• The Upside of ADHD

    neatby Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN

    Attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that affects a person’s ability to focus, pay attention, or control their behavior. Healthcare providers usually diagnose this condition in childhood. However, some people are not diagnosed until adulthood.

    The three main characteristics of a person with ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD also can cause a person to experience very high energy levels. Some symptoms associated with ADHD include:

    •being highly impatient
    •difficulty performing tasks quietly
    •difficulty following instructions
    •trouble waiting for things or showing patience
    •losing things frequently
    •often seeming as if they aren’t paying attention
    •talking seemingly nonstop

    There is no definitive test to diagnose ADHD. However, healthcare providers can evaluate children or adults for the condition based on symptoms. A number of treatments are available to improve a person’s concentration and behavior. These include medications and therapy. ADHD is a highly manageable disease. When taught adaptive techniques to help with time management and organization skills, people with ADHD are able to achieve better levels of concentration.

    ADHD can be difficult for a person to live with. Some people think those with ADHD are “out of control” or difficult because they have trouble
    following directions. While ADHD can mean behavioral challenges, having the condition has proven to be an advantage to some.

    Celebrities With ADHD

    Many people with ADHD have turned their unique behavioral challenges into well-known success. Examples of celebrities whose healthcare providers have diagnosed them with ADHD include:

    •Adam Levine
    •Albert Einstein
    •Channing Tatum
    •Glenn Beck
    •James Carville
    •Justin Timberlake
    •Karina Smirnoff
    •Richard Branson
    •Salvador Dali
    •Solange Knowles
    •Ty Pennington
    •Whoopi Goldberg

    Athletes with ADHD also use the extra energy toward their respective fields. Examples of athletes with ADHD include:
    •swimmer Michael Phelps
    •soccer goalie Tim Howard
    •baseball player Shane Victorino
    •NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw

    Personality Strengths and ADHD

    Not every person with ADHD has the same personality traits, but there are some personal strengths that can make having the condition an advantage, not a drawback. Examples of these traits include:
    •energetic: Some with ADHD often have seemingly endless amounts of energy, which they are able to channel toward success on the playing field, school, or work.
    •spontaneous: Some people with ADHD can turn impulsivity into spontaneity. They may be the life of the party or may be more open and willing to try new things and break free from the status quo.

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