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LAtest Wellness News
October 1, 2023
Robert Simms

10 Unbelievable Ways ADHD Can Actually Boost Your Creativity!

Hi, let me tell you a little about myself. Yes, I’m a licensed therapist, but that’s just one of the many roles I play. Besides being a loving parent and spouse, I also navigate the currents of a demanding career while managing a life marked by a late-diagnosis of ADHD.

Surprised? It certainly was a transformative moment for me, receiving my ADHD diagnosis in my late 30’s. Suddenly, my brain’s unique workings had an explanation. But alongside the enlightening clarity, there were also shadows of apprehension.

Among these was a worry shared by many of my clients. This fear? That the creative spark, so often kindling alongside the ADHD mind, would be smothered by the fog of medication. I can still recall the mix of relief and unease as I held my first prescription. Would my mind’s vivid, energetic landscape turn still and grey?

Here’s a comforting revelation that I want to share: ADHD, even when treated with medication, can actually augment your creativity. Picture it like unlocking a hidden potential, a kind of superpower that, once mastered, can result in extraordinary outcomes.

1. Harnessing Hyperfocus

An aspect most of us with ADHD can relate to is hyperfocus, the ability to concentrate so deeply that the world dissolves into mere background noise.

Before my diagnosis, I’d lose myself in a captivating book or an intriguing project. Time would become an afterthought, suddenly fast-forwarding to the small hours of the night. I remember one time in highschool when I HAD TO finish the novel I was reading. I didn’t finish until 4am. I had a big test the next day, but that didn’t matter to me in that moment. The realization that this was part of my ADHD was akin to a dawn of understanding.

Yet, there’s a paradox about hyperfocus; it’s not a trait we can switch on or off at will. If only such a convenience existed, our lives might be less chaotic. It’s more akin to taming a wild beast – unpredictable, fierce, and untamed. 

On one hand, hyperfocus can be a pitfall, leading to neglected tasks and overlooked appointments. On the other hand, when hyperfocus shines its spotlight on a creative venture, it’s a different story.

In these moments, my creativity seems to blossom. Whether it’s writing, researching or conceptualizing novel therapy strategies, I’m able to immerse myself with an intensity that’s hard to rival. It’s as if the world retreats, leaving just me, my creative task, and a brain buzzing with ideas.

While the timing of hyperfocus isn’t within our control, we can learn to ride its untamed waves. With a little patience and practice, we can harness these concentrated bouts to stoke our creative fires and craft something uniquely our own.

2. Unleashing Divergent Thinking

Our journey continues with another ADHD-related trait: divergent thinking. This is our unique ability to consider a multitude of solutions, to venture beyond the conventional, and to connect dots in ways others may not perceive.

Reflecting back on my school days, even before my ADHD was recognized, my thought process often diverged from that of my peers. My approach to problems was akin to traversing the road less taken. Although it has led to many misunderstandings throughout my school and career, it also guided me towards some truly remarkable insights.

The marvel of divergent thinking is that it isn’t a feature we can toggle on or off. It’s an ever-present companion, perpetually encouraging us to view things from a different perspective. While this can be tricky in certain situations (like adhering to a strict set of instructions), it can also be a powerful asset in the realm of creativity.

When working on a creative endeavor, divergent thinking is akin to possessing a secret ally. It gives you the flexibility to approach your project from various perspectives, generate original solutions, and birth something genuinely unique. It can be like tapping into a never-ending source of inventive ideas. 

While divergent thinking may sometimes make us feel out of step with the world, it’s an influential tool that can significantly boost our creativity. It’s woven into our identities and is something we should proudly embrace and celebrate. When I started posting on Social Media, I was worried I would run out of ideas to talk about. In fact, I’ve got an ever growing list of ideas that has helped me to feel more comfortable with putting myself out there.

3. Channeling High Energy Levels

Let’s switch gears to a topic very close to those of us with ADHD: energy levels. If your experience mirrors mine, you’ve probably felt the tidal forces of energy that seem inherent with ADHD. Some days, you might be bubbling over with ideas and enthusiasm, feeling like a high-performance engine. Other days, it may seem as if the energy has drained away, leaving you listless and slow.

