Pin Me

Hobbies For the ADHD Gifted: Turning a Perceived Liability Into an Asset

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 11/8/2010

The ADHD gifted individual sees their mental affliction as an asset rather than a cumbersome problem. In this second article in a two part series dedicated to explaining how beneficial it is for an individual with ADHD to find the right hobby, more options are provided to help them see it that way.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Change your Mind with Action

    Prickly Peak 001 An ADHD gifted individual has grown and evolved to consider their mental disorder as a positive attribute since that is a much more healthy and rewarding perspective. Attaining that point of view can be a difficult journey, but pursuing hobbies can be a good vehicle toward getting there. In this second article in a two part series, we continue to present ideas for pursuits that might appeal to your particular personality, so let’s jump right into that.

    Fly fishing, although it has a relatively high learning curve, can be tremendously rewarding. First off, you’re standing in a flowing stream or river in your waders and just the sound of running water can assuage an anxious mind whether you ever see a fish or not. White noise, especially running water, can calm the mind and help tune out the intrusive interruptions of ADHD. Once you get into all the intricacies, casting correctly to make that artificial fly float like its real (choosing the right fly alone depends upon so many factors known and unknown), and getting a fish to bite it; well it’s just one of the most thrilling experiences on earth. And those subtleties could carry over to everyday life. As Norman MacLean wrote in A River Runs Through It; all there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something that isn't even visible."

    Image courtesy of the author

  • slide 2 of 3

    Hobbies that Are More Cerebral Nature

    Admittedly, all the hobbies mentioned thus far are ones I enjoy and reap the benefits of; so it’s easy for me to try and convey their value to help others who are struggling. A very important point to all this is that some hobbies may seem intimidating at first, but you might be surprised to find enthusiasts who are quite willing to share their passion with you. From the outside, avid participators might appear to be exclusive in nature, when in a lot of cases they are rather inclusive about teaching beginners. Someone with ADHD should realize that they are always teachable and that the ability to let go of preconceived notions and fears is within their power. With all that said, none of those hobby options may appeal to you, so let’s expand the list.

    Music, writing, drawing, and painting are all activities that could unveil the hidden talents in someone with ADHD since people with this affliction are often gifted in these areas without even realizing it. Building a collection of desirable items that could include almost anything under the sun is also a pursuit that can make a positive difference. Science, particularly an affinity for all that goes into space travel, can help someone escape from their ADHD symptoms too. Literature, especially the magnificent craft that goes into the genre of the short story, might be of great interest to someone who finds getting through long novels a tedious struggle.

    In an article here in Teacher Magazine Teacher Magazine; Unwrapping the Gifted, the phrase "Twice Exceptional" is bandied about regarding people with mental disabilities. This is an excellent manner in which the person with ADHD can look at themselves. That is, they're exceptional in the first place by having the disorder, and getting to the beneficial place of acceptance about it is important. Once there, the second meaning of being exceptional can be cultivated, which is that they are gifted in some way, undoubtedly. And finding the right hobby can, in fact, help them to unwrap and discover what that gift is. So if you have ADHD, you owe it to yourself to explore many hobbies until you find that gift. It can lead a person to a rewarding feeling and bring about a more fulfilling life, like a Phoenix arising from the ashes of great difficulty.