Westside Psych


ADHD As An Asset


What if we viewed ADHD as a strength or an asset? In today's world we are constantly being bombarded by endless stimuli. We tend to believe that the ideal solution is to find a way to slow down, filter out the "unnecessary" stimuli, and hone in on one thing. However, this simply isn't always possible. Take the example of preparing for a morning meeting at home before you go into work. The stimuli coming at you first thing in the morning can be overwhelming: your phone buzzing with texts and social media alerts about what is going on in the world and in your social world,  the news on the TV in the background, whatever noise goes on in your house, the weather, smells and sounds outside, etc.  

Those with ADHD tend to have less strict mental filters, which allows them to attend to new stimuli easier and come up with creative ways to incorporate it.  Perhaps a person with ADHD prepping for the meeting at home would be able to incorporate information about what is going on in the world to their meeting material in a very useful way, even though they hadn't planned to do so. Maybe the talents of being able to switch gears quickly, to be drawn to novel ideas or information, and to generate creative solutions can be incredibly adaptive, when understood and harnessed.  We love this empowering, strengths-based way of conceptualizing ADHD in today's world, which is beautifully illustrated by Leonard Mlodinow in his N.Y. Times article "In Praise of A.D.H.D".

We say all of this with the caveat that ADHD can be a severely debilitating disorder in which medication is necessary to mitigate the brain's hyperactive tendencies. However, mild to moderate ADHD can be treated in a variety of ways, including cognitive behavioral therapy. If you are interested in therapy for ADHD, contact us to discuss getting started.