ADHD, a gift or a curse   Leave a comment

I very much admire Stephen Tonti for his ability to find stimulating creative outlets for his brilliant talents. However, as a child & adult psychiatrist, I have evaluated and treated hundreds of children and adults with ADHD. Many, many people with this condition do have a disorder. ADHD is a disorder if it causes significant distress or impairment. And many people with ADHD cannot focus on tasks that require sustained attention. Some function at a very high level. But they may be able to focus only if the activity is stimulating to them. Much in life is not stimulating, e.g., doing taxes, waiting at traffic lights, and doing tasks that are not stimulating. While Stephen’s energy and spontaneity may, indeed, help him as it does help some of my own patients, he is doing a disservice to those millions who do suffer from ADHD and to others who do not know what it is like to have it as impairment. I do believe ADHD is a gift for some, but it is a curse for many.

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