January 12, 2009

Curse or Gift?

Posted in ADHD, External Links, Posts by Renee, Self-Therapy, Spirituality at 8:19 am by bloggingawayadhd

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at Jeff’s ADD Mind blog about whether ADHD is a curse or a gift (be sure to read the comments):

Post 1: The Curse that Keeps on Giving

Post 2: The Gift vs. The Curse

I have a slightly different take on it – the curse IS the gift. Of course, it’s really hard to see it that way sometimes (trust me, I know), but if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you can get a feel for what the apostle Paul was saying:

“…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” -Romans 5: 3-4

Of course, it’s really difficult to have hope when you’ve gotten in a needless argument with a loved one for the 1,475th time, but as we learn to at first cope with, then overcome, the things we struggle most with in life, we will see that the things that “cursed” us the most also taught us the most. When I get really down about my ADHD problems, I can sometimes take solace in the idea that in a way, struggle and suffering in life is good for us.

What do you think? What gives you hope in the midst of dealing with the “curse” of ADHD?



  1. Kali said,

    I think it becomes a curse when you start “letting people down” i.e forgetting to pay bills, forgetting a lunch you arranged. With today’s productivity applications, you would think that we could get that ADHD aspect under control. It becomes a gift when the creativity starts flowing. Its an exhilarating feeling when you are riding that wave…

  2. Jeff said,

    I also read those posts and thought they were brilliant.

    On a serious note…I’m not sure I can agree with the “sufferings produces good” argument…at least not on a logical level. In life (which isn’t always logical) it certainly seems that good character can come out of suffering but, on the other hand, what about those who, because of their suffering (whatever it’s form) turn into rotten people? Not sure what the answer is to that one.

  3. A Bradford said,

    From my own experience, I am in agreement with Renee and Paul. While I have often found my add traits and struggles to be SOOOOO frustrating, I have gained a lot from the struggles also. Mostly, I think in the form of empathy, understanding, humility and learning how to ask for and accept help, and yes, increased hope as a result of these things bearing fruit.

    In response to Jeff’s comment. He makes a good point. Suffering doesn’t necessarily produce good in and of itself. I think that our response to suffering, both individual and corporate, has a lot to do with how people are able to cope with it and to move forward. That is why we need love and hope so much.

  4. Rob said,

    Before I was diagnosed and looked for help, I definitely found the traits of ADD to be a real pain in the arse. I felt incredibly hindered by them and got really down as a result.

    It took a while for me to stop seeing them as barriers. Over time, I started seeing them as being like that ‘no right turn’ (no left turn for the Americans!) sign on the road – a real pain when you don’t expect them, but still navigatable. It wasn’t long before I started to predict times and events when my ADD traits would interfere and used forward planning to move in a way that allowed me to control them or ‘take a back street’. It resulted in in a road less taken, but still got me the results i was after.

    What has given me hope in the past, and continues to do so when I slip up, is the fact that I’ve beaten things like this before and learnt new ways of living.

  5. bloggingawayadhd said,

    Jeff, you said: “What about those who, because of their suffering (whatever it’s form) turn into rotten people?” – I don’t think it’s the suffering that made them rotten, but the way they viewed the suffering. I was going down that path in life, letting everything get me down, being on antidepressants, etc. until my now-best-friend saved me by helping me change how I saw life. Now, my life is still filled with a lot of the same problems, but I’m able to look at them in a little more positive light, and with hope like Paul said.

    Bradford, now that I read your comment, I see you responded the same way – glad we agree! :)

    Rob, I like your no-right/left-turn metaphor. It may be harder to get there, but you can still get there, and with a smile on your face if you learn to not get too bogged down by the extra hassle of having to go around the block a few more times than other people do to get to where you’re going.

  6. Judy said,

    Rob, I so agree with you. With the driving metaphor – I know there are times I “take the scenic route” and that is okay.

  7. Anton said,


  8. Scott Hutson said,

    The “Gift” is a “Curse”? …Or….The “Curse is a “Gift”? No matter how it is said,written,…etc..The two words put together is an oxymoron(IMHO). I must be careful when opening a package labeled as a gift, and look at the address it was sent from, before opening it. Because, I have the freedom & abbillity to choose.

    When I am enclosed in the womb, I have no choice. I have to live w/what is given. When I realize, I was given this “Curse”, I can call it a “Gift”. But that does not make it a “Gift”. It will always be a “Curse”.

    I don’t try to fix things that are not broken. I must try to repair, as best I can, the “Curse”. Bit it will require tools. And there are no replacement parts available, only tools that are offered. Some tools work better than others. The best,most reliable tools I have found, so far, have been found via of Jeff’s blog, and the posts/comments on the many subjects about ADD.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: