Talking About ADHD

17 Things to Love About ADHD!

Don’t mistake your ADHD strengths for symptoms! They are unique traits and abilities that make you more creative, spontaneous, caring, and energetic than anyone you know. Here are a few of our favorites benefits of ADD.

Young girl with ADHD with headphones in urban background
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The Undeniable Power of ADHD

Be proud of your attention deficit disorder — ADHD or ADD — and all the out-of-the-box thinking, humor, drive, and passion it brings! Read on for some of the best traits of people with ADHD we know and love.

A scientist with ADHD uses hyperfocus to examine a sample under a microscope.
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The Drive of ADD Hyperfocus

ADHD's trademark hyperfocus is a serious advantage — if you can effectively channel all that attention and energy into work that makes a difference. “Many scientists, writers, and artists with ADHD have had very successful careers, in large part because of their ability to focus on what they’re doing for hours on end,” says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.

Family with ADHD walking up a grassy hill together.
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Real ADHD Resilience

ADHD isn’t always a walk in the park, and we've all faced our share of disappointments and embarrassments over the years. But people with ADHD excel at pushing past setbacks, adapting new strategies, and moving forward better than ever. As Linda Roggli said, “We see the light at the end of the darkest tunnel. We pick ourselves up off the sidewalk when we fall. We smile through our tears.”

[Free Download: Your Guide to All the Best Parts of ADHD]

A smiling woman with ADHD leans on a fence.
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A Sparkling Personality

Individuals with ADHD are bright, creative, and funny — often using self-depreciating humor to remind that world that perfection is wholly uninteresting. They’ve faced challenges, learned novel ways to manage their symptoms, and developed a sense of humility and self-respect along the way. All these traits add up to a person that is a pleasure to be around, and brightens others’ days with her warmth.

Two brothers with ADHD sharing a popsicle.
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ADD Generosity

Barbara, an ADDitude reader from Virginia, writes that the thing she loves most about her son is “his generosity and his desire to please those he cares about. He is so protective of his younger sister.” Individuals with ADHD love to make people happy, whether it’s by sharing a cookie or inviting a friend to cry on their shoulder.

A woman with ADHD finds a file.
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Ingenuity

We're able to harness that ADHD creativity in strange and wonderful ways. ADDitude contributor Linda Roggli struggled with filing her papers alphabetically. So she came up with her own system. “The associations in my head are one-of-a-kind,” she says. “If my brain thinks of life insurance policies and bicycle warranties the same way, that’s how I file them. When I return to that folder, I’ll find them both.” Whatever works for us, right?

Girl with ADHD embracing boy with ADHD on footbridge over stream
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A Strong Sense of Fairness

After living with accommodations — or perhaps struggling without them — people with ADHD know that “fair” doesn’t always mean “equal.” They understand that different people need different things to succeed, and they’re committed to helping whomever they can.

[3 Work-Friendly Gadgets That Put Time on Your Side]

Young woman with ADHD climbing in adventure rope park
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Willingness to Take a Risk

Thomas Edison — who probably had ADHD — put all his efforts toward inventing the light bulb, even when it seemed impossible. In the end, it took him more than 3,000 tries before he made a functioning light bulb, but the victory was immeasurably sweet because he had to risk a lot — and fail even more — to make it work.

Young Couple with ADHD in Off-Road Vehicle
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Spontaneity

As ADDitude blogger Allison Larkin points out, “Acting on impulse sometimes results in wonderful things.” A totally unplanned drive to New England in the middle of a snowstorm brought her to the town she would fall in love with, and later move to. Find out what your spontaneity can do for you!

A father with ADHD and his son with ADHD looking at each other
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A Great Sense of Humor!

Well-adjusted people with ADHD have learned to use humor to cope with difficult situations, great and small. Need proof? Head over to Alison Larkin's page to see how this comedienne uses humor to deal with life’s challenges.

A woman with ADHD finds a wallet on the ground.
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Constant Surprises

Finding money (or clothing, or a tasty snack) that you forgot about earlier makes life a string of pleasant surprises — who knows what you’ll uncover next?!

A happy couple with ADHD sits on a couch.
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Last of the Romantics

“Spontaneity, outside-the-box creativity, and heightened energy” — all traits of people with ADHD — “add pizzazz to romantic interludes.” Adults with ADHD are known for showering their partners with affection — and forever believing in the power of love, even when their relationships hit a bump in the road.

Two girls with ADHD have a conversation outside.
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Engaging Conversational Skills

One thing is certain — with ADHD, there’s never a quiet moment! Your constantly racing brain is always leading you toward new topics of discussion and questions of great import; awkward lulls in the conversation are virtually nonexistent.

