There are many people who have done exceedingly well due to having a diagnosis of ADHD or to have been presumed to be or have been ADHD. Prominent individuals who have “come out” as having an ADHD diagnosis include: Michael Phelps, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Jim Carrey and Rory Bremner to name a few. Those that have been presumed to have had traits that would fit symptom traits include Sigmund Freud, Richard Branson (who is dyslexic so far I have not read from a reliable source or heard him mention he has had a diagnosis of ADHD, please comment with a link if you have found one), Thomas Edison and Steve Jobbs etc etc etc.
It is said that many people with an ADHD diagnosis have many positive attributes including: copious amounts energy, creativity in many fields, a high IQ, divergent and quick thinking, a good sense of humour and the ability to hyper-focus. Having a diagnosis of ADHD myself, I can say from an observation of my skill set that this is true (yes I know it sounds smug). However in this world of two poles, for every positive there is probably a negative. One could ask, how strong is the negative pull, if there are any strategies to help pull in the opposite direction; this all depends on what life has served up for each individual with an ADHD diagnosis. To get a better perspective there is a study at the Institute of Psychiatry entitled “The Advantages of ADHD”.
ADHD is usually described as an impairing condition and most research has focused on understanding the causes of ADHD and the associated problems often seen in clinics. For this reason ADHD has come to be understood from mainly a negative perspective. However some evidence suggests that children and adults with ADHD may also have certain advantages (specific strengths, talents or resources) that occur because of their symptoms. Through a series of research interviews with adults with ADHD, the aim of the study is to determine whether some people consider their symptoms to be positive, as well as negative, and to better characterise any advantages associated with ADHD.