Here’s his take on ADHD in relationships, his favorite and least fav symptom, and his #1 tip for people with ADHD.
Zoë: How has ADHD manifested in your romantic relationships, in both good and bad ways?
Jonathan: The good way is that I can be very energetic and random, very fun and spontaneous which is attractive to people. So that’s good, and that always helps.
Zoë: Okay. So what are the more negative ways that it can get in the way in relationships for you?
Jonathan: It’s tough, because sometimes you’re not as considerate as you need to be and you’re not as observant of how your behavior and actions are affecting another person. It can be very uncomfortable if someone’s very sensitive.
Zoë: I’m not sure what you’re describing here?
“If it’s presented in a cool enough way, my brain can get stoked about almost anything.” Jonathan Chesner, from ADHD in HD
Jonathan: That frenetic inability to focus, inability to do one thing at one time, [being] all over the radar, that energy level, that state of mind can sometimes be difficult for someone that’s very calm, focused, and methodical to be around.
Zoë: What’s your favorite ADHD symptom? What’s your least favorite and why?
Jonathan: For me it’s creativity, but I know that the generic or formal category would be an inability to focus or just constant thoughts, continual thoughts. That’s probably the best one and also the worst one actually.
Zoë: How so?
Jonathan: It’s the best because the success of what I’ve been up to right now comes from that. A partner and I invented these ergonomic wheelchair grips and that came from thinking outside the box, and thinking, “How could we make this better?” And just letting my mind wander and come up with something.
But it’s also the worst because sometimes it’s real hard to turn off. It sucks when the thing that you need to be thinking about is not what you want to think about.
Zoë: Are you working on anything that’s related to ADHD?
Jonathan: I’m taking a little bit of a break before I decide to write anything else for kids with ADD, but it’s always something that’s near to my heart. So many ADD kids turn out so bad because they’re not encouraged, and they just feel like life’s gonna really suck.
They can do such amazing things but they’re discouraged and there’s so much doubt and shame and guilt and sense of hopelessness and failure that hangs over them and I feel like it’s not like that.
I loved writing [ADHD in HD] because the response I’ve gotten kind of reaffirms what the goal of the book was, which was to encourage the 15-year-old me’s of the world.
Zoë: Is there anything that I haven’t asked that you wish I had?
Jonathan: I like Chinese food.
Zoë: [Zoë laughs]
Jonathan: I feel like so many of the super creative people, we’re the ones; I mean, everybody has the ability to make a difference, but we have all these gifts.
I want to encourage everyone to dream big, think of rad stuff, and just go out and do it.
To order Jonathan’s book, “ADHD in HD Brains Gone Wild,” Click HERE.
Visit Jonathan’s website at http://www.jonathanchesner.com/
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Last reviewed: 13 Jul 2012