What are people with adhd good at

What are the benefits of ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that may affect children and adults. People diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on tasks, an inability to control their impulses, and have hyperactive tendencies. However, there are numerous strengths and benefits that also come with the condition.

Anyone can receive an ADHD diagnosis at any point during their lives. However, symptoms of ADHD must be present by the age of 12 for someone to receive such a diagnosis. While some people may not know they have ADHD until adulthood, the condition must have developed in childhood for a diagnosis. Experts have not yet pinpointed its exact cause.

If individuals receive a diagnosis of ADHD, they may find it challenging to believe that there are benefits to living with this condition. However, people with ADHD also can have incredible skills, such as being more creative and optimistic than others, allowing them to excel in specific areas. In fact, many people now refer to these abilities as “ADHD superpowers.”

Keep reading to learn more about the potential strengths and benefits of ADHD, including how an individual can make the most of these unique abilities and characteristics.

If someone receives a diagnosis of ADHD, they should not be disheartened or allow the disadvantages of the condition to overshadow its numerous potential strengths.

Here are some of the ADHD benefits that someone may experience:


Hyperfocusing is a state where an individual with ADHD can focus on a task for hours on end, essentially tuning out everything around them. It often happens if the individual is doing a job that they enjoy and find interesting.

While hyperfocusing, the person can improve their performance, meaning they work even more efficiently. This process allows them to complete a task without any distractions, and the outcome is often of great quality.

Learn more about ADHD and hyperfocus here.


Teachers view more than half of all children with ADHD as resilient. Living with ADHD comes with many challenges that those with ADHD must work against every day. These difficulties could mean that individuals with ADHD may experience setbacks and adversity, which they must overcome.

Experiencing these obstacles, and working past them, means that people with ADHD are able to build up resilience because they have practiced recovering from setbacks more often than other individuals. While this may seem like a double-edged sword, overcoming obstacles and challenges and building resilience in this way can lead to a strong character and prove beneficial in many cases.

Another study highlights the constant self-awareness that people with ADHD must have. They must be careful to not be overstimulated or bored, and find that balance in the middle, which again leads to greater self-awareness and therefore resilience. It is a form of self-protective strength, which again, can allow individuals to flourish.


Those with ADHD are often highly creative, especially when given a goal-oriented task. Living with ADHD also requires people to approach tasks differently, which means they can become great problem solvers. Those with ADHD often think of unusual solutions because of their different perspectives.

Conversational skills and humanity

People with ADHD are often great conversationalists. This ability applies especially to those who have more of the inattentive type of ADHD.

Those with ADHD are often talkative, which means that they can spark an intriguing conversation in most scenarios.

Another study highlights that people with ADHD may have higher levels of social intelligence, humor, and recognition of feeling, or empathy. Study participants recognized their own ability to have a more positive mental approach, and in turn, more “social success.”

Spontaneity and courage

Many people enjoy the unplanned moments and adventures that keep life interesting, and individuals with ADHD excel in this area.

Their impulsive nature lends itself to spontaneous activities that often leave enjoyable and lasting memories. People with ADHD are not afraid to do whatever they enjoy at the moment without concerning themselves with long-term implications or overthinking situations.

Research suggests that this spontaneity can often lead people with ADHD to seek out thrill and adventure, with the added courage they gain from that spontaneity.

High energy

One of the defining aspects of ADHD is hyperactivity. While most people think of this negatively in terms of disruption to classmates or work colleagues, hyperactivity means that those with ADHD are excellent at sports and other physical activities. They have plenty of energy to burn and thrive in an environment where movement is advantageous and encouraged. This can have numerous positive impacts on a person’s life.

Many people view the benefits of ADHD as “superpowers” because they are additional skills that their neurotypical counterparts do not have. ADHD gifts people a unique perspective on the world that those without ADHD are unlikely to understand.

For example, not everyone has the ability to hyperfocus. When an individual with ADHD enters this state, they can spend the time extremely productively and accomplish amazing things.

Moreover, the boundless energy that some individuals living with ADHD puts them at an advantage when performing physical activities. Often they can outlast everyone around them. There are numerous elite athletes with ADHD, and perhaps the condition has allowed them to excel.