This oscillating energy is a common trait of ADHD. It’s not always predictable, resembling a rollercoaster that spontaneously shifts its speed. However, as we grow in self-awareness and mindfulness over time, we can begin to recognize our unique energy patterns and rhythms.

These energy cycles aren’t something we can control or conveniently schedule. They’re more like the changing seasons, following a natural flux. But through mindful observation, we can learn to navigate these cycles more adeptly.

When I find myself in a high-energy phase, I seize this vigor for my creative work, like riding a wave and using its momentum to propel me forward. But when my energy levels dip, I’ve learned to respect that phase too. It’s a period for rest, for contemplation, for gently nurturing ideas instead of fast-tracking them to fruition.

So, although the fluctuating energy cycles of ADHD can sometimes be challenging, they can also lend a unique cadence to our creative process. It’s about understanding and respecting our bodies and minds, aligning with our energy cycles rather than battling them, and using these rhythms to inspire creativity.

4. Sensitivity to Environment: Tapping into Inspiration

Finally, let’s examine another trait often associated with ADHD: heightened sensitivity to our environment. This isn’t limited to just physical surroundings but extends to the people and interactions within it. If you’re like me, you may find yourself deeply stirred by the sentiments, words, and perspectives around you.

Many of us with ADHD share this amplified sensitivity. It’s as though we’re equipped with an ever-receptive antenna, constantly picking up signals. While this can occasionally be overwhelming (imagine a day when the world seems to be in ultra-HD with the volume at its peak), it can also provide a vibrant backdrop for inspiration.

This heightened sensitivity isn’t something we can simply switch off. It’s more like a radio always tuned in, perpetually receiving signals. But with practice and patience, we can learn to navigate this sensory environment, filter the noise, and attune to the signals that inspire us.

I often find my therapy sessions with clients to be a wellspring of inspiration. Their unique worldviews, framed in ways I might not have considered, offers insights that often enhance my personal and professional growth. These shared perspectives can ignite fresh ideas, challenge my preconceived notions, and stimulate my creativity.

So, think about your sources of inspiration. A conversation with a friend, an engrossing book, or a peaceful walk in nature perhaps? The goal is to leverage these inspiration sources, let them catalyze your creativity, and use your distinct sensitivity to create something truly extraordinary.

5. ADHD, Creativity, and Risk-Taking: A Trio of Interlinked Traits

While the interconnections between ADHD, creativity, and risk-taking are intricate, growing research points towards a notable degree of interaction among these three traits. Each shares similar threads that can deepen our comprehension of the versatile nature of the human mind and its cognitive functions.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by enduring patterns of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. However, recent studies have unearthed an interesting association between ADHD and elevated creativity. This connection can be attributed to a unique trait common in people with ADHD: heightened sensitivity to sound. A study indicates that those struggling to filter out ambient noise—described as ‘leaky’ sensory gates—exhibit higher creative capacity. This amplified sensitivity to sound, frequent among people with ADHD, seems to widen our attention span. Consequently, we can perceive and process information that may go unnoticed by others, leading to enriched experiences and an ability to link seemingly unrelated concepts. While this sensitivity could be disruptive in certain situations, it can contribute to an impressive creative capability, nurturing a more extensive worldview.

In conjunction, people with ADHD often demonstrate a predisposition towards risk-taking behavior. This is noticeable in different life aspects, ranging from driving habits to interpersonal relationships. Although this tendency can occasionally lead to undesirable results, it also signifies a readiness to challenge limits and step beyond the known—a trait potentially advantageous in contexts like innovation and problem-solving.

Similarly, creativity is inherently tied to risk-taking. The act of creation involves plunging into unfamiliar territories, contesting the conventional, and welcoming the possibility of failure. Creative individuals frequently take ‘positive’ risks that could usher in innovation. They also show a willingness to share their ideas, even when it means contesting shared norms or confronting criticism. The link between creativity and risk-taking is particularly clear in social risks, where individuals express their views despite potential backlash. Notably, this ability to take risks—both socially and conceptually—is not a byproduct of creativity, but rather, an essential component of it. 

