For all those suffering with ADD, there are ways that it can be an extremely valuable gift. Do you know of any?
Here are the gifts ADD has brought to me. In no particular order:

Conferences and or teaching skills: I can execute a conference or teach a class and see the smallest question on people’s faces. Or see the slightest bit of boredom or disgust for that matter. Realizing their thoughts and dynamically acting toward a positive change makes a person with ADD a great speaker and teacher... and preacher for that matter (yuk)

Dad: Damn I'm good. I have three children under four, and there is hardly a minute that goes by during the day that I do not listen to their smallest needs. The gift enables me to positively adjust a situation by hearing ALL of their issues at once vs. one side. It really does enable us to have eyes in the backs of our heads.

Sex: No claim to fame here, but a woman with ADD is a dream in bed. She hears or sees everything you want before you say you want it. The drawback is if you date/marry a zombie beotch; it’s like HELLO, are you alive there!?

Entertainment: I love a party, and when I hold one at the house, I swear I can hear every guest. What they say, what they do, and what they need. Exhausted at the end, but damn it looks smooth.

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A little off topic, but ADD may actually be an evolutionary survival adaptation. I was listening to the Skepticallity podcast and the were interviewing William Meller, M.D., author of Evolution RX. He was discussing the thought that a wandering attention may have allowed certain individuals to discern danger before others more focused on a single task, enhancing survival for the ADD individual and the group as a whole. Interesting....

For myself - having ADD has made me train myself to totally focus on a single task when necessary - which really helps me with my career (I am a database architect).
First off, I don't suffer from ADD.

I have found that having ADD (not ADHD) has been extremely helpful for my creativity. I design stuff for a living so it's a good thing I can bounce between so many different items and still get stuff done. I really view ADD as having a hyper attention span and not looking at it as a disorder. By having this hyper attention I am able to draw from many sources for my creativity by the simple fact that I take more information in from my surroundings than most people. I have a strong thirst for knowledge.

I tend to need to be in more a leadership role than a simple subordinate role. When I am stuck in the subordinate role I do lose attention quickly when the work to be done is of no significance. However, when I am in these leadership roles I am able to hyper-focus and put more effort into something than most people around me. I can go 12-14 hours of work straight stopping only for restroom breaks.
I'm glad it's not a disorder for you, but for me it definitely is. There are gifts, for sure, such as hyperfocus that I use extensively, but the associated difficulties of ADHD have affected me throughout my life, and continue to this day.

ADHD isn't a binary on/off switch, you either have it or you don't, and it's the same for everyone. It's more continuous and multi-dimensional like height or skin colour. Some people are pale and need to watch the sun, whereas others are so pale they can't go outside without sunscreen.

As for gifts: I consider myself an 'idea guy', which I think comes from my ADHD and natural intuitiveness. I spend a lot of time daydreaming, which I definitely got from ADHD, but I've learned to channel it into a strong skill in imagination, which helps me learn better than many people.
"I'll never call ADHD a gift. That's kind of Jenny McCarthy-ism at its worst in my opinion. But even a dark cloud can have a silver lining. Sometimes."

That's the sentiment I was trying to express. We shouldn't think less of people with ADHD, but there's no reason to white wash the real difficulties people have because of it, by only focusing on the positives.
I'm with you on the gifts of ADHD. The absent mindedness is frustrating as hell to me, but I love being quick witted and adventurous. I think the benefits of ADHD actually outweight the detrimental aspects. Given the choice, I'd remain ADHD.
I have not found ADD, Inattentive Type a gift although it does enable me to focus (absorption) on certain subjects that interest me. The "not applying herself"/"irresponsible"/ “lazy”/ “doesn't care"/"dummy" in childhood, the lost jobs, missed appointments, forgotten dates, disorganization, chaos, low self esteem, depression and shame I experienced as an adult has cost me, and those who’ve depended on me, too much. The fact that the deficit shifts according to my interest in a subject convinced me at a young age that it was a personal failing though I knew early on I was absent minded.

I'm quick witted and can make others laugh, but more often I've interrupted, blurted out and said the wrong thing. For years I thought I had a personality disorder because the symptoms --impulsiveness, reactivity, extremes of expression, sensitivity (to everything) and becoming easily bored by things that don't interest me mimics borderline personality. The depression, sadness, alienation as well as the disappointment I’ve caused others has made going through life on this planet a grind. I'm not surprised there is an increased suicide rate in people with this disorder.

I cannot multitask and tend to stray off topic in conversations. The kind of deficit I have makes auditory comprehension difficult. It isn't unusual for me to walk out of meetings clueless which is especially problematic when I’m expected to perform. Spontaneously speaking to a group is likely to result in puzzled looks and exchanged glances as putting thoughts to words is sometimes difficult.

I’m fortunate I can work half time now because compensating for my deficits is exhausting. It also takes me forever to get things done. At least now I know what’s wrong with me. If this was a visible disability, like being blind or missing a limb, others would immediately recognize and adjust their expectations but with this one is forever trying to perform normally. For me it seems to be getting worse as I age.

I find Brads comments interesting as I have wondered about the evolutionary value of ADD, if any. Sorry for the length of this. I have trouble with my off switch.
Point taken. The disorder can clearly cause great suffering. I'm sure the severity level of the condition probably coorelates to the suffering it causes.




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