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ADHD Is Not A Gift

Updated on March 22, 2011

It Certainly Doesn't Feel Like a Gift

ADHD Is not a Gift.

I have heard "ADHD is a gift" many times. Regular lay people, advocates and other ADHD people talk about the benefits of ADHD. I have had it all my life, and not once have I felt gifted. I have always felt outside, odd, below average.

I've read many books and articles and absorbed all the information my brain would hold at any given moment and I've listened to why ADHD was thought to be a gift. The whole time I'm thinking...then why does it not work that way for me? To hear laypeople and other persons with ADHD tell it, we are all geniuses. While I do not think I am stupid, I have a hard time comparing myself to Einstein, or any of the others you hear that may have possibly had this disorder. While it could have been true, I think I agree with Dr. Russell Barkley's viewpoint on this. It's kind of common sense. It clicks and I very much see where he is coming from.

He explains that ADHD is not a gift. And to me, he is right. It is not a gift. If it is, I would like to return mine and get someone's money back. I would give anything to be able to get up in the morning with a plan and be able to see it through. Not have to make 20 lists just to remember to do the most simple tasks. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the movie with Drew Barrymore, in 50 first dates. Depending on the severity of the ADHD you have, will depend on how well you can relate to the statement I just made.

Dr. Barkley believes that ADHD is a deficit, and that those who do really well, are the ones that have another particular gift that can compensate for the non working part. It is not the ADHD that gives this person the talent to do a particular thing, but that person is just good at a particular thing because he/she is . He explains that ADHD affects only a few of the hundreds of physiological abilities that we have. He doesn't agree with the ADHD tent, where we roll everything about someone with this disorder,  under the title ADHD. In fact he believes it could possibly hinder them in some ways. He thinks people are gifted in spite of ADHD, not because of.

As an adult with ADHD, I cannot argue with his reasoning. It makes too much sense.

He states that if we want to be taken seriously, we need to stop saying we have a gift. It's like saying I have something you don't. 

Dr Russell Barkley - ADHD Is Not A Gift

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

How Do You Feel About It?

ADHD is a gift

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      ADHD and done 2 years ago

      Not a gift, it's a curse and should be removed from the gene pool!!!

    • AttentionFlux profile image

      AttentionFlux 3 years ago from NC

      I think certainly if someone feels that having ADHD makes them smarter, better, faster, stronger (just a simple play on words) then I think that's great. If you are happy and feel good and it doesn't interfere with life, work and relationships then you should certainly consider yourself gifted. I however have not had that experience myself personally. I am more like jihidi. I have about 20 percent excellent and positive traits the rest is more like 80 percent that cripple me in some critically important areas of life. But I can't disagree with anyone's opinion on how they feel about themselves. Thanks so much for your comments. I like to hear what people think.

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      jihidi 5 years ago

      i personally don't see adhd as a gift, why, if i evaluate the positives and negatives about me (that is if i even have adhd, would be worse if i didn't but still displayed the traits) but about 20 percent would be positive things, and about 80 percent would be negative.

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      Aaron 6 years ago

      This man makes me sick. ADHD IS a gift. Especially if you have a severe case. We naturally have a more analytical, creative, competitive mind than others without the disorder. That is a FACT. It is naturally easier for us to figure out the smallest of details of how something works or why something is. We don't have to try to think outside the box because our mind is already doing it every second of the day. We have a different view on life because we look at it in a broader, more analytical way. Not because we choose to, but because our brains have already made that decision for us. We are naturally more competitive. We don't want facts, we want to create facts. We are constantly looking to improve, and never satisfied. We tirelessly pursue what has not been accomplished. All of these are natural qualities that we are born with. People without this disorder DO NOT have ALL these natural qualities. Albert Einstein, Micheal Jordan, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Mozart, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, John F. Kennedy, and several others that I can't think of all have one thing in common. ADHD.