Collectively, these insights suggest a unique intermingling of traits between ADHD, creativity, and risk-taking. Although not every person with ADHD will necessarily exhibit enhanced creativity or a tendency towards risk-taking, there’s a potential overlap that suggests some validity for this theory. This triad of traits shines light on the complex and varied canvas of cognitive processes, challenging traditional viewpoints and revealing new paths for understanding human potential and resilience. Nonetheless, it’s vital to remember that these traits are multifaceted, influenced by multiple factors, and may not always coexist.

The interplay between ADHD, creativity, and risk-taking lends a refreshing angle to the larger narrative of neurodiversity. It highlights the significance of acknowledging and leveraging the distinctive strengths inherent in varied cognitive profiles, while also addressing their associated challenges. With a more nuanced grasp of these overlapping traits, we can better foster creativity, manage risk, and accommodate our diverse needs as people with ADHD.

6. Resilience

In the fascinating world of ADHD, resilience often shines brightly, shaped by the multitude of experiences associated with this condition. If your journey echoes mine, you’ve likely navigated an array of challenges, from managing ADHD symptoms to mitigating misunderstandings that arise. Yet, amidst these hurdles, you’ve probably unearthed an innate strength, a determination that refuses to waver, and an unwavering resolve that propels you forward. 

Resilience, often a companion of those with ADHD, is not a birthright but a quality that is painstakingly forged over time. Through the crucible of challenges, the mountains of obstacles, and the relentless necessity to adapt, resilience emerges, becoming an integral part of us, a trusty tool in the toolbox of life.

Let’s not view resilience as a mere reaction to hardship, but as an affirmation of our strength. Let it fuel our creativity, break through the walls of difficulty, and serve as a catalyst to turn setbacks into springboards for growth and innovation. Resilience, after all, isn’t about never falling; it’s about learning how to rise each time we do. 

7. Rapid Idea Generation

Shifting our attention, another attribute synonymous with ADHD is rapid idea generation. It’s as though our minds emulate a popcorn machine, endlessly bursting with new thoughts, connections, and ideas, in a constant state of cognitive effervescence.

At times, the relentless pace of this thought process may feel overwhelming, like a mental marathon with no finish line in sight. Yet, it is this river of ideas, ever flowing, that carries the promise of rich creativity. And while we may not be able to direct its flow, we can learn to ride its current, seize the ideas that resonate, and allow the others to drift by.

Navigating this river, in both my professional realm as a therapist and in my personal creative pursuits, has revealed its potential as a treasure trove. It’s like panning for gold in a river of thoughts, where each nugget represents an innovative solution, a fresh perspective, or a chance for continuous evolution and growth.

I urge you to celebrate this relentless idea generation as a reflection of your unique cognitive landscape. Rather than viewing it as a challenge, let’s embrace it as a testament to our extraordinary capacity to think outside the box. Creativity, after all, isn’t about passively waiting for inspiration to strike but about actively engaging with the wealth of ideas our minds produce.

8. Non-Linear Thinking and Intense Curiosity: The Unconventional Path to Creativity

Let’s turn our gaze towards another aspect of ADHD that’s frequently present: non-linear thinking. It’s as though our minds refuse to adhere to a straight line. Instead, they leapfrog from one thought to another, weaving an intricate web of interconnected ideas.

This distinct way of thinking, akin to a perpetual mental exploration, can at times be bewildering. We may momentarily lose our thread of thought amidst the jumbled tapestry of our minds. Yet, it is this very trait that can serve as a formidable ally in the realm of creativity.

Non-linear thinking doesn’t lend itself to control with ease; it is akin to a dance, perpetually in motion, an unending exchange of thoughts and ideas. With patience, however, we can learn to follow its rhythm, harness its spontaneity, and use it to our advantage. This way of thinking allows us to perceive things from myriad angles, resulting in unique solutions and creations that truly stand apart.

So let’s begin to regard our non-linear thinking not as a hurdle, but as a testament to our strength. Let it feed our creativity, encouraging us to explore new perspectives and uncharted territories of thought. After all, creativity is less about following a straight line and more about embracing the entire spectrum of the canvas.

