ADHD: Gift or Curse?
I have noticed a trend in the ADHD community to label ADHD as a superpower. The intent is to lift the spirits of those with ADHD. ADHDers are labeled with all sorts of negative descriptions, and telling them they have a superpower is a way to get them to see things differently, to rejoice in their condition as if it were a gift. But, is it a superpower, though? It is a disorder. One might think that would make it a bad thing, like the person is cursed. This is the very attitude the labeling of ADHD as a superpower is attempting to combat. So, which is it? Is ADHD a gift or a curse?
The Case for SUPERPOWER
Those of us with ADHD have many good qualities. ADHDers are frequently creative and highly imaginative. Fresh, new ideas are constantly flowing into our minds. We have great senses of humor. Also, we have been known to show a great deal of empathy towards others.
But, these are just character traits, some of which can be misused.
The Case for CURSE
Those of us with ADHD have trouble living successful lives. Task initiation is hard. When we do get our projects started, we cannot finish them. Impulsivity makes us say and do things that get us into trouble. Focusing is basically impossible. We’re hyper. Regulating our emotions is a struggle. We have no sense of time. Sometimes, we cannot even explain what is going on inside our own heads.
But, these are struggles that can be lessened or managed by medication, coaching, and other interventions.
ADHD just is. It is what it is. We will succeed or fail based on what we do, not what ADHD does to us, and I would not want it any other way. I do not want my accomplishments to be credited to a superpower, nor do I want to be a victim. I want to be praised for my good qualities because they are a part of me, not because they are a superpower. Also, I do not want an excuse for my failures. ADHD is not a superpower, but we do not have to feel like we are the victim of a curse.