The Bright Side of ADHD

Unique Advantages

Discover the positive traits linked to ADHD and how to use them to your advantage.

1 / 7 Unique Advantages

Living with ADHD as an adult—while it comes with some challenges—is not all bad. Sure, you may need to work around some of the symptoms of ADHD, like inattentiveness and hyperactivity. But ADHD symptoms can also come with some unique, special, desirable qualities, like creativity and intuition. And when you learn to use those unique assets and channel your ADHD symptoms in a positive direction, you can convert what were previously thought of as weaknesses into strengths.

Medically reviewed in January 2018.

Pure Energy

2 / 7 Pure Energy

Hyperactivity can feel pretty problematic in certain situations—like when you need to read quietly or have to sit in traffic. But consider this: All of that can-do energy may be a real asset in other situations. For example, you can channel it to accomplish daily tasks quickly or use it to excel in a career that requires fast talking or movement, such as working as a physical therapist, a real estate agent, a corporate trainer or a hotel and restaurant manager. Channel your energy by doing things you love.


3 / 7 Creativity

Can't focus? That's okay. A constantly distracted mind that jumps from one idea to the next is also a mind that is rapidly giving birth to new ideas and designing creative solutions to life's problems. Use that. When all of your brain's pistons are firing, and firing fast, simply let your imagination flow. And if you've ever thought about getting involved in fields like architecture, engineering, writing, marketing or the visual or performing arts, those kinds of creative juices can be a tremendous asset.


4 / 7 Sensitivity

Some people with ADHD feel things very deeply. So deeply that it's overwhelming sometimes. So much so, they might overreact to people or feel irritated by little things, like bright lights, strong odors, a hand on the back or just benign social interaction. But here's the good news: Being a sensitive person can make you a good friend, a caring partner and a sympathetic human being. And sensitive people bring lots of great qualities to their relationships, like compassion, caring, introspection and conscientiousness.


5 / 7 Intuition

Being distracted has its downside. But distraction can also open the door to seeing more. Compared to people without ADHD, adults with ADHD may take in more details in their environment, grasp more in certain situations and perceive more about the people they encounter. Having a broader view or the ability to capture lots of clues can help people with ADHD hone their intuitive skill. And that's a very helpful skill in life—especially when it comes to forging close, interpersonal relationships.


6 / 7 Flexibility

You know those people who can't tolerate a change in plans? People with ADHD don't necessarily fall into that camp. A restless, constantly moving mind and body may give people with ADHD the ability to more easily "go with the flow" rather than get stuck in their ways. What's more, an easily distracted mind may allow people with ADHD to see all the possibilities when it comes to solving problems or adapting to life's constant changes.


7 / 7 Enthusiasm

Impulsivity—a common characteristic of ADHD—has its upside and its downside. On the downside, impulsive actions can lead to risky behaviors that hurt you or your loved ones. But if you learn how to harness impulsivity, it could provide you with the drive to really go after the things you want in life. Just take time to calculate and measure the risk. If you're realistic, that impulsive nature of yours just might lead you to start a business, find a solution to a sticky business problem or overcome that fear of striking up a conversation with your crush.

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