me kind and considerate.
      4. Perfectionism – I strive for perfection in everything I do, and it’s made me a very successful business woman at the age of 22. I’m always put together and well dressed, and everything I create is high quality because I make everything the absolute best I can, down to the smallest of details 🙂

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by cherryblossom.
    • #74965

      – In my 22 years of being alive the one thing that I hear the most is that I have an ability to make people instantly feel better when they are sad,upset,angry. People have told me that just me being myself and being in the same room as them make their mood so much better.
      – I’m very quick with words which in turn makes me be able to be witty and spew comebacks like nobodies business. I’m funny without even trying because I’m always unapologetically myself.
      – Somehow along the way I developed a fear/I’m paranoid about being disorganized in any aspect of my life which I consider a blessing because I developed a habit to be aware that I have to consciously try 10X harder than someone without ADHD to be organized and it has made my life a lot easier.
      – I have a crazy amount of energy and always have. I can stay awake for 2 days (not healthy I know) without any energy supplements or stimulants etc. I just keep going and going and going. But the downside to that is when I finally fall asleep I could sleep through anything and I could sleep for 12+ hours.
      – I have a overwhelmingly big heart which makes it hard for me to say no to people (in moderation of course) which sometimes gets me in trouble but mostly it makes me able to emotionally connect with people I want to on a really high level and it also allows me to be extremely passionate which is never a bad thing.
      – Everyone always makes me play music off my phone on car rides because I am very picky about my playlists being labeled and sorted exactly how I want them to be. I also have a VAST music library which has a lot of good aspects because I’m never listening to the same thing over and over again. Everyone tells me I should be a DJ but I would get bored of that really easily lol
      – My handwriting is phenomenal because in fourth grade I locked myself in my room for a whole weekend and practiced perfecting each letter over and over and over again until they were perfect and it’s stuck with me forever. Downside is that everyone always asks me to write posters and birthday cards and announcements for them so that it looks good.
      -I’m a genius with technology and it’s not just because I was born into the “generation of technology” . I don’t know why but I’ve always been able to trouble shoot problems and figure them out quickly without much background knowledge. All of my friends that are the same age as me come to me with phone questions and laptop questions and I just love not knowing exactly how to fix something starting out and then somehow figuring it out by myself in a timely manner. It’s rewarding.
      —- I honestly could go on and on and on about all the things that ADHD has blessed me with that I love but there’s just a few of my favorite ones.
      —- It always baffles me when I hear people say that they hate having ADHD, like sure it can be frustrating sometimes when for 3 days in a row every morning you spend 20 minutes looking for a shoe that you just had only to find it right in front of you. Dealing with that shit sucks but at the end of the day I would never in a million years trade my crazy wonderful brain in for a normal brain because my ADHD has made me who I am and I love it.

    • #75054

      I’m a school counselor and can really relate to the kids with ADHD. I can also speak with the parents with the authority of a 46 year old who has had it all his life.

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