A girl with ADHD helping her mother drying laundry, smiling
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Compassion

Though we often struggle in school or in social situations without adequate help, people with ADHD are known for their compassion toward others and willingness to lend a hand. As proud momma Dee Boling said after her son was awarded Student of the Month, “I’d rather have a kind, cooperative kid than a smart aleck who gets straight As without trying.”

Girl with ADHD is drawing
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Persistence

Lisa Aro's daughter has ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder — and she can only see out of one eye. Does she let any of this stop her? Nope! As her mother writes to her, “You write, draw, paint, film, act, invent, create, and dream. You set your sights on something and do it. No disability has stopped you from pursuing what you want.” Thousands of other persistent people with ADHD do the same every single day.

Chef with ADHD prepares meal
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Superstar Creativity

Famous people with ADHD include singer Justin Timberlake, chef Alexis Hernandez, and comedian Howie Mandel — not to mention dozens of others! People with ADHD are often highly intelligent and creative, and these famous faces prove that your diagnosis will only hold you back if you let it.

Adults talk about an ADHD diagnosis and correct negative perceptions.
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A Different Perspective

These days, it seems like everyone is an “ADHD expert,” and the media often portrays the disorder unfairly. Living with the disorder — or parenting a child who does — allows you to always be there to correct negative perceptions and spread awareness. Your personal experience and unique perspective on the situation may change a mind!

A father and son with ADHD work on a wooden car together.
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Contagious Motivation

High energy is contagious. When those around you see your drive, passion, and knack for out-of-the-box thinking, they’ll be inspired to push for their goals as well.

A boy with ADHD gives a thumbs up.
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Being Highly Organized, Punctual, and Generally Responsible

Ha! Gotcha.

[Free Download: Your Guide to Changing How the World Sees ADHD]

19 Related Links

  1. This would have made me laugh if it hadn’t already made me cry. I appreciate your wanting to put a positive spin on this condition, but my winning personality and compassion rarely do anything to help me get through one difficult day after another. I don’t intend to be negative, and maybe other people have it together better than I do, but being asked to see ADHD as some sort of gift is just too much for me to bear at this point.

    1. I read this article to try to give myself a boost today but like you I am not feeling any positivity about my unfocused brain at the moment. I have forgotten and lost too many things this week that all I feel is frustrated and inferior.
      Plus I’m not sure I’ve ever had engaging conversational skills!

      1. I had to teach myself how to converse with others, and now it comes easily. The trick is to ask people about themselves. People always like to talk about themselve.

  2. Plus:

    How can we walk around telling everyone what a wonderful gift ADHD is- while simultaneously trying to communicate the fact that its a REAL, serious DISORDER that keeps interfering with our everyday-life?

    No wonder people still are mostly sceptical…so: STOP the (unreasonable and not supported by solid,empirical evidence anyway…) “gift talk“ and start attributing your strenghts and talents to YOU- instead of a neurobiological disorder!

    Please.
    I beg you.

  3. It is funny how people with it look at ADD and ADHD. I am not hyper, that’s why I refer to it as ADD. But that is another story.

    Why can’t you just be happy for others? You can see yourself any way you would like. But, for me, I am going to revile in the fact that I hyper focus, that I am good in emergencies and yes, that my planning is horrendous.

    Please don’t make the fact I love the idea I think out of the box as a downfall. I like being generous, I like being creative, I like being romantic with my wife, I like having the compassion to see other people’s problems – like yours – and want to help.

    But you know the thing I like the most about my ADD? Is that it is ME!

    Please don’t feel sorry for yourself. Instead find ways to celebrate yourself – it is a lot nicer than feeling like you got the short end of the stick.

    1. (add is outdated; adhd is current. you may not present as hyperactive, but my guess is your brain is hyperactive.) anyway, i agree with what you have said.

      1. You are so wrong on so many levels. Do your research before making a comment like this. There is a huge difference. No its not hyperactivity in the brain. It is physical hyperactivity. People feel restlessness. I am ADD. I will NEVER be ADHD and i always correct people. Why? because i wish I was ADHD. I would have way more energy to do anything! so please do your research before making ignorant comments. thank you.

  4. I am an artist an writer, 65 years old. I grew up feeling inferior and awkward because of this condition. I got teased a lot over the years. What a relief to know that my “spaceiness” has a name. For me, it is just like this article says. I am different, highly creative, and I love that I can hyperfocus, if need be.

  5. Thank you so much for this article. One of the best I have read here so far! It is such a blessing when something or someone is able to break my cycle of negativity- something that, as someone with ADHD I am constantly fighting against. This made me feel so great!