9. Intense Curiosity

Now, on to another characteristic often seen in those with ADHD: intense curiosity. This can manifest as an insatiable drive to uncover the mechanics behind things, to question why things are the way they are, and to wonder, ‘what if…’

Our intense curiosity could be likened to an internal explorer, eager to journey into the unknown. At times, this curiosity might lead us down extensive rabbit holes, from losing ourselves in a spiral of Wikipedia pages to in-depth analyses of random topics. However, this curiosity also holds the potential to be a mighty force for creativity and innovation.

Curiosity, like a persistent flame, is not easily extinguished. It perpetually lights up our surroundings, eager to reveal the world’s secrets. With mindfulness and self-awareness, we can learn to direct this curiosity, guiding it to spark our creative endeavors rather than distract from them. This deep-rooted curiosity often acts as a key, unlocking new perspectives, unearthing fresh ideas, and stretching the horizons of possibility.

So let’s not view our curiosity as a distraction but as a fountain of inspiration. Let it fuel our creativity, enabling us to discover new ideas and develop something truly unique. After all, history is replete with instances where path-breaking discoveries were born from a simple question: ‘I wonder what would happen if…’

10. Adaptability

Let’s journey further into a trait often nurtured through the experience of living with ADHD: adaptability. With a life frequently buffeted by unexpected winds, you’ve likely learned to be flexible, altering your course as needed and finding comfort amidst flux.

Much like a chameleon adjusting its hue to blend seamlessly with its environment, this adaptability is a trait that many with ADHD share. Often cultivated from necessity, this capability to adjust swiftly can become a potent instrument for creativity and innovation.

Adaptability isn’t an innate trait; it is shaped and honed over time, sculpted by the repeated overcoming of challenges and obstacles. But once it takes root within us, it forms an integral part of our personality, a vital tool in our life-navigation kit.

As a therapist and in the journey of life, I’ve come to recognize how adaptability is instrumental in the evolution of my ideas, shifting perspectives, and creating something truly distinctive.

Let’s begin to view our adaptability as more than a mere survival mechanism, and instead, acknowledge it as a testament to our strength. Let it be a torch that illuminates our creative journey, enabling us to constantly evolve our ideas and fashion something uniquely ours. After all, creativity isn’t about doggedly following a single path, but about having the willingness and agility to explore fresh trails.


Managing ADHD isn’t about suppressing who you are, but about discovering strategies and treatments that enable you to shine your brightest. This includes fostering and expressing your creativity.

Despite the challenges and peculiarities, ADHD can indeed be a wellspring of remarkable creativity. It’s not always an easy path, and there are definitely rough patches, but the potential rewards are immense.

All the traits we’ve discussed, from hyperfocus to adaptability, can be used to fuel your creative journey. It’s about learning to surf the tumultuous waves of your mind, using your unique ADHD traits as creative tools.

So, embark on this creative journey, embracing your distinctive ADHD traits. Remember, you’re not alone in this. Together, we navigate the vibrant, dynamic landscape of ADHD. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Keep exploring, keep creating, and keep being your wonderful, unique, creative self. ADHD is a part of you, but it does not define you. It’s a facet of the multifaceted marvel that is you. And who knows, it might just be the secret ingredient that catapults your creativity to unprecedented heights.

About Us

Our practice focuses on 4 distinct areas: navigating the journey of adult-diagnosed ADHD, fostering healthier communication between couples, unraveling the complexities of people-pleasing to establish firm boundaries, and addressing Indigenous issues alongside the intricate challenges of complex PTSD. What sets our clinic apart from others is that all of our practitioner’s have lived experience in the area of service that they are providing.

We understand what you are experiencing BECAUSE we have experienced it ourselves, and are still living/dealing with it. This practice was started and has grown on the idea of authenticity, transparency and connection. These values are the bedrock of our practice and the guiding principles in our interactions with you. We invite you to join us on this journey of growth and self-discovery, as we collectively strive towards realizing the fullest potential of our lives. Let's all work together towards building our best life.

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