JUN 03, 2017 4:37 PM PDT

Can having ADHD help you?


ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder, is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder among children and teenagers. Those with ADHD often have difficulty focusing, staying still, or making decisions. The disorder is linked to an individual's genetics and studies have shown that people with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is the "reward hormone" of the brain; receiving less of it leaves people feeling bored and unstimulated. Most people would see these symptoms as a negative influence; however, they may just have an evolutionary purpose.

A current study of settled versus nomadic members of a tribe in Kenya showed that those with a higher frequency of genes associated with ADHD were more successful hunter gathers, bringing home more food than other tribe members. This may be because such restlessness and hyperactivity that ADHD exhibits is considered an advantage when you're responsible for bringing home the bacon - literally.

Studies have also shown that people with ADHD tend to be more creative, as they are outside-the-box thinkers. Creativity, resourcefulness, and adaptability are just a few of the characteristics that makes people with ADHD special, giving them a leg up in certain environments.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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