Learning to live with ADHD can make one stronger

As someone who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I would like to encourage those who have similar mental disorders that can affect structured learning and other areas of life ("I am not naughty, I have..."; Tuesday).

What is seen as a setback can make them stronger and draw them closer to success.

Instead of letting ADHD strangle them, they can leverage it to strengthen their chances for sustainable achievement.

The first step is to acknowledge that they have ADHD and take full responsibility to respond to and manage it.

They can learn more about the condition and cultivate the appropriate attitude as well as different ways to manage the stresses caused by the symptoms.

These techniques can be applied to improve their work and relationships too, and help them achieve better outcomes.

Learning to live with ADHD can soften, strengthen and enlighten those with the condition.

They can better understand and feel for people who are facing challenges in their lives. They become more compassionate and empathetic.

They are strengthened, as they learn to persevere as they confront and overcome the symptoms and downsides of ADHD.

This can help them cultivate courage, determination and resilience to face other challenges in life.

They also become enlightened when they realise that there are many people out there facing different kinds of challenges. They can inspire others by showing how they have turned a mental condition into an advantage of a higher order.

In short, ADHD can be a stepping stone to success, and not a millstone around their necks.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Learning to live with ADHD can make one stronger'. Print Edition | Subscribe