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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Exploring the Upside of ADHD

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 6th 2009

In an earlier blog titled Mindful Approaches to ADHD I hinted at the upside to ADHD and I think it's worth exploring a bit more.

For many, being labeled with a "disorder" can be a vexing experience.

However, part of our experience with dealing with mental health challenges is in our interpretation of it. If we view it as a "disorder" then our minds automatically focus on the gap in between where we are and where we want to be. By focusing on this, we can't help but be drawn into automatic negative thinking and depression at times.

What if people with ADHD were seen as quick-witted, having the ability to be enthusiastic for many things at once, or maybe quickly able to see the "big picture?"

What we may not realize is that we applaud people for their ADHD all the time, in awe of their creativity and "out-of-the-box" thinking.  

David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue Airways says, "Neeleman views his ADD in this way, "along with the disorganization, procrastination, inability to focus, and all the other bad things that come with ADD, there also comes creativity and the ability to take risks."

Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein were presumed to have ADHD. Thom Hartman wrote the book The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child saying that people with ADHD "may instead be our most creative individuals, our most extraordinary thinkers, our most brilliant inventors and pioneers."  

Lara Honos-Webb wrote The Gift of Adult ADD and Lidia Zylowska, M.D. is about to publish her psychoeducational and experiential CD program called Mindful Solutions for Adults with ADD/ADHD (November, 2010) which also focuses redefining ADHD.

What would happen if we began seeing the upside to "disorders," instead of focusing on them as reasons to feel shame or unworthiness? We can even see and upside to depression at times can be seen as a pathway to inspire empathy and hope in people.

What would happen?  

Please share your questions, stories, and comments below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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