Michael Jordan, for example, generally considered the greatest basketball player in history, is one such athlete with ADHD.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the combination of hyperactivity and the ability to hyperfocus on certain tasks, such as training, can allow some athletes to develop their skills to another level.

The best way to make the most of ADHD superpowers is to manage the person’s environment in order to allow them to flourish.

If the individual is a great conversationalist, they could use that skill to their advantage by joining a debate team, speaking at events, or networking. These people can build successful businesses and connections through their conversational skills.

Those who tend to have periods of hyperfocus could use these periods to work diligently on their craft, whether that’s a science experiment, writing a book, or training in the finer skills of a sport. People may be able to achieve a great deal in a shorter amount of time.

There are, naturally, some challenges associated with ADHD symptoms. Sometimes, others view people with ADHD as distracting or too talkative. Behavior therapy is one of the best ways to handle these challenges while still optimizing the strengths.

Those with ADHD may sometimes have weak executive functioning skills. These skills include organizing time, planning, making decisions, controlling emotions, and learning from past mistakes.

Here are some ways to help improve these skills:


Creating checklists can help ensure that those with ADHD complete all their tasks for the day.

It can be easy for individuals with ADHD to bounce around from topic to topic, forgetting some of the jobs they must complete. Checklists ensure that everything someone wants to remember is in one place, helping to make sure that they do not forget anything.

Time limits

Those with ADHD are especially susceptible to underestimating how long a task or project takes. Because of this, they should include a time limit along with a job so that they can better plan for the project.

Relaxation techniques

Those with ADHD may have a hard time controlling emotions, especially compelling ones, such as anger and frustration.

Practicing relaxation techniques can help people calm down at the moment and better grasp their emotions. Some relaxation techniques include deep breathing, imagery, and yoga.

Exercise may also help with the more challenging effects of ADHD. Learn more here.

Learn more about ADHD remedies here.

If an individual finds that the challenges of ADHD become overwhelming, they should consult a doctor or healthcare provider. A doctor can provide referrals to behavior therapists or prescribe medication that can help an individual balance their ADHD symptoms.

Learn more about ADHD diagnosis here.

People living with ADHD may have a variety of skills and abilities beyond those of their neurotypical counterparts. These may include hyperfocus, resilience, creativity, conversational skills, spontaneity, and abundant energy.

Many people view these benefits as “superpowers” because those with ADHD can hone them to their advantage. People with ADHD have a unique perspective that others may find interesting and valuable.

The best way someone can optimize their abilities is by creating an environment where they can use these skills to thrive. Additionally, utilizing tactics such as checklists, time limits, and relaxation techniques can help to minimize the challenges associated with ADHD while still reaping the benefits.

Love Your Strengths and Abilities

Young girl with ADHD with headphones in urban background

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The Undeniable Power of ADHD

Be proud of your attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and all the out-of-the-box thinking, humor, drive, and passion that comes with it. Read on for some of the best traits of people with ADHD we know and love.

A scientist with ADHD uses hyperfocus to examine a sample under a microscope.

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The Drive of ADHD Hyperfocus

ADHD's trademark hyperfocus can be a serious advantage — if you effectively channel all your attention and energy into work that makes a difference. “Many scientists, writers, and artists with ADHD have had very successful careers, in large part because of their ability to focus on what they’re doing for hours on end,” says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.

Family with ADHD walking up a grassy hill together.

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Real ADHD Resilience

ADHD isn’t always a walk in the park. We've all faced our share of disappointments and embarrassments over the years. But people with ADHD can push past setbacks, adapt to new strategies, and troubleshoot solutions to complex problems.  “We see the light at the end of the darkest tunnel. We pick ourselves up off the sidewalk when we fall. We smile through our tears," says Linda Roggli, founder of the A-D-Diva Network for ADHD women 40-and-better.

