ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: Stephen Tonti at TEDxCMU

Reviewer: Queenie Lee Cool! Hi, my name is Stephen Tonti, and I’m a director, a writer, an actor, a drummer, a scuba diver, a soccer player, a camera operator, an airbrush artist,
a physicist, a stargazer, a rock climber, a snowboarder, a model maker,
a stage manager, a camp counselor, a PA, a DJ, a club president, a magician, and for a brief stint in May 2012, I was called upon to repair
two stopwatches which had stopped working. (Laughter) Who am I, you ask? My name is Stephen Tonti, and I have ADHD. (Laughter) ADHD stands for attention
deficit hyperactive disorder, and I was first diagnosed with ADHD not by a diagnostician,
or a private practice, or a pediatrician, but by a second-grade teacher who was interviewing me for a spot
at the school she was working at. My family had just moved from New Orleans, Louisiana,
to Dallas, Texas, and I was in a search
for a new academic home. During this particular interview, this particular teacher
received a message ahead of time from my first grade teacher
back in New Orleans to check me for any signs of ADHD. Just as she reached
the series of questions devised to evaluate whether a child
between the ages of five and 17 is ADHD: Wham! I fell out of my chair. (Laughter) No, I didn’t slip. And no, the chair didn’t
crumble beneath me. Behind the teacher’s desk
was this giant window, and through that window was a giant field, and on that field were what appeared to me at the time
to be hundreds of thousands of kids my age. They were all playing with a great,
inflatable, rainbow beach ball, and as they moved all around the field,
all I could do was keep track of them. So I leaned a little bit to the left,
and I leaned a little bit to the right, a little bit more to the left,
a little bit more to the right before the disaster. I still maintain today
that window was a trap, and I was setup. (Laughter) So I was rejected from Middle School because I was an eight-year-old boy
who couldn’t sit still in his chair. There was this complex
marshmallow-related incident between myself and some
of the staff there, but anyway. I ended up at the
Episcopal School of Dallas. Over the next 11 years,
I tried everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. Extracurriculars: I tried computing,
robotics, carpentry, canoeing, rock climbing, poetry club, logic club,
poker club, comedy club, and camping. I went camping at least
twice a year for four years. And the band – oh my god. I tried trumpet, saxophone, electric bass,
piano, stand-up bass, guitar, acoustic – Did I mention I played sports? It was Texas. We played sports.
I tried all of them. And the drums. I even took a short-lived
stab at the heart. I played seven different instruments –
“played” being a very generous term. (Laughter) When all of a sudden my theater –
my school built a theater – and I thought, why not? So I started the shop building sets,
then the sound booth, the light booth. Then my teacher asked me to act,
so I played Conrad in “Ordinary People.” I said, “Can I direct?”
and she said, “Go for it!” So I directed “12 Angry Jurors” – because this is high school, people,
and you can’t direct “12 Angry Men” with a drama school
that has three boys and four girls – for the people doing math at home, that’s seven drama students
for a show with 12 in it. (Laughter) Before I knew it, I was auditioning and interviewing
in drama schools across the country, and that’s when Carnegie Mellon found me. And I love it here. I really do. But moving on. So what?! I have ADHD, and ADHD
is misunderstood as an inability to focus, but it’s much stranger than that. It’s not a lack of focus – period. It’s that I have a hard time selecting something
and giving it my full attention. Something has to grab my attention, peak my curiosity,
and then I can hyperfocus. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a bad thing because I have a hard time
completing things that don’t excite me. We live in a world where you have to read
your textbooks and pay your taxes. And yes, big textbooks
with no pictures frighten me. And no one likes handling taxes –
actually, some of you might like that. (Laughter) But the upside is, when something does peak my curiosity,
I become obsessed and I hyperfocus. I spend a lot of time with film. I can spend upwards of 12 hours in a row editing clips, sometimes
until 6:30 in the morning. In the theater,
when I have to put a show up, I’ll pull 15 hour days for weeks on end,
and I enjoy that; I love that. I can read a 500-page novel that I love much faster than a one-page article
that I don’t care for. It’s easier for me to see the big picture. As a director, I have to track 20 people with very different jobs
from designers, to writers, to actors, and I find handling that much easier
than finishing that one-page article, which I’m still working on. (Laughter) David Neeleman, the founder and CEO of JetBlue,
who is also ADHD by the way, says, “I have a hard time
doing the mundane things in life. I have an easier time planning
a 20-aircraft fleet than I do paying my light bill.” Yeah. So, another good thing about ADHD is because I felt
compelled to try everything, I was able to explore all the possible
career paths I might not have and might not have discovered
what I truly want to do. So many teens and young adults are expected to focus
on one or two fields of study and one or two hobbies, and hope and pray
they like the ones they’ve chosen or that’ve been chosen for them. My job is to tell other people stories, and I find it’s easier time doing that when I can draw
from all of these other perspectives. It’s easier for me to see the world
through the eyes of a drummer because I’ve tried that. It’s easier for me to see the world
