Those with ADHD are more likely to be creative

Those with ADHD are more likely to be creative

There are many challenges associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a brain-based medical disorder that can cause problems with work, school and family life.

Adults with ADHD may feel it is impossible to get organized, stick to a job or remember and keep appointments, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Daily tasks such as getting up in the morning, preparing to leave the house for work, arriving at work on time and being productive on the job can also be more difficult.

ADHD affects 5 percent of adults in the U.S., so it may come as no surprise that some of Americans most acclaimed athletes, actors and musicians, including Justin Timberlake, Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Phelps, have the disorder.

A common theme among the celebrities is their ability to harness their energy in a creative and positive way.

Dr. Chandragupta Vedak, a psychiatrist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., explains that the ability to focus and pay attention is important for day-to-day functioning.

“The difficulty inhibiting our inner mind can get in the way of paying attention to a boring classroom lecture or concentrating on a challenging problem,” he says. “But the ability to keep our inner stream of fantasies and daydreams on call can be immensely helpful to creativity.”

Dr. Vedak’s notes that individuals with ADHD who have been able to harness their energy in this creative way do not necessarily need medications.

“Just modifying their work schedules and alternating their tasks may be sufficient,” he says.

According to the Hallowell Treatment Center, for each negative ADD-associated trait, there is an accompanying positive “mirror trait.”

Negative ADD-Associated Trait

  • Distractible
  • Impulsive
  • Hyperactive, restless
  • Intrusive
  • Disorganized
  • Stubborn
  • Inconsistent
  • Moody
  • Can’t stay on point
  • Forgetful


Accompanying, Positive Trait

  • Curious
  • Creative
  • Energetic
  • Eager
  • Spontaneous
  • Persistent, won’t give up
  • Shows flashes of brilliance
  • Sensitive
  • Sees connections others miss
  • Totally involved in what he/she is doing

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.