[Get This Free Download: Your Guide to All the Best Parts of ADHD]

three adults talking and laughing, having a lively conversation

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A People Person

Individuals with ADHD are bright, creative, and funny — often using self-deprecating humor to remind the world that perfection is wholly uninteresting. They’ve faced challenges, learned novel ways to manage their symptoms, and developed a sense of humility and self-respect along the way. All these traits add up to a person who is a pleasure to be around.

Two brothers with ADHD sharing a popsicle.

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Generosity & Empathy

Barbara, an ADDitude reader from Virginia, writes that the thing she loves most about her son with ADHD is “his generosity and his desire to please those he cares about. He is so protective of his younger sister.”

Individuals with ADHD are empathetic and practice kindness and generosity whether it’s by sharing a cookie or inviting a friend to cry on their shoulder.

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Ingenious Thinking

We're able to harness our ADHD creativity in strange and wonderful ways. ADDitude contributor Linda Roggli struggled with filing her papers alphabetically. So, she came up with her own system. “The associations in my head are one-of-a-kind,” she says. “If my brain thinks of life insurance policies and bicycle warranties the same way, that’s how I file them. When I return to that folder, I’ll find them both.” Whatever works for us, right?

Girl with ADHD embracing boy with ADHD on footbridge over stream

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A Strong Sense of Fairness

After living with accommodations — or perhaps struggling without them — people with ADHD know that “fair” doesn’t always mean “equal. ” They understand that neurodivergent people need different things to succeed, and they’re committed to helping whomever they can.

[Get This Free Download: Your Guide to Changing How the World Sees ADHD]

Young woman with ADHD climbing in adventure rope park

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Willingness to Take a Risk

Thomas Edison — who may have had ADHD — put all his efforts toward inventing the light bulb, even when it seemed impossible. In the end, it took him more than 3,000 tries before he made a functioning light bulb, but the victory was immeasurably sweet because he had to risk a lot — and fail even more — to make it work.

Young Couple with ADHD in Off-Road Vehicle

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As ADDitude blogger Allison Larkin points out, “Acting on impulse sometimes results in wonderful things.” A totally unplanned drive to New England in the middle of a snowstorm brought her to the town she would fall in love with, and later move to. Find out what your spontaneity can do for you!

A father with ADHD and his son with ADHD looking at each other

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A Great Sense of Humor!

Well-adjusted people with ADHD have learned to use humor to cope with difficult situations, reduce stress, strengthen bonds, change minds and more.

Happy African adhd family on the beach during summer

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Constant Surprises

Finding money (or clothing, or a tasty snack) that you forgot about earlier makes life a string of pleasant surprises. Who knows what you’ll uncover next?!

A happy couple with ADHD sits on a couch.

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Last of the Romantics

Spontaneity, outside-the-box creativity, and heightened energy — all traits of people with ADHD — add pizzazz to romantic interludes. Adults with ADHD are known for showering their partners with affection — and forever believing in the power of love, even when their relationships hit a bump in the road.

Two girls with ADHD have a conversation outside.

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Engaging Conversational Skills

One thing is certain — with ADHD, there’s never a quiet moment! Your constantly racing brain is always leading you toward new topics of discussion and questions of great import; awkward lulls in the conversation are virtually nonexistent.

A girl with ADHD helping her mother drying laundry, smiling

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People with ADHD are known for their compassion toward others and willingness to lend a hand. As proud momma Dee Boling said after her son was awarded Student of the Month, “I’d rather have a kind, cooperative kid than a smart aleck who gets straight As without trying.”

Girl with ADHD is drawing

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Lisa Aro's daughter has ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder — and she can only see out of one eye. Does she let any of this stop her? Nope! As her mother writes to her, “You write, draw, paint, film, act, invent, create, and dream. You set your sights on something and do it. No disability has stopped you from pursuing what you want.” Thousands of other persistent people with ADHD do the same every single day.

[Get This Free Download: 5 Powerful Brain Hacks for Focus & Productivity]

Chef with ADHD prepares meal

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Superstar Creativity

Famous people with ADHD include singer Justin Timberlake, chef Alexis Hernandez, and comedian Howie Mandel — not to mention dozens of others! People with ADHD are often highly intelligent and creative, and these famous faces prove that your diagnosis will only hold you back if you let it.