through the eyes of a graphic designer because I’ve tried that too. ADHD is a difference in cognition,
not simply a disorder. We’re attention different,
not attention deficit. But because it’s treated
and misunderstood as a disorder, it’s treated at something
that needs fixing. So the idea seems to be that: we need to get rid of my ADHD,
but there’s no getting rid of it. There’s just sedating it. I was lucky. My high school teachers
were hip, young progressives who were delighted to give me extra time,
the additional attention, and the overall freedom to express myself
the way that I felt necessary. So many other kids with ADHD
aren’t as lucky. For example, my roommate. Adam has been my roommate for four years. He is an excellent actor in the school
of drama and a brilliant thinker. We both grew up in Dallas, Texas,
and be both have ADHD. Adam’s high school was different. Now even though he grew up
only 15 minutes north of me, Adam’s high school had harsher penalties
for falling out of a chair. When you’re a kid diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor administers
a series of amphetamines, and everybody waits. Because no one has a clue
how you’ll react. You might get more calm. You might become depressed. You might lash out
at the people around you. The difference between Adam and me is when a new medication
may cause me to act out, my teachers immediately advise my doctors
that I change my medication. However, when Adam tried a new medication, his teachers wrote this in his report, “Adam is less motivated, less animated,
and less involved in class activities, but at least, he’s quiet now.” We need a healthier understanding
of people with ADHD, and it starts at home. I had mother and father
who supported every obsession. I distinctly recall
my father asking one day, “Son, you’re only 14. what could you possibly want
with an air compressor?” (Laughter) To which I responded, “I want to airbrush t-shirts and shorts
to sell to my classmates and friends.” (Exhale) Alright then. And we would go out and get it. I would play with it
and I’d obsess over it. During the summers,
when I went off my medication and my body was wrecked
with the effects of withdrawal, my mother sat by my side,
literally coaxing the migraines out of me. With their support, I was able to explore,
and my obsessions grew and multiplied, and I was able to maintain my sanity. Schools need to develop a better attitude
towards students with ADHD, as well. There’s plenty of examples out there. For instance, the Eagle Hill School,
in Hardwick, Massachusetts. The Eagle Hill School believes
that every student can learn. That learning differently
requires teaching differently. And that we must educate
our kids, our students, to learn about learning in order to form new beliefs
in a search for intellectual autonomy. Professors who act more as mentors,
as opposed to disciplinarians, inspire me. When teachers level with me,
I feel like I’m more in control; that there’s a dialog
regarding new ways of thinking and approaching a problem,
focusing, completing tasks. We have to create and develop
a healthier relationship with medication. I think that Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta should only be prescribed to someone who can physically handle the effects
of these drugs and their withdrawal. 12 is far too young.
16 is still too young. There are so many
alternatives to medication. Studies have shown that for some it’s just an added weight
or pressure to help them focus. And these things exist. There are weighted pads
that help people feel more comfortable so they can complete tasks on time. For some people,
it’s tics, like chewing pencils, so give them rubber coated pencils. We have to teach kids to teach themselves; it’s the best thing
we can do for our kids. And lastly, our society
has to embrace cognitive diversity. For example, Specialisterne,
or The Specialist, is a Danish organization
that trains people with autism and ADHD as consultants in I.T. and other
more technically oriented tasked jobs. We have to turn this joke around on those who believe that my disorder
divides me from my more “normal peers.” Besides, who here at Carnegie Mellon
really qualifies as normal, anyway? (Laughter) (Applause) (Cheers) A great author, a masterful playwright
and a sublime poet once writ … Any guesses to who I speak of? (Audience) Shakespeare! Thou art correct! (Laughter) Shakespeare sonnet 121. ‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed When not to be receives
reproach of being, And the just pleasure lost,
which is so deemed Not by our feeling but by others’ seeing. For why should others’
false adulterate eyes Give salutation to my sportive blood? Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, Which in their wills
count bad what I think good? Nae, I am that I am, and they that level At my abuses reckon up their own: I may be straight,
though they themselves be bevel; By their rank thoughts
my deeds must not be shown; Unless this general evil
they all maintain, All men are bad,
and in their badness reign. In sonnet 121 Shakespeare
condemns hypocrisy. He implores us not to let
others’ false adulterate eyes condemn us for something
that they believe us to be. He begs you not to let the selfish,
negative comments of others hinder the just pleasures owed to you. A hierarchy of frailer spies have asked me to conform
to society’s means. I purpose the opposite. I purpose let society conform to me. And I implore you to do the same. I’ll leave you with something that Robin Williams, a poster child for us
in the ADHD community, (Laughter) once said, “We are all only given
a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Thank you! (Applause) (Cheers)

