ADHD: is it a good or bad thing?

This month’s Story from the Edge is written by our social media intern, Angela Schopke.

I hear people talking about ADHD a lot. Some people say it’s a blessing. Some people say it’s a very hard struggle. Some people say it doesn’t exist. I don’t have ADHD, so it’s very difficult for me to say what it is. One thing I can say is that one of my friends has it, so it must exist, but whether it’s a positive or a negative thing I do not know.

Three friends, three different walks in life.

I have a friend who is a writer. She finds refuge in words and the artisanship that goes into structuring each sentence. She has a brilliant mind full of nuance and detail, that can also capture a universal perspective. She is hard to watch – everyday she’s stuck in a rut of negativity. She seems to sink deeper and deeper into a pool of negative thoughts, that in some ways could be very comfortable and relaxing, but at the same time is suffocating. She does not have ADHD.

I have a second friend. She loves science. She is curious. She asks so many fascinating questions. She loves to talk. Sometimes she is so enthusiastic and talkative, people have a hard time being with her. She gets migraines often. I think she sees when people are annoyed with her or want to be somewhere else. But she is happy. She loves her life. She has ADHD.

We have the power to chose how we see things

The difference between the two of them strikes as sort of miraculous. Both struggle with real issues. But each one deals with what those issues in very different ways. It’s become clear to me that we have the power to choose how we see things.

I struggle with low self-esteem, and recently, I started writing down every time I felt badly about myself, and I realized, all those times I felt so low were in my head. It is almost a comfortable respite for me to resort to self-deprecating thoughts and a negative mindset and I go there so often. It’s almost like I see the world through a one-way mirror where everyone on the other side is holding signs that say, “You are less” on them. I realized I have a choice. I don’t have to see myself as less. I can choose to see myself differently.

The statement that I think best summarizes this realization for me is things just are. Things happen. One friend is drowning in her own negativity, my other friend has ADHD, and I have a low self-esteem. But those facts are neither good nor bad. They are facts. They are subject to change. They happened but they don’t define what is to happen. They are.

ADHD isn’t good or bad, it just is.

So is ADHD a bad thing? No. Is ADHD a good thing? No. It just is. It’s one part of a whole person. It gives you a lot of things and some of them might help you in a lot of ways, and others might be more difficult to live with. But I think that labeling ADHD as good or bad is unnecessary.  Figuring out how to work with it is the place to start.

Stories from the Edge are real life accounts of living life with ADHD from the student’s perspective.  If you’d like to share your story with our readers drop us a line at

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4 Responses

  1. […] Want to think on this topic some more? You might also be interested in […]

  2. karina
    | Reply

    Doesn’t really answer my question

  3. Stephen
    | Reply

    I’m adhd I’m a little crazy I have problems and I think that’s it’s hard having adhd you struggle alot

  4. Charlie Carlson
    | Reply

    ADHD is a bad thing. My son can’t even join the military because he was diagnosed with this dreadful issue. He is only 16 years old and already his career is over before it could have began. Don’t sit there and write how ADHD is not a bad or good thing and that it just is. I mean come on! My son is being treated as if he is a retard or something as if I need to name him “Corky” and put a damn helmet on his head. I also don’t want to hear how famous people have ADHD. Great for them but they are not my son and he is not them.

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