Driven to Distraction

Insights into ADHD and other modern mental health issues.

The Upside to ADHD

Is there an upside to distraction, impulsivity, and hyperactivity?

    Greetings!  Edward (but call me Ned) Hallowell here.  This is my first posting on this blog, and I am thrilled to join this arena.

    Today I want to talk about the 3 cardinal symptoms of ADHD--distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity--and ask, is there an upside to any of these?

     Of course, we all know about the downside.  These symptoms can lead to years of frustration, underachievement, disappointment, and even outright failure in both work and marriage.

     BUT, if you manage them right---and that often requires some professional help--you can tap into the upside of these symptoms. The upside of distractibilty? It's curiosity!  The upside of impulsivity?  It's creativity!  If you're not somewhat disinhibited, spontaneous, or impulsive, you'll never have a new idea.  New ideas do not come on command.  They pop!  They're....impulsive.  And as for hyperactivity, believe me, when you get to be my age, which is 60, you're glad to have that extra energy!  Sure, you have to learn how to contain all of these, but once you do, life is great.

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      As Ilke to say, having ADHD is like having a race car for a brain, with bicycle brakes! Once you strengthen your brakes, you can become a champion!



Edward Hallowell, M.D., known for his work on ADHD, has authored 18 books, the most recent of which, Married to Distraction, he wrote with his wife. more...

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