Some people are definitely city people or not city people. Personally, I can see the advantages of living in both more and less dense areas. For people with ADHD, I think the urban, suburban and rural life all have potential upsides.
What got me thinking about this was the realization that if I didn’t live in a tiny apartment in a city, it would probably be significantly harder to keep track of my possessions. If you lose your keys in a small apartment, there are really only so many places they can be.
The city is a stimulating environment to live in, with lots of different things happening in a relatively small space. This stimulation can be great for people with ADHD, who don’t tend to tolerate boredom well.
Another advantage of the city is that more stores are likely to be open at unusual hours of day or night. Perfect for those ADHDers who have sleep schedules that are, let’s say, non-traditional. And stores tend to be close by, which means that when you go to the grocery store and buy everything except the one item you went to get in the first place, it’s easy to go back.
Finally, and not to be underestimated, is that there’s generally a wider choice of ADHD treatment options in the city. If you’re in an urban area, overall it’s probably easier to get access to a doctor who knows what they’re doing when it comes to ADHD, although of course it’s possible in other areas as well.
That said, there are definite downsides to city life with ADHD. I’ll list them, in no particular order: noise pollution, noise pollution and, well, noise pollution. If you’re the type of ADHDer who needs quiet to concentrate, the urban bustle can throw a serious wrench into that.
More generally, everyday life in the city is just a little more stressful in several ways. The suburbs and rural areas might not have the same electricity as dense urban environments. But they have fewer crowds, a lower cost of living, and more green space, all of which can potentially exert a relaxing effect on mental health.
Of course, whether you’re happy in the city, the suburbs, or in a place where your closest neighbor isn’t even walking distance is a personal choice. And sometimes it’s not even a choice – it’s just a matter of where life takes you.
It can also change based on what point in your life you’re at. In my cohort of fellow millennials, a lot of people who thought the city would always have their heart seem to increasingly be taking note of the advantages of the suburbs. Whether I’ll become one of those people remains to be seen, but as far as I’m concerned, both environments have potential advantages for people with ADHD.
Image: Flickr/Still Vision