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100 thoughts on “ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: Stephen Tonti at TEDxCMU

  1. Love this!
    I watched this to help me with my son and realised that I'm probably ADD!
    I would like to see ADD changed to ARD Attention regulation difficulty.
    Thank you

  2. *Sings*
    It’s a disorder, It’s a disorder. It is a very common disorder. Please don’t say it’s not real, doo doo doo

  3. ADHD and Bipolar are differences in cognition but not disorder. Depression is not medical but it can be medical if it leads to insanity. Depression should be dealt with by priests and counselors. Psychiatrists should deal with REAL mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia.

  4. I started taking ADHD a year ago
    I am now 90 lbs
    I am now getting 2-6 hours of sleep on a school night
    I am now depressed
    I am now always tired
    I am now not playing baseball
    I am now pissed at my parents 24/7
    I am now always thirsty no matter what
    I am now losing friends because I don’t talk to any of them
    I am now someone who used to have tons of friends to someone with a few that stuck with me or struggle with me building a bond
    I am now regretting getting tested

  5. Many times ADHD kid is another way of saying: round peg, polymath, dreamer, energetic kid, kid without proper guidance. A great market for doctors and pharmaceuticals, leveraging on parents' and teachers' insecurities and inability or unwillingness to deal with a challenge.

  6. I think you're an ESFP according to Jungian Analytical Psychology.

    1) Interaction style: You're very fast=movement and obviously an Artisan temperament. 2) You want to explore to know what you want= Very Se and Ni. 3) Want people to think highly of you, status, that's why you quoted so much of occupations you experienced, talk out of rational, present the thinking of others instead of your own thoughts , Te instead of logic, very Fi, focus on morals, what makes you feel good/bad instead of the ultimate true/false statement.

    Note: ESTP and ESFP are typically having a hard time to choose what they want. So they ended up trying everything.

    You can look further info @ C.J. Joseph YouTube channel
    -From an ESTP

  7. Thank you. I struggle with ADHD so much. Work is difficult and being a father and a husband are so much more difficult. It feels good to have someone talk about it with a positive perspective.

  8. all these people in the comments saying that severe adhd must be a disorder because it made their lives miserable completely missed the point of this talk. its NOT the adhd making you miserable, it is SOCIETY. there is nothing WRONG with you, it is SOCIETY that is wrong. you failed school because you couldnt complete homework? its not your fault, its the education systems fault for not being accommodating.

