The Positive Side of Adult ADHD
The symptoms of ADHD can be challenging, but sometimes those same symptoms can also be perks.
Abigail Levrini, PhD, director of Psych Ed Coaches, offers these examples:
Energy. One way to describe hyperactivity is "high energy." That could be a plus if you have a career that takes a lot of stamina. The challenge is to harness your energy instead of letting it pull you in different directions.
Details. People who have trouble paying attention to things they find boring may hyper-focus on stuff they find interesting. If that describes you, then you might have a knack for picking up on details that other people miss.
Being present. Being impulsive "is basically living in the moment and not dwelling too far into the future, which many of us could benefit from as well," Levrini says.
This is risky if it goes too far, though. Impulsive behavior can create lots of problems. It helps to focus on controlling your impulses so they don't complicate your life in bad ways.
Nurture Your Abilities
Hone your talents while you manage your ADHD. Here's how to strike that balance.
Work with an ADHD expert.A therapist or coach with expertise on the disorder can help you find the right approach for you.
Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, a psychotherapist who specializes in ADHD, says a coach can direct you to tools that can show you your strengths and weaknesses. These include the Myers Briggs test and the DISC personality assessment. Once you know what you’re good at and what you could improve on, your coach can help you set goals for yourself. She can also teach you how to change thought patterns that are causing you problems.
Also, play to your strengths. Figure out how you learn best. If you're a visual learner, review new information on flash cards. If you learn by touch, try to master new skills by taking a hands-on approach, Sarkis says.
Thinking about a new job or career? Look for options that interest you and match your skills, says Pennsylvania psychologist Ari Tuckman, PsyD. It'll help ensure that your natural talents lead to success. An ADHD therapist or coach can help point you in the right direction.