Is ADHD the same as a Multi-Passionate personality?


Almost every multi-passionate woman who has contacted me has been worried about whether they have (adult) ADHD.

This needs addressing.

What is ADHD?

"Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person's age and development."

"Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD."

Is this a real disease?

Some experts say it is, some experts say it's not.

I belong to the growing group of people who question whether there is something "wrong" with people just because we don't know how to deal with them - kids and adults alike - who don't fit the linear, conforming, factory like the one-size-has-to-fit-all society we live in.

I work with small children and I can tell you, that the children whose parents don't set boundaries (says NO them and take charge) are the children that have the most difficulties. Socially and emotionally.

Please watch this 2 minute clip with the amazing modern day hero Sir Ken Robinson from his first TED Talk.

Makes you think, right?

By the way, you'll see Sir Ken Robinson pop up all over the place on this blog. I simply think every human on the planet should learn from him and act on his research about education.

I find these descriptions particularly vague and really quite scary:

Inattentive Symptoms

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork

  • Has difficulty keeping attention during tasks or play

  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores and tasks

  • Has problems organizing tasks and activities

  • Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)

  • Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities

  • Is easily distracted

  • Is often forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity Symptoms

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat

  • Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected

  • Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations

  • Has problems playing or working quietly

  • Is often "on the go," acts as if "driven by a motor"

  • Talks excessively

Impulsivity Symptoms

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed

  • Has difficulty awaiting turn

  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)

This is where I start to feel my blood pressure rise.
I'm sorry!! That sounds like just about every child I know, including my own 3 and most of the kids in the children's nursery where I work. And most adults too.

I wonder how many of these "symptoms" you must have before "they" put you on medication?

I see children at the age of 2 having difficulty sitting still, having difficulty dealing with the rules of the nursery and I worry they will be labelled later in their childhood if they don't "conform".

We must think differently.

We must change the way we think, the way we educate, the way we teach from nursery age, the way we teach in schools, what we perceive to be normal.

As Sir Ken says:

"We must value diversity higher than conformity"

So how does ADHD compare to a multi-passionate personality?

I am basing this on myself and on the conversations I've had with grown women from America, Denmark and the UK.

  • Difficulty or unable to focus on one thing for any (long) period of time.

  • Very active

  • Nonconformity

  • Interrupting when someone talks and oneself when doing something.

  • Very active brain as in constantly coming up with something new and important, being ideas, games, drawings, businesses if you're an adult, conversations.

I think you'll agree there are similarities.  Big difference is, this is a celebrated personality type.

My opinion is that many, many adults who have been diagnosed with having ADHD simply are multi-passionate. Not sick.

And for our children: enough sleep, a healthy diet and parents that set clear boundaries, has proved to be enough to remove the "diagnosis" of ADHD in many children.

Hopefully by talking about it and sharing experiences we can educate each other and our children so we only take to medicine in the absolute rare occasion.

Please join the debate.......

I recommend this link:

RSA Animate - Changing education paradigms   Sir Ken Robinson's brilliant talk with RSA drawing