Adults talk about ADHD and correct negative perceptions.

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These days, it seems like everyone is an “ADHD expert,” and the media often portrays the disorder unfairly. Living with the disorder — or parenting a child who does — allows you to always be there to correct negative perceptions and spread awareness. Your personal experience and unique perspective on the situation may change a mind!

A father and son with ADHD work on a wooden car together.

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Contagious Motivation

High energy is contagious. When those around you see your drive, passion, and knack for out-of-the-box thinking, they’ll be inspired to push for their goals as well.

ADHD in adults: what prevents you from being attentive and calm

Leonid Chutko ,
professor, doctor of medical sciences,
Head of the Laboratory for the Correction of Mental Development and Adaptation, Head of the Center for Behavioral Neurology, Institute of the Human Brain named after N.P. Bekhtereva RAS

What is ADHD?

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In 1902, the Lancet published a lecture by the English physician Still, who for the first time connected inattention and hyperactivity with a biological basis, and not with poor education, as was tacitly assumed at that time.

Now this disorder is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). According to most domestic and foreign researchers, this disease occurs in 5-10% of children.

At the same time, ADHD is 4-5 times more common in boys. In adults, this disorder occurs in 2–6% of cases and is considered as a consequence of ADHD in childhood [1].

What does attention consist of?

130 years ago, William James defined attention as "the selective focus of perception on an object." According to the theory developed by Daniel Kahneman, attention is interpreted as an internal effort associated with solving a problem. At the same time, efforts are limited by the amount of energy resources, that is, attention can be depleted.

According to the hypothesis of Dr. Posner [2] and his colleagues, the attention function can be divided into the following three functional components:

  1. Vigilance
  2. Orientation
  3. Executive control

Imagine that you are driving a car and must maintain uninterrupted attention or vigilance, which is provided by the work of the right frontal and right parietal cortex. You turn left and alternately switch your attention from one lane to another, including the second component - orientation, or orientation (direction) of attention to important objects.

© Morsa Images / Getty

This component works through the supra-parietal and temporal-parietal regions, as well as the frontal center of gaze. But the most difficult component is the third one (the distribution of attention between competing objects) - it is associated with the work of more "intelligent" areas of the brain: the cingulate gyrus and the prefrontal cortex.

The first two components work mostly automatically, while the third component is used arbitrarily. In addition, Posner and his colleagues used the image of a searchlight beam to describe attention, which switches from one object to another, illuminating it with a certain intensity.

Causes of ADHD

ADHD is classified as a multifactorial developmental disorder, and one should always keep in mind the possibility of several factors affecting each other. Among the causative factors of ADHD, genetic and perinatal factors are primarily distinguished. Interestingly, ADHD is more common in twins and siblings. The risk of developing ADHD for relatives of patients suffering from this disease is about 30%. ADHD is more common among children born prematurely. Of particular importance for the formation of ADHD among perinatal factors is maternal smoking directly during pregnancy.

Manifestations of ADHD

Clinical manifestations of the disease are determined by three main symptom complexes: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Speaking of inattention, most often they mean increased distractibility and reduced concentration. At the same time, such people can engage in something interesting to them personally (computer games, watching TV, social networks) for hours. In addition, they have a deficit of selective attention, which is manifested in increased distractibility to extraneous stimuli, especially if these stimuli are bright and interesting. Often, the shifting of attention is also reduced.

Hyperactivity is usually understood as increased motor activity. Such people constantly turn objects in their hands, walk around the room, and so on. It should be noted that hyperactivity in adults is much less pronounced than in children.

© Jamie Grill / Getty

Impulsivity is manifested in the inability to control one's impulses, emotional and behavioral reactions. Such people often answer without listening to the question, constantly interrupting the interlocutor. The real problem for these people is rejection, no matter how small. The propensity to take risks causes injuries and accidents. There are cognitive impulsivity (reflecting hasty thinking) and behavioral impulsivity (reflecting difficulty in suppressing reactions).

