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What is ADHD?

ADHD is – in many ways – an adaptive skill that is a product of years of evolution. Imagine you’re in the woods (whether it is the 1700s or present day) building a fire or shelter. You hear a twig snap in the distance and your head turns around to see a bear off in the distance. Since you heard the bear before you saw the bear, you are able to seek safety. Being aware of a noise in the distance and checking it out is a symptom of ADHD. The problem is most children and adults are not required to be in the woods in the 21st century. Being overly aware of noise or “distractions” can negatively impact a child’s and adult’s ability to learn, feel productive, and achieve their full potential. These feelings can have ripple effects during the learning years and adulthood such as anxiety, depression, substance use, and compensatory OCD like behavior. The other consequence – when someone is aware of the benefits of ADHD – is the ability to be highly successful, motivated, calculated risk-takers, and creative in business, family, and life. Harnessing the power of ADHD is important to actualize the boundless opportunities afforded to these highly adaptive and intelligent people.

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