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The other symptom

Symptom? Maybe …

One of the “unsung” symptoms of ADHD is creativity.

Yeah, I know, there are “Professionals” who will say there is no documented proof that that is true.

But I offer this little treatise of logic as possible proof of, at the very least, of the possibility of the efficacy of this postulation.


I’m gonna ‘splain why I think creativity is part of having ADHD for many of us.

For starters, just what is an ADHD symptom anyway?

Yeah, what is that?

And ADHD symptom is a variation in frequency or intensity of effect of some thoroughly acceptable aspect of humanity.

For instance, anyone can be distracted, but if you have ADHD you can be distracted from the distraction that distracted you from the thing that you were doing when you were supposed to be doing something else … for the forty-third time today … and it’s only ten AM … Dammit!

So is that all of us?

No, though this is one of our main symptoms, there are people with ADHD who are more hyper than inattentive.

The point is that no two of us are alike, no two of us have the same symptoms to the same extent, none of us have all the symptoms all turned up on max … well, maybe me, some days.

Wait, some days?

Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that? Symptoms change from day to day.

We have good days and bad days. It’s mostly a stress related thing. Good stress makes our lives better, bad stress makes our symptoms worse.

So what about creativity?

Having ADHD is kind of like recording history. It’s done by the winners, and it’s always biased in their favor.

And inside our heads, we’re always rewriting our own history, assessing causes of inappropriate actions and statements, changing the importance of stimulations and stressors, and sometimes leaving out things or rearranging timelines a little bit, in order to understand our actions without having to resort to the obvious reasoning … we’re crazy.

And this is ….

Ha, well, in the best sense of the word, this is being creative. And it’s practice at being creative. And practice makes us good at it, better every day.

I think of creativity as a muscle, exercise makes it stronger.

But, muscle or symptom?

Justification of ADHD caused situations, behaviors, inappropriate comments, spontaneous (and dangerous) actions, and other symptoms is an occupation that our minds spend a fair bit of time at. And it’s only natural that we would get good at it.

And a brain that can stretch in one way, can soon learn to stretch in other ways.

So it’s possible that it is learned behavior, creativity is at the very least more likely to develop in the person with ADHD

On Friday I’ll discuss if it is possible that creativity is an all out symptom of the disorder itself.

The other symptom

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). The other symptom. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/06/the-other-symptom/


Last updated: 28 Jun 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jun 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.