ADHD Awareness Month


What is ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that affects people's behaviour. It includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.

Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old. The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.

ADHD in underrepresented communities

Studies show that ethnic minority children were less likely than white children to receive an ADHD diagnosis. Symptoms are often dismissed as bad behaviour instead of being investigated for a diagnosis. Even though they show symptoms at the same rate as their white counterparts, when ethnic minorities are diagnosed, they are also less likely to receive treatment to help manage symptoms.

ADHD also looks a little different for males and females. Symptoms exist in both and in the same proportions and yet there is still a huge gap in the diagnosis profile with males being almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females. Inattentive symptoms like daydreaming, doodling and zoning out are more common in females which is less easy to notice compared to males external symptoms such as fidgeting and hyperactivity, so they are more likely than girls to be diagnosed.

ADHD at work

“Under the Equality Act 2010, an employee with ADHD may be considered to have a disability if the condition has a “substantial” and “long term” negative effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

However, it is not a regal requirement in the UK to tell your employer if you have ADHD - It’s up to you!

ADHD as a superpower?

ADHD is often framed negatively but that doesn’t have to be the case! In the right environment with the right support, ADHD can be a superpower in the following ways:

1. Hyperfocus

If it’s interesting enough, people with ADHD can dedicate hours of full concentration to a task by immersing themselves in it. 

2. Highly creative

People with ADHD tend to be really good at thinking outside the box and attacking a problem from different angles that others may not have thought of.

3. Fast learner

Most people with ADHD have no problem paying attention to something if it’s interesting. A highly creative mind + hyperfocusing abilities equals absorbing new information really quickly

4. Multitasking

Multitasking comes easier to people with ADHD, being able to switch between projects and tasks seamlessly is no big deal

5. Constantly scanning the environment

People with ADHD are more likely to notice information that others don’t. They often see potential problems before they arise.

6. Risk taking

Being impulsive often leads to taking more risks, a common trait in entrepreneurs and many successful people in their field (see below!)

Success stories

Here are some examples of successful people in the Tech industry who also have ADHD!

Bill gates, Founder of Microsoft

He established Microsoft, the most successful computer software company and now has a net worth of $133.5 billion.

John T. Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems 

He lead Cisco System to become one of the best-performing companies in U.S. history.

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

People have also speculated that the late CEO of Apple also had ADHD due to him displaying many of the symptoms but never getting a formal diagnosis.

Also (not tech but worth noting):

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group

Solange Knowles, American singer, songwriter, performance artist, and actress.

Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA

David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue

Mary-Kate Olsen, Child actress and fashion designer

Steven Hawking, Theoretical Physicist

John F Kennedy, 35th President of the USA

Lisa Ling, Journalist (CNN)

Michael Jordan, former professional basketball player and businessman

Walt Disney, Founder of Disney

Emma Watson, Actress and former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador

Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

This blog post is for awareness purposes and cannot replace a full ADHD assessment nor should be used to self diagnose or decide upon a treatment plan. All informational resources have been linked.