Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (trouble déficitaire de l’attention avec hyperactvité – TDAH) is a neurological condition which affects dopamine levels in the brain. Those of us with ADHD (and society at large) tend to focus on the difficulties this causes: fidgetting, talking too much, losing things, being easily distracted.
It doesn’t help that it is poorly named. We do not suffer from a deficit of attention, rather from irregular and inconsistent attention. Once our attention is on something we are interested in we become hyperfocussed. We are oblivious to the world around us and obsessive about the task at hand. This is our superpower. This is what happens to me when I am working on a translation or editing job. The house could be on fire and I would still be at my laptop searching for the perfect word.
Another aspect of my ADHD is a complete aversion to complicated, long-winded or ambigious explanations. I need people to get to the point! There is nothing worse for me than wading through a long instruction manual.
This is the reason I love editing and why I’m very good at it. When I’m editing a document I become hyperfocussed on the text. I HAVE to make it clear. My brain won’t tolerate anything less. Every word must serve a purpose. There is no room for ambiguity. I will not rest until your document conveys the message you want it to convey.
The world would be a poorer place without neurodivergent brains. I long for the day when we celebrate our contributions to our communities and workplaces. With that in mind, here are the names of a few entrepreneurs and leaders who have (or are thought to have had) ADHD. Maybe you have heard of them?
John F Kennedy
I’m sad to say that, whilst I found many examples of successful female sportstars and actresses with ADHD, I couldn’t find any entrepreneurs or leaders. Perhaps it is because it is much more difficult for women to be diagnosed with ADHD. The diagnostic process is heavily biased towards males and ADHD presents differently in us. Plus, our social conditioning means we tend to be very good at hiding our traits.
Neurodivergent girls deserve role models too. I’m making my mission to identify and celebrate them!