“Do most people grow out of ADHD, or do they just learn to hide it better?”

ADHD is a lifetime condition — it’s how our brains are wired, so we can’t outgrow it like, say, acne or raging teenage hormones 🙂

Over time, though, we can do at least two things to make ADHD less of a problem and more of a joyful personality trait:

(1) we learn skills to cope with it (e.g., we get in the habit of setting alarms to let us know when it’s time to get up from our desk and head to the car to drive to our appointments, instead of just writing appointment times on the calendar)

(2) we learn how to choose jobs and environments and relationships where our ADHD are a good fit (e.g., active jobs that let us move around during the day) and not a tragic misfit (e.g. desk jobs with tedious, unchanging solo work,which is bad for most of us).


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. 
See here for more answers: 

“How does entrepreneurship fit for ADHD people when they have problems with organizing?”

ADHD may drive people toward entrepreneurship, but ADHD is not a particular advantage.

smart person with ADHD is often driven toward entrepreneurship because s/he is:

  1. good at identifying opportunities (associative thinking)
  2. willing to pursue opportunities (energy and curiosity)
  3. willing to take risks (risk-tolerance, need for stimulation, impulsivity)
  4. incapable or unwilling to fit into someone else’s corporate structure.

Put these four together, and you have someone who is 100 percent ready to leap into self-employment (i.e., as a solo practitioner) and possibly ready to leap into entrepreneurship (i.e., as a business-builder who employs others).

That said, the challenges of “organization, planning, structuring, and execution” are not at all natural strengths to someone with ADHD (especially if you interpret “execution” as something like, say, “thoroughness”). The person with ADHD will need to develop enough capacity in these areas either through effort (and lots of it) or through partnering with (or employing) others who are strong in these areas.

A smart person with ADHD may do OK as a solo practitioner or entrepreneur through effort+luck. But the ADHD isn’t helpful everywhere.

P.s. there are many other double-edged traits that are common to entrepreneurs. Tom Chappell (of Tom’s of Maine) has some useful words about ego, which I’ve blogged about here: Entrepreneurial Ego. Tom Chappell

I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. See here for more answers: 

“What other disorders can untreated ADHD in adults lead to?”

ADHD does not lead to other disorders, but other co-existing disorders can become worse if ADHD is untreated (and can be prevented or remedied if ADHD is treated).

In an article I’ll quote below, ADDitude magazine differentiates between “secondary conditions” (which abate or are prevented when ADHD is managed) and “co-morbid conditions” (which persist regardless of ADHD management.


Half of All People with ADHD / ADD Also Have Another Condition

Doctors once considered ADHD a standalone disorder. They were wrong. We now know that 50 percent of people with ADHD also suffer from one or more additional condition, most commonly:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Language disabilities
  • Fine and gross motor difficulties
  • Executive function difficulties
  • Tic disorders
  • Or another psychological or neurological problem

In some cases, these problems are “secondary” to ADHD — that is, they are triggered by the frustration of coping with symptoms of ADHD.

For example, a boy’s chronic lack of focus may trigger anxiety in school. Years of disapproval and negative feedback from family members may likewise cause a woman with undiagnosed ADHD to become depressed. Most of the time, secondary problems fade once the ADHD symptoms are brought under control.

When secondary problems don’t resolve with effective ADHD treatment, they are likely symptoms of a “comorbid” condition.

When It’s Not Just ADHD: Uncovering Comorbid Conditions


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. See here for more answers:  

“Do those with ADHD like me have a tendency to speed more when driving?”

Several things about ADHD promote bad driving (in general) and speeding (in particular). As others have mentioned:

  1. Stimulation-seeking
  2. Impatience
  3. Not paying attention to speed

And I’ll add:

  1. Running late because of (a) disorganization, (b) trying to do too many things at once, (c) not remembering to schedule travel time, (d) losing track of time
  2. Not noticing the speed limit signs

By chance, there’s a book titled, “Disciplined Attention.” It’s for remedial driving classes and not intended for ADHD, but the content fits us plenty!


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. See here for more answers:

ADHD in the Workplace — Center for ADHD Awareness, Canada

CADDAC provides a well-written set of insights and tips about ADHD in the workplace, an overview of how ADHD affects people at work, workplace accommodations and strategies, and career choices for people with ADHD.

Special Note — they offer a Guide for Employers, excerpted here:

Many adults with ADHD perform their jobs extremely well and find that some of their ADHD traits: high energy, problem solving, creativity, and being able to hyper-focus, are significant benefits in their chosen career.  For other adults with ADHD, some of their ADHD symptoms may cause difficulties in the workplace. Gaining an understanding about ADHD as an employer and allowing your employee to implement simple strategies is often all that is required to successfully satisfy both parties and increase job performance. In some cases additional accommodations are required, but these need not cause undue hardship for the employer nor inconvenience the employee or their co-workers.




Adult ADD Strengths: Advice and Coaching from Pete Quily

AdultADDStrengths.com is ADD Coach Pete Quily’s blog “about the strengths, challenges and how to effectively manage Adult Attention Surplus Condition, more commonly known as ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A few items from his list of most popular posts:

Top 10 Ways to Manage Adult ADHD
Top 10 Advantages of ADHD in a High Tech Career
The Upside of ADHD, Enthusiasm, Empathy and High Energy

My favorite post:

The Positive Characteristics of People With ADD

“While it is important to deal with our challenges, you don’t make a great living and a great life by primarily focusing on what you’re not good at. What you focus on expands”

The list includes:

  • Can find alternate paths
  • Constantly evolving
  • Good in a crisis
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Great brain-stormer
  • High energy – go, go, go
  • Hyper focus!!
  • Likes learning new things
  • Quick thinking
  • Quick witted
  • Unconventional
  • Willing to explore