Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classified by the National Institute of Mental Health as a brain dysfunction in which inattention and impulsive and hyperactive behaviors interfere with normal brain function and/or development. (1) Symptoms of ADHD include:
- inability to focus and disorganization
- inability to complete tasks
- lack of attention to detail
- easily distracted and forgetful
- restlessness and/or excessive physical activity, including fidgeting, tapping or talking; an inability to sit still and be quiet
- need for instant gratification
- making decisions (often poor ones) without first thinking through the consequences
- socially intrusive behavior; unable to exercise self-restraint
Demonstrating these and related traits can be a problem for children in a traditional classroom setting and for adults working in an office or team environment. But not always.
Olympic medalists Michael Phelps and Simone Biles have come out publicly with their ADHD diagnoses. (2, 3) Other athletes and prominent successful people in all disciplines have been similarly diagnosed. (4)
What these people have in common in addition to ADHD is an upbringing during which they were given the freedom to channel their energies creatively.
Garret LoPorto is the originator of The DaVinci Method, a regimen to psychologically hone and positively direct the very natural tendencies that appear in people diagnosed with ADHD and similar disorders (e.g., bi-polar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder). ADHD develops as the result of repressing those natural tendencies, he asserts.
“Since lack of self-repression is often perceived to be socially unacceptable, DaVincis [including people with ADHD] may develop the maladaptive approach to holding everything back until there is a crisis…Another maladaptive response to the social norms of repression is to ‘shut down’…[someone who is] behaviorally self-repressed often appears stiff, unnatural, emotionally dishonest, stunted, all-bottled-up, frustrated, anal retentive, and even constipated…because they are straining to hold back the rush of unconscious ideas and impulses that fill their consciousness in order to avoid expressing something that would be deemed ‘inappropriate’ by their community.” (5)
The Root Causes of ADHD Are Unknown
LoPorto theorizes that the symptoms manifesting as what is labelled ADHD are the result of different genetic brainwave patterns from “normal” people.
There seems to be a general consensus among the scientific community that neurotransmitters in people with ADHD are different than in people without it, most likely as the result of genetic influence. (6)
There are, of course, pharmaceuticals that have been devised to change and block neurotransmitters in order for people with ADHD to function within the confines of societal norms.