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Can ADHD have benefits? The Secret Power of Thinking Differently

The symptoms of ADHD include things like:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fidgeting
  • Learning difficulties
  • Problems with executive function and planning

It may sound like all of these symptoms add up to something solely negative, but that's not necessarily the case.

In terms of drawbacks, there's no doubt that having ADHD is no picnic. It can and does cause issues in, for example, the classroom or the workplace. In a world that is increasingly dependent on the information economy, difficulty staying focused on the right task can certainly be debilitating.

However, there are occasionally benefits to having a mind with ADHD!

Key Takeways:

  • ADHD can certainly be a debilitating and distressing condition.
  • But there are also good things about thinking differently from others!
  • Many famous scientists and inventors had, or were thought to have, ADHD.

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A Different Way of Thinking Means a Unique Perspective

ADHD Symptoms, In The Right Context, Can Lead To Greatness

Einstein and Gravity: How ADHD May Have Changed The World

A Different Way of Thinking Means a Unique Perspective

For starters, people with any mental health concern tend to approach situations with a different perspective than those who don't have a diagnosed condition.

People with ADHD can sometimes hyperfocus on a task in a way that seems almost superhuman. If the task interests them and stimulates their intellectual capacity, they can spend inordinate amounts of time working on a project. This means that people with ADHD can and often do become subject matter experts on an array of things that others might not give a second look at.

In the context of work, this can mean that people with ADHD are able to develop a new perspective on a problem that, for their coworkers, has long been insurmountable.

In relationships, people with ADHD may be able to bring their partner(s) new perspectives on old ideas, which makes them more interesting and intriguing.

Having ADHD is no picnic in the modern information-centric world. But there's no denying that, in the right situation, it can have benefits as well.

ADHD Symptoms, In The Right Context, Can Lead To Greatness

Because ADHD can manifest as higher levels of energy and creativity, people with ADHD have been behind some of the world's most important inventions.

It's impossible to know for sure, but based on the way they wrote, thought, and designed things, experts think that, among others, the following people had ADHD:

  • Albert Einstein, whose previously-contrarian theories of space and matter are now considered the gold standard of physics.
  • Harvey Cushing, the man who essentially invented brain surgery.
  • Louis Pastuer, who not only invented the process of pasteurization, but whose rabies vaccine has prevented millions of deaths.

These people were undoubtedly extremely intelligent, which certainly helped them earn their accomplishments. But there is very little chance they would have been able to go against the grain and see things in a new light if their brains hadn't thought differently than others as well.

Einstein and Gravity: How ADHD May Have Changed The World

When Albert Einstein was still in diapers, physicists thought that gravity and time were separate phenomena. It makes total rational sense, given that humans perceive them as separate. When Einstein was starting his career, the problem of what gravity actually is seemed like an insurmountable and largely metaphysical question.

Then, in 1912, Einstein - having been obsessed his entire life with the concept of forces and their relationship to matter - realized that the phenomenon of gravity is, at its very foundation, exactly the same as the sensation of acceleration. When you hit the gas pedal in your car, the force that pushes you back into the seat is identical in form to the force that keeps your car on the ground.

Applying this concept to some extremely complicated mathematics that would require years of study to even begin to truly understand, Einstein arrived at his general theory of relativity, which posits that matter bends the spacetime around it in order to create the effects of acceleration - i.e., force - with no perceptible motion through space.

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When he published his theory in 1915, it was received with fairly widespread ridicule and incredulity, at least by those who weren't physicists. The consensus at the time was that his method of developing this theory, because it was based so heavily on pure math instead of observation, could not possibly have constructed an idea rooted in physical truth.

The implications of the theory were seen as absurd as well. According to the general theory of relativity, a quickly rotating system of massive objects would produce waves of gravity, which is obviously ridiculous.

Except that, in 2016, that exact phenomenon happened. And we measured it.

While it takes a lot more than one experiment to prove a scientific concept, there is a growing pile of information that indicates that Einstein was right. Einstein, using nothing but a pencil, some paper, and his very unique brain, was able to make one of the most significant steps in the history of humankind's attempt to understand the universe.

In fact, he was so right that engineers actually use his special and general theories of relativity in space travel, satellites, GPS, computation, and hundreds of other technologies that rely on highly accurate time measurements. Without Einstein's pioneering work in relativity, the entire technological landscape of history - and history itself - may have been completely different.

One of the most common complaints that parents and teachers have when it comes to children with ADHD is that their minds get lost in thought. They seem to become preoccupied with ideas and trains of thought that are entirely irrelevant to the task at hand.

But if Einstein hadn't let his mind wander - if he hadn't had (what we think is) ADHD - he never would have been able to develop such an accurate theory using a completely contrarian approach. Without it, the entire world would be different.

Next time you use a GPS or pull up directions on your phone, you can thank ADHD.

Therapy for ADHD in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

ADHD can certainly have benefits, but that doesn't mean it can't also be debilitating. Depending on a person's situation, ADHD can have a serious impact on their academic or job performance, relationships, and more.

If you think you may have ADHD, or if you already have a diagnosis, know that there are therapists for ADHD in Brooklyn that can help you reduce the symptoms that are causing you distress.

Give us a call, and our patient coordinator will assist you in finding the right therapist for your situation.

Book a Therapy Session in Brooklyn Today

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