There are some disabilities which are difficult to manage, but in the case of attention deficit disorder, I think this is one thing where you can turn your disability into an ability. In fact, in some cases you actually have an advantage over some people in this world.
Of course, this depends on what you are doing. As a child, it is obviously a lot more difficult to cope with, and as a teenager it may become more frustrating. The only way you will find it difficult is if you have a negative attitude towards the condition.
So what are the benefits of ADD then?
Well, first of all – what about multitasking? This is something that a lot of people are unable to do. However, to master this technique and to get the most out of it you have to be in the right sort of job. If you are an accountant then it is not going to work for you because after a couple of minutes you will lose focus.
On the other hand, if you doing a lot of things at once where your mind is racing like a teacher or a chef, then you are on the right track. I find that as a chef, I was able to really get cracking – have 2 pans going, 1 pot, while slicing a bunch of onions at the same time. My mind was always thinking of the next thing that I had to do. Standing around waiting for a pot of water to boil was just boring.
I love writing, but it is a lot more difficult. After a couple of minutes I switch over to social media or start playing with the cat. However, I started thinking of a couple of coping mechanisms. I simply have a few projects on the go, so I will get through half an article and then I will switch over to another article. I may go over and design a book cover and then write and email. When I get bored of that I will do something else.
People who have ADD are more creative and are often musicians, film makers and comedians. If you have ADD, you always have thoughts racing around in your mind, so it is no wonder why people are creative. Someone without this will look at a sunset and say, “that is beautiful!” However, if you have condition, you will have a million things to say about that. You may have a poem to write about it.
It is not easy to complete a task, so people will think you are lazy or have a problem with it. However, in the beginning you definitely have a will to succeed and a lot of drive. They are also big dreamers and have goals – the question is can you achieve the goals. They like to come up with new ideas, but not great on details.
I always have my earphones in because that is part of the multitasking thing and it helps me to focus. Try it – it works! You can also download special sounds like the sound of waves or rain. This is meant to help you focus. The music is not what you listen to, it just helps block out background noises and focus.
Obviously there are major negatives as well. I think I’m the slowest reader in the world. I read a couple of paragraphs and then I’m like, “what have I just read?” However, I like to think that there are more positive in this. Maybe because I have developed a positive attitude and this is really important with anything in life. There is no use feeling sorry for yourself.
In addition, people with ADD are able to connect, so they are usually compassionate. Can you think of any jobs in the world where these qualities could be useful - I know I can! People who are serious are not typically ADD'ers - they usually like to laugh a lot and they like to make you laugh as well. That explains why there are a couple of comedians roaming around with the condition.
So, parents - if you are worried about your hyperactive child - don't worry, this gets better. There is another benefit right there - look at Michael Phelps - look how he used his ADD.
Just need the water!