Adults with ADHD Can’t Be Contained by Labels
Feeling like your ADHD symptoms are impacting your self-esteem? Do you often feel like a “mess” inside? Adults with ADHD account for 4.4 million people in America…and a lot of them probably feel exactly the same way. But here’s the thing: ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms are far from a set of “deficits.” They’re actually a set of strengths. And when you harness them towards your goals, you might just feel like, well, a superhero.
The 5 Superpowers of Adults with ADHD:
1. Hyper focusing.
You know that you can pay attention with ADHD. It’s just inconsistent. You also probably know about the “zone of ADHD,” or being able to hyperfocus with incredibly high intensity. This is why it might be hard to start or finish tasks. But once you’re keyed into a task, you can get a lot done…and done well.
When you have ADHD, your emotions can be just as scattered as your thoughts. From a young age, you may have learned to use your emotions when your brain was being sleepy. For example, you might have gotten frustrated when bored or impulsive when something exciting happened. But when channeled correctly, the ability to tap into your emotions can make you more understanding and supportive of the feelings of others.
Adults with ADHD often think outside the box. Their brains are basically wired to find new ways to view the world. This means they aren’t trapped by “this is how we’ve always done it” thoughts. And so when working on something of interest, they are the ones with the big ideas.
Hyperactivity isn’t just about staying up until 2 am playing Candy Crush. That same energy can also make you really productive. Think of it this way: The Flash can either run around in circles downing pop rocks and soda or use that super speed to save the planet.
5. Problem-solving skills.
Because the ADHD mind works fast, it can be easy to think on your feet. In fact, adults with ADHD can often solve problems faster than those without ADHD. This is because all that quick thinking can lead to either discovering solutions others may not have thought of or finding a new perspective that allows for a more in-depth understanding of an issue.
How Adults with ADHD Can Use Their Superpowers
By far, one of the best things someone with ADHD can do is learn about what makes an ADHD mind tick. This can help you figure out which powers to use and when to use them. Here are some tips on how to trigger the right superpower for the right situation.
1. Find situations where your superpowers shine.
Let’s be real: anyone with ADHD can do whatever they want. So yes, you can volunteer for those boring admin tasks at work. However, if there’s an opportunity to do a think-on-your-feet/creative/interpersonal-skills task instead, your ADHD brain is likely exactly what the job calls for.
2. Adults with ADHD make boring things more interesting.
We all know how focused you can be when you want to be. So if you have to do the boring admin task…build in the fun. There’s no shame in setting up your own reward system around a less-than-rewarding task. Find ways to flip the switch and bring out that hyperfocused executive-functioning hero you are inside.
3. Follow your feelings.
Feeling restless and hyperactive? Cue the project you’ve been putting off! Sometimes it’s just about rolling with how you’re feeling. Instead of fighting those emotions, figure out how you can put them to use and benefit your life.
4. Take care of your health.
Powers out of whack? How are you sleeping and eating? Just like anyone else (but particularly adults with ADHD), diet, exercise, and rest make a world of difference. If your nervous system is out of sync, your brain will be too. Keeping a regular sleep and workout schedule, as well as a clean diet, can help keep you regulated so your superpowers work their best.
5. Check-in with yourself.
How are you feeling? No, really. Literally, ask yourself how you’re feeling. How often does anyone check in with themselves on how they are feeling and thinking? Hardly ever, right? We tend to get caught up in our thoughts. For the ADHD brain looking to use its superpowers, checking in with yourself gives you more control over which power to use when.
Above all, it’s important to remember that you are, in fact, a superhero. And superheroes need to know they’re doing a good job. Otherwise, they end up like Batman––all strung out on never-ending cycles of revenge. As someone with ADHD, you cannot give yourself a pat on the back enough. Fuel your powers by reminding yourself you have them. Doing so can reduce anxiety, which ultimately decreases mistakes and increases your ability to use your ADHD superpowers for good.
Begin Adult ADHD Therapy in Columbus, OH
At Open Pathways Counseling in Columbus, Ohio, we can work to help you hone your powers, and make the most of every situation. You can learn more about me, or start adult ADHD therapy with these simple steps:
- Click here, email me, or call today for a free 15-minute phone consult.
- Schedule a time to meet me for the first appointment.
- Stop feeling like a mess, and realize how super you are!
Other services offered at Open Pathways Counseling
Adult ADHD therapy isn’t the only service I offer at my Columbus, OH-based therapy practice. In addition to helping adults with ADHD, I offer anxiety treatment, therapy for creatives, therapy for young adults, counseling for men and men’s issues, therapy for work stress and burnout, and depression counseling.