  6. Hi! Thanks for an awesome article!

    I was never diagnosed with ADHD and am now 35 years old. My wife has been quietly researching it and I tick every symptom for adult ADHD. I have OCD and suffer from nervous ticks, is it common to have both ADHD & OCD?

    In my younger years i went through substance abuse and the drug speed always calmed me and relaxed me and allowed me to focus which is what doctors prescribe for people with ADHD. SO I think I have it.

    This article is extremely positive and gives me hope!

    I run my own business and I know sometimes it can take me forever to get started on tasks as I’m always finding distractions, but once I start doing it I can do it for long periods without taking a break and accomplish a lot.

    I’m also very sociable, passionate, positive, compassionate and kind. Everything is true in this article about myself.

    So from now I will focus all my energy on these positives, because I do love what running my own business involves and when I get started my mind shuts up and I get stuff done and feel better too!

    The only difficult thing for me is when I’m sitting down doing nothing, I have trouble relaxing and I become tense and fidgety, also controlling my emotions when stressed.

    But this article has most definitely shed some positive light and I will focus on the positives! Nonone is perfect and I’m far from it in fact haha!

  7. First of all, y’all are definitely living in the disorder. You have to work on changing your belief about your disorder in order to progress into a better daily life. Albert freaking Einstein. Really? Self pity is wack. Coming from someone with bipolar disorder & a self medicate through expression of self with art, music, learning, books, exercising, dance as mediums, y’all aren’t living. Marijuana as well. Foods of course. Get a grip, or gripe all your life. The article was an awesome inspiration to me.

    1. I wish a good laugh had been my response (and I do get that 19 was a little tease), but really, all that positive stuff capped off with a reminder of the things the world values that we’re not? I wasn’t really smiling. I often find there are little “digs” in the articles here, mixed in with all the great stuff.

  8. this article was godsend to me! im 52 years old and i had thr disorder all my life. when i was growing up before they knew what it was, i was called disruptive, got in trouble for things i had no control over, teachers didnt like me and just got it from every angle of my life. i hated all of them and sometimes myself because i knew i was different and wanted to be like everyone else. when i got older and understood who i was and with medication, i channeled all my symptoms to work for the best of m and i love who i am and glad that im not like everyone else.. i am myself, unique and alot of people say they wish they had my drive my personality traits. i do have my off days but i work hard to overcome them and it becomes jusy another thing thats normal like brushing my teeth. i do it and move on with my day. everyone who has adhd , add ,and all the other mentally challenged disorders should read this article. especially yous who hate it and feel sorry for yourself. break out of that feeling and live with what god gave you to the best that you want to be. the article is a start to be positive of your symptoms. make them work to your advantage, no one said its going to be easy but it can be done and if i and others can do it then why not you? YOU CAN DO IT!! LIVE FREE LIVE GOOD AND LIVE HAPPY! YOURE SPECIAL, EMBRACE IT!

  9. Why? Just tell me why the hell do you keep saying we have empathy and great social skills? This article just freaked me out to be honest. One of the worst parts of ADHD for me is having problems socialising. Just a few examples:
    – hyperfocus makes me forget about friends for some time = sucks
    – i am often annoying
    – i forget everything and most people do not like when you are not only able to recall something but you also have different sense of time as a concept
    – engaging with new people is goddamn impossible (i have zero social anxiety)
    So yeah keep lying…
    ADHD people are different, but you can not make every symptom look like a positive effect
    And you really should not try because this just shows your ignorance

  10. I for one really enjoyed this article. It reminded me that I dont always need to be so hard on myself.

    I struggle with ADHD comorbid bipolar with a splash of anxiety. I am on medication which help, but I can be really hard on myself when it comes to dealing with ADHD, bipolar, and anxiety.

  11. Having ADHD sucks hard-core I am 17 It is hard to live my life realizing that I am not like other people which can be a good thing it makes me different and unique but every day I wake up with ADHD it does not go away i get distracted easily without even doing it on purpose being yelled at for not knowing what your being yelled at for. i think about nothing I never think before I say or do I have anxiety, depression, mood swings, aspergers and ADHD I get into trouble a lot. Sometimes I wish I was born without it maybe then I could do good in school and around friends and family my parents cant believe me or trust me because of my actions but thats the thing I dont think before I do other people like to think to themselves is this a good idea or not I dont even think that if i wanna do something I do it not knowing what the consequences are. having to take 5 or 6 pills every morning and if I dont take the important pill for my ADHD i can be the devil i laugh at everything i cant control myself telling the truth is the hardest thing for me and paying attention and making friends who are willing to be my friend to be my friend. I cant join the military because i cant take meds in the military. I cant do things other people can i think much much differently than other people

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