Is ADHD a condition, a problem, or a blessing?

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr Stanton Peele
Posted on May 15th, 2024
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.

Dear Stanton,

A client recently asked me your thoughts about ADHD. This is a highly-educated professional who was diagnosed as an adult and has not found medication helpful. I gave them my take on ADHD but said I would ask you directly.



Do you know of any colleagues who could possibly be classified as having ADHD?

As you may already know from reading my memoir I’m so old I come before all the modern day labels including: ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, hyperactivity, etc…

I was kind of a bouncy child. I wasn’t antisocial or violent- but I was a handful.

I did well in school, particularly math. There were obviously areas in which I struggled- spelling, foreign languages, sitting still, to name a few. But I was obviously bright, and I had a curious mind.

So my mother thought, “ok, you won’t be a translator at the UN. But you have strengths and you’ll be great.” Bless my mother! Without any background in child development or psychology, my mother knew- The most important thing is not to get down on yourself!

So she taught me how to read and do math before I went to school. She never let them label me in a way that would interfere with my success. (Watch Zach and Johann Hari discuss  ADHD OVER-diagnosis in kids here.) My dear mother instilled a confidence in me that helped me succeed as a child, and I’ve been going that route ever since.

Does this story remind you of anything? How about neurodiversity? To summarize, neurodiversity is the idea that there is no single “right way” to learn, think, or behave. The world is a better place with all of us being our unique selves- we are each a gift to the people around us, just as we are. That was my mother’s gambit!

Meanwhile, a funny thing has happened on the way to pay dirt. Groups of ADHD “survivors” are rebelling. They’re saying “Hey, we don’t have a disease. We may be different, but we’re really good at a lot of things! So don’t feel sorry for us, because we don’t need your pity!”

I mean you have to search for it among the thousands of “here’s help for ADHD resource” sites. But there is now an ADHD “pride” movement!

What If My Intense Drive Is Because of — Not in Spite of — My ADHD?

Like many women with ADHD, I’m a high-energy, creative thinker, boycotter of the status quo, and classic over sharer. I’ve long used these traits to help me succeed in life. You can, too. It all begins with hope.

Bottom line — if you respect and appreciate who you are and do the best that you can with your personality and skill set, that’s all that life (or school) can offer any human being.

So let’s all go with that.

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *