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Stifled Creativity and Its Damaging Impact on the ADHD Brain

Creativity. It’s often cited as a valuable (but tough to harness) benefit of having ADHD. As it turns out, creativity is more than a perk; it is a requirement. To be healthy and productive, you must carve out time to pursue your creative passions. Here, learn how suppressing your wild ideas may actually be sabotaging your best efforts to get stuff done.

6 Comments: Stifled Creativity and Its Damaging Impact on the ADHD Brain

  1. I’ve slowly come to the conclusion. my creativity is kind of an unconscious skill related to the memory deficits I have. So many times I am
    put on the spot and have to come with an answer /solution/assigned activity immediately or I have just been asked a question when my mind is wandering and I have maybe 5 words that I can remember that I have faith in my ability to leap quickly to close where I need to be. This has then manisfested in my chosen creative activity (words and music) but it also works when doing things like mosaic etc where I don’t need the fine motor practice of things like painting to put together something that works. I work in health and I had always been of the opinion that creativity is a muscle that can be taught. Being diagnosed and understanding better how my brain works has suggested to me that in my case at least I may be right. But some days I would settle for dullness just to easily find my bloody keys.

  2. I’ve been really struggling with work lately when I came across this article. It resonated with me a lot. I have always been very in tune with my creativity, I excel at singing, dancing, crafts, and so on. My problem is I struggle to not have those same feelings you talked about when I’m in a job that isn’t working with my ADD brain. It’s causing me to be so irritated and exhausted all the time. I am working on starting my own handmade goods business online but I feel like I have no time to focus on it like I want to because of my job. I just wish I could leave my job and put 100% into my business, but I’m afraid if my shop doesn’t grow I’ll have burnt a bridge with my current employer. Even though it’s really hard on me I know it’s the best job I can get at this time because I can work from home. With a lot of health struggles I find this the best position for myself, but I’ve been told if I don’t fix my stress my health won’t get better. Do you have any suggestions how I can survive working until my business can replace my income? I just need to find a way to cope until then.

  3. The importance of this should never be underestimated. Some of the darkest periods of my life, and the manifestations of the well-known and soul crushing co-morbidities associated with ADHD, have come as a direct result of not nurturing this gift of our unique neurology.

    It is like any injury and the pain experienced is a signal. It is our guide, our compass. It is the reaching out from within, telling us what is wrong. It is showing us, guiding us to what needs attention. Ignore it long enough and various neuroses develop into disorders; not unlike an ignored or mistreated cut can become infected. We were all meant to be more.

    We are, after all, creations ourselves; and as manifested creations we are meant to be exactly that. Created to think and be more, to make connections, to bring beauty to the world around us. Doing so feels good because we are designed for this purpose. Not doing so hurts us because we are not living as creation. It becomes dark, robotic, cold and we can lose our way and forget who we are. It feels wrong because it is.

    It seems this transition is easier for some than it is for others. We may sometimes even feel envious of these individuals for that ability, which brings us a few steps closer to not living as our most authentic selves, abandoning who we are, and leaving our creativity behind. For the rest of us, though, we must fight to remember who we are and stop trying to fit into a factory shaped mold that no human was ever really meant for. Even for those who seem to accept this way, and go about just fine, could have had more love, innovation and beauty in their hearts if only appropriately nurtured, been provided more guiding minds and mentors to encourage them, to encourage all of us, from the start. In accomplishing this, we could have more allies and feel far less alone. Innovations created in such a scenario, might possibly be geared more towards creation, outweighing the innovations that lean towards destruction.

    For those of us aware, and resistant, to this standardization, we should not measure our worth by standards that do not match our internal compass. Standards that lead us away from the true inner beauty, creativity and light of who we are. Let dark experiences be your sign, your pain signal, the alarm sounding off as a warning to you that something isn’t right. As you would remove your hand quickly from the heat source causing it to burn, or as you would clean, bandage and protect a cut to help it heal, guard your divine inner creative being and realign your compass towards your truest and best self. The positive benefits of this can be far-reaching, extending beyond your own well-being.

    In my experience, without doing so, everything else becomes monumentally difficult, seemingly insurmountable. I risk forgetting who I truly am. Sometimes frightfully unsure if I will find my way back. Carried on far enough and I believe there is no consequence to be had in that, no loss to anyone around me. My own need to remember who I truly am, and to resist becoming molded, seems self-indulgent and even scorn and disgust worthy. Self-loathing may come into play which reinforces the belief we are what is wrong with the world. That we are not needed, and we have no value as our creative selves. None of which is true.

    Maintain your unique and creative mind. Cherish it. Let it out, let it play. Nourish it with exercise, let it have fun and breathe new and fresh life into it often. Give it strength so it may hold victory more often against all other pervading negative, non-nurturing thoughts. Don’t let it go and don’t allow anything to convince you it isn’t important. Fight for your inner sovereignty, for yourself, for your highest self. Do it despite the circumstances around you. Even if no one tells you, or no one seems to notice at all, you are deeply worth it and your uniqueness is vital to every single other creation all around us.

    And if I ever personally figure out how to do this for myself consistently, I will be sure to let everyone know. Thank you for this wonderful article… and inspiring the creativity in me to write this comment. It was very much needed and I am deeply grateful.

  4. I have recently been struggling very much in pretty well every part of my life. I have also recently found my passion again- art! I have been so overwhelmed that I shut down, which actually gave me the time to remember how to let go and rebuild my love for myself by allowing my ability the freedom to create again. I picked up a started canvas from years ago and started adding to it. I felt better. I kept at it. I feel so much happier and able to breathe. Yes, there are pens, markers, paints, messes all over the floor but it is a comforting mess that I can live with. I am good at it and I am enjoying something again- hyperfocussing and I love it!

  5. Like so many articles I read on ADDitude, when I finished reading this, all I was thinking was “amen”. We spend our lives doing what needs to be done and trying to fit inside “the box”. Being creative lets me “do me”. It is truly restorative to consciously hyper focused, when I’m creating, there is no “right way”, no “time limit” – no “box”. While I’ve come to recognize that creativity has huge benefits for my mental wellbeing, it always seems shocking to find others who feel the same. Thanks so much for sharing this

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