  9. The world should conform to us ADDers. As an ADDer I don't want to live in such a world but I would want to live in a world where neurotypicals understood ADHD

  10. disorder…difference in cognition? they're making it up as they go along. please tell me what the objective falsifiable test is to prove the presence of 'ADHD'

  11. I was not so lucky. My school did not follow my 504. Instead of giving me extra time, allowing me to sit in front, or letting me test in a quieter room I was put in special education because they “didn’t have time” to accommodate me. Instead they sent me to the special ed class where the para did all my work for me. Most of my classmates were non-verbal and even unable to walk. We even had a separate lunch table. I got bullied severely and completely shut down. Letting the school know why I was struggling did far more harm than good. This happened just 15 years ago. Now at 23 I remember the handful of people who treated me like an intelligent human being who learned differently; that were more than happy to work around my little barriers to learning. They were the only ones that hadn’t seemed to totally give up on my ability to learn. I will be graduating nursing school this year with zero accommodations from my school.

  12. I have adhd I have never taken meds I have several unfinished trade tickets I have a hard time finnishing anything I get bored with jobs as well they wanted to throw me out of school even tho k had the highest test scores I never did my home work I made my own gas formulas that worked because I couldn't remember them during the gas test in plumbing so it has it's good and bad it's hard to advance I've learned now to jump back and forth between a few trades so I slowly advance in them all but really I should being paid way more and have all my tickets even 6 weeks of school is a challenge for me to attend

  13. I would love to hear this story from the view of "Adam". I was diagnosed with ADHD quite late in life although I had my suspicions for a while. As a result it feels like a burden more often than not.. but when I look at this TED talk I see someone who has made ADHD work for him since very early in life, someone with awesome self-confidence. I would love to see the story of someone who has struggled with the effects of ADHD for a time and found a way to turn it around.

  14. I can't find anything positive about not being able to focus on important tasks and focusing on things that aren't. not being able to hold a conversation because you are somewhere else. not being able to study because it is so boring so your grades are too low. not being able to think straight because your mind can't stop racing. forgetting and losing important stuff. messy room and a messy workplace. strong emotions especially anger. well what is positive about all those ?

  15. this is cool and all… but what if you can't focus on anything, including the things you're interested in? like good for this guy for being able to focus on and commit to acting and directing… idk if i'll ever find something that i can commit to

  16. Is there a word for the feeling that comes when sitting in front of a task that you just can't make yourself do even though you know you have to do it? Do you feel it any particular place in your body as well as in your head? You know what I'm talking about, that awful feeling of inadequacy, frustration, revulsion, boredom, overwhelming self-loathing? I wish there was a word for it, because just talking about it floods me with those very feelings, and I hope I haven't triggered any such feelings in anybody here. But seriously, is there a word?

  17. I identify with many things Stephen said. I have my life somewhat under control, but that's only a recent development, and I am still quite imatient and impulsive – my tongue has quite deep bite marks from trying to control my urges. I also experience the excessively obsessive behavior when I find a task that I do enjoy – luckily, I enjoy programming, and that is lucrative

  18. Dr. Leon Eisenberg, the ‘father’ of ADHD, said just before his death that ADHD ‘is a prime example of a fictitious disease.’

  19. Gotta leave a comment cause I'm 5min into the video and haven't heared a thing… reading comments…

  20. I take Concerta and my life is better for it. When I was younger I did feel like a different person on my medication, like I was less social and quieter. But I also understood the overwhelming positives of taking it. Before the medication, I couldn’t focus enough to even learn how to read, but afterwards, I fell in love with reading and it allowed me to escape to new worlds and places. Yes, it sucks to feel like apart of who you are needs to be “fixed”. But when I am not on my medication, I feel worse because no matter how hard I try, I cannot focus and get anything done. Time passes by and my to do list has not changed. It is frustrating to feel like your mind is working against you. Also on my medication it helps with my emotional regulation, so I wouldn’t act out impulsively. I feel in control and at ease when I am on my medication. I am empowered when I can do both things I love and get things done like ironing and dishes. Everyone has different experiences with side effects, so I am only speaking for myself. For myself, I want to accept who I am with ADHD, but also not let that stand in my way from managing my life. It can be hard to decipher what parts of my personality are my ADHD and what part is me. I also need to reassure myself that no matter what struggles, I can make the most of my life. But I think that medication plays an important part in that equation. I don’t want to spend most of my day applying strategies to force my brain to focus (when it is impossible), just so I don’t take medication. For me, that is like not wearing my glasses, but if I squint enough and sit close to the board in class, I can make sense of enough through the blur that I can get by. Also, medication is only part of your treatment, you need to have regular therapy, organizational strategies, exercise, to do lists and much more. So to close out this rant, I hope that people who take medication will follow my lead and not feel ashamed for it; and people who decide not to will not judge others who do. When I take medication, it’s like the fog has lifted and I can see clearly, so don’t shame people into living in the fog, just to please the fear and judgement of others. Thanks you for reading all this, it means a lot.

  21. I like the video, but hate the title. "Disorder" just means that your adversities are strong enough to warrant a diagnosis and treatment, and ADHD is a spectrum where the most severe cases are crippling without medication – for instance, you don't tell someone with Diabetes not to take their insulin. And if you could just "think yourself healthy", it wouldn't be a disorder to begin with. It'd just be "an attitude problem".

  22. This gentleman is making grand recommendations regarding the use of medication but seems not to have actually studied medicine. He did not quote any of the studies about the medicines he makes claims about or show any current data. This method of discussion of mental disorders is misleading and should not be used as a primary source of information regarding the treatment of people with ADHD.

  23. i heard i few minutes of what this gentleman said about what his adhd was to him and and what it appeared to people around him and i have checked every single mark till 4/5 of the video. Should i be afraid ?

  24. He is right in some ways, but ADHD is a disorder, its genetic, and the right dose of stimulants make you more youreself, than less. If you take the wrong dose you can get to hyper , anxious or too sedated. The medicines are perfect if right medicine has the right dose. Thats extremely different from person to person. Never use bodyweight as guideline. Start low and use duration og effect for that medicine, eg Ritalin LA should last for 8 hours, not 5 or 11. And a grown up should cover all waking hours, so for Ritalin LA 06:00 in mourning, and 14:00 until 22:00. Not only do they make work, or familylife easier, but also my creative side is better. And like in other fields, the biggest experts are not this guy , but people like professor Barkley.

  25. I also love that they give you amphetamine to cure a so-called disorder that makes people look as if they are on amphetamine good not bad for me unfortunately it's not in a high enough dosage

  26. I am 44 years old women and got the diagnosis ADHD when I was 30 years. I live in Denmark 🇩🇰 and do not take medication. Instead we have a center for adults with ADHD where we get a 6 weeks education inhospitable to learn and live the best way with ADHD.

  27. This guy gets it. However, I'm not sure I believe it is a real thing. Sooooo many young people struggle with attention and focus. Technology is just increasing it. Loads of people are disorganized. Why does everything have to be a disorder. The thought that people have to take medicine for this baffles me.

  28. I made it almost 6 minutes in. I'm proud. His ADHD seems to have a boldface flashing neon H- for hyper. The brain is wired different, to be sure, but the inattentive type doesn't have these success stories plastered all over

  29. He said it! We have to teach children/students to teach themselves! That’s where the real learning occurs! ❤️

  30. "not a disorder"??? someone tell that to the FAA! I got a diagnosis as a kid and used to be on meds – so now I can never get my pilots license unless I pass a bunch of extra testing and get "un-diagnosed" basically…

  31. Where is the evidence that every behavior stems from the brain? I faced the opposite stigma. For years I had to push myself to get out of bed. People said to me, "It sounds like depression. See a mental health professional." I decided it will be better if a doctor recommends me to mental health rather than a coworker or family. My doctor said, "You have anemia."
    I'm glad. I'm taking vitamins instead of pills. My family still stigmatizes me, as though a doctor doesn't know what he's talking about! Wow. This mental illness labeling is a modern sacred cow.

  32. Little reminder: If you don't have ADHD and you take ( a lot of meds, not all tho) ADHD meds… Your going to get high. But if you take them and don't you may want to see your doc. 'Cause you might have ADHD/ADD!

  33. Coming from someone who has been in treatment for severe ADHD for over 15 years; now, I am 19 years old and am an undergraduate junior studying psychology at one of only TEN schools with combined-integrated PhDs in Psychology, and I’ve learned more than enough so far to correct you. ADHD is one of the MOST severe disorders in terms of overall functioning in multiple aspects of everyday life. ADHD is NOT simