Stop Being Creative

Focus-MD | Stop Being Creative

By James Wiley, MD, FAAP

Those of us who have ADHD often hear about the gifts that come with it. It’s true — we aren’t normal; we’re gifted. Creativity is one of the most awesome gifts. I’m often astounded by the creations of my patients using a box of random Legos. Art, comedy, music, tech, drama, writing, entrepreneurship, problem-solving ADHD brains are at home here! How bland would the neuro-typical world be without us? Very, I think.

My grandmother, Madge, had a favorite saying that rolled slowly off her elegantly southern tongue. ‘Suga, (Sugar) there’re two sides to everything, even a piece of toilet paypa (paper).”

And so it is with ADHD-inspired creativity. We always have another idea, so it’s hard to know when to stop imagining/thinking and actually start to do something. Since we can think of so many ways to solve a math problem, we don’t show our work, or we get lost along the way. And since no problem or decision has only a normal, single answer, deciding where to go to dinner can take 20 minutes, and that’s just to decide between Mexican or Chinese — not which restaurant. “Oh, wait we haven’t tried that new burger place…”

I have been challenging myself lately. Stop being creative. At least long enough to do the laundry.


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