Are there any benefits to being diagnosed with ADHD?

Are there any benefits to ADHD? Why has it persisted through generations?
19 April 2013

Interview with 

Terry Laverty, ADDaptability, Dr Sam Chamberlain, Cambridge University

About 1 in 20 children in the UK will be diagnosed with ADHD, with the majority being prescribed medication to help treat it. Half of these will then go on to continue with their symptoms into adulthood.  I'll return to Terry who set up an adult ADHD group after his diagnosis to help support others.  I wanted to find out, are there any benefits associated with it.

Terry -   I find actually that people tend to respond really well to my enthusiasm, but at the same time, some people can occasionally get a bit put off because I'm going to be quite intense.  I find that people with ADHD can often be quite empathic and be really good with people, and I think there's actually a lot of positivity with ADHD as well.  We can be really creative.

Hannah -   I asked Sam about this aspect of ADHD...

Sam -   So, it's important when we think about ADHD, not to think of just the negative things but to also think whether there might be a reason why ADHD persists, why over evolution have the symptoms sort of remained in the population, especially milder forms.  So, people with mild ADHD symptoms, it might actually be useful in terms of being creative in their jobs or coming up with new ideas.  So, it's not always a negative thing, but I would say that in people who have sort of fully blown form of ADHD then by definition, that is really impairing what they're doing day to day.


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