It is important to educate ourselves about the talents and charisma that come with ‘AD(H)D’ and to see that with the chaos comes a much needed ability to think outside of the box.
Much of my work and life has been spent with people showing symptoms of AD(H)D. There is plenty of debate around the subject. At one end of the argument there is doubt about whether it exists at all. At the other end there is an increasing tendency to over-diagnose and with it has come a huge increase in prescribed medication, even for very young children suffering from AD(H)D.
My interest is to put aside the name for a moment and take a broader view. All along there have been attempts at classifying this larger than life type of person. At best he or she is charismatic, funky and chaotic. Dr Hallowell talks about the Ferrari brain with the bicycle brakes. They have been referred to as ‘outliers’, ‘hunter-gatherers’, ‘indigo children’, ‘right-brain dominant’ and ‘creative chaotics’. But let’s remind ourselves of the interconnectedness of life. Modern life itself is out of kilter, full-on, extroverted, unfocussed, obsessed with instant gratification and disconnected. Among the herds of gazelle on the Serengeti plains, there are always ones that are extra alert, hyper vigilant and quicker at picking up on impending danger.
So, I’d like to advocate taking a broader perspective. By focussing on the huge talents that come with this way of being, and learning to identify real emotional needs and how to self-manage better, we create proper conditions for sustained growth. If we educate ourselves about what AD(H)D really is and strive towards increased balance, we give each one of these talented people the chance to nurture his or her unique gift. As for society as a whole: if we see that original solutions for the problems we tussle with are more likely to originate from creative people who can think outside of the box, it becomes our joint responsibility to create environments that embrace and acknowledge creative chaos alongside predictable order.