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ADHD: A Gift or a Curse?

“ADHD is a horrible disability that makes it impossible to do anything!”

“No, ADHD is a gift that allows us to think creatively and outside of the box!”

I have seen this argument over and over again online. As you read this, one statement probably resonates more with you than the other.

So which is correct? Both! There are people with ADHD who experience it as extremely disruptive and there are people who feel like it contributes to their happiness and success.

Why? How can the same brain type be experienced so differently?

There are 3 primary reasons:

  1. Trauma: This is probably the biggest factor. While big “T” trauma such as abuse or life threatening experience is certainly a factor, I'm talking about what I call little “t” trauma. Those seemingly small but hurtful things that add up and have a BIG impact on our life. These can be things like being repeatedly told you're lazy and don't try hard enough, or being called scatterbrained or “too much”. It can also be through actions like having to stay in from recess day after day until you finish what you're supposed to do. These things can turn into on-going feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and not feeling good enough. When people have fewer traumas related to ADHD they tend to experience it as less problematic overall.