Attention impairment in adults with ADHD results in reduced productivity. When analyzing the academic progress of students, it was revealed that students with ADHD have a lower average score, and also more often experience difficulties in preparing for classes compared to peers without signs of ADHD. In general, patients with ADHD are less likely to complete higher education. Such people are characterized by a decrease in the ability to plan time, poor organization of work, very frequent job changes and layoffs. However, the unemployment rate among them does not significantly differ from the level of the control group [3].

As can be expected, adults with ADHD occupy lower professional positions and have lower incomes than their healthy peers. In addition, young people with ADHD are more likely to need financial assistance from family members and social services than their healthy peers [4]. It must be said that patients with ADHD are much more likely to make compulsive purchases, that is, they suffer from shopaholism [5]. Patients with ADHD are more likely to be responsible for traffic accidents, as they are characterized by an aggressive driving style [6]. Such drivers often change lanes without paying attention to other cars.

How to help patients with ADHD?

In the US and Europe, the most widely used in the treatment of ADHD are psychostimulants (not registered in the Russian Federation). Despite a large number of studies on the use of psychostimulants in the treatment of ADHD, this issue is still accompanied by discussions about possible side effects.

Studies conducted at the Center for Behavioral Neurology of the Institute of the Human Brain (St. Petersburg) have shown the effectiveness of nootropics in the treatment of ADHD in adults [7]. Nootropic drugs are drugs that positively affect the higher integrative functions of the brain, the main manifestation of which is the improvement of learning and memory processes in case of their disorders. In the presence of anxiety disorders associated with ADHD, tranquilizers may be used.

It is generally accepted that the treatment of ADHD should be complex, that is, it should include both drug therapy and psychotherapeutic methods. Methods of behavioral psychotherapy are used to change (modify) behavior.

Recently, mindfulness (the art of controlling attention) and meditation have been recommended for the treatment of ADHD.

© Marko Geber / Getty

There is another way to treat ADHD - the method of encephalographic biofeedback (neurofeedback), using computer technology, the brain itself finds the best way to work and improve attention.

The essence of the method lies in the fact that electrodes are attached to the patient's head, through which the bioelectric activity of the brain is recorded, which is displayed on the computer screen. In a playful way and by “willpower”, the patient is invited to consciously or unconsciously find ways to reduce the pathological activity of the brain and bring the encephalogram values ​​back to normal (it is also displayed on the screen). The main task is to remember such a “normal” state and try, if not to save it, then at least learn to call it at will.

Exercise, proper nutrition, meditation: Professor on what the brain needs

Why do people with ADHD often change jobs? — Career on vc.ru

These reasons are 100% typical for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they are also relevant for others :)


  • Because it is critically important for them to have new information constantly. (If the project is old and routine, I'm just a cog, I have no incentive to get great pleasure or achieve something - this is not the norm, I have to look for something). Essentially, for a lot of people.
  • They cannot stand criticism and are very dramatic in such situations - Rejection Sensitive Disforia . (If someone scolded - he does not respect me - I should not be here.)
  • It is important for them to receive positive feedback ( Recognition Sensitive Euphoria ). There is no admiration from someone - and they feel not worth enough. (No praise - I'm stuck, I'm fading, lethargy, lack of dopamine, fading, everyone forgot about me)
  • They cannot set a long-term goal for themselves. Their brain always works in the short term, the goal should not be achieved by a large number of steps.

A chain is started: I have no growth in this job - I get paid less than I expect after my contribution to the project - this job (people) are not good enough - I have the right to develop and look for a new job.

And what is there in the new place?

Then the following sequence of events: they admire me at interviews, they initially appreciate me and offer me more money, the project will be interesting, I will grow - and there is no reason to stay in the old place.

It often happens that people with ADHD overestimate their skills or think they can do something after reading a little about it. And in a new place they face a lot of stress. They would rather fail or leave than ask for help. In such situations, they can quickly decide to quit, although all you have to do is admit that you can’t do something right now, find a more experienced colleague, learn and grow with his help. But this is too embarrassing for them.

Then they find a new job that suits them well, they can be charged with enthusiasm, do a lot in a short time, show miracles of productivity, delight. But it is worth stepping on one of points 1-3, and the idea of ​​finding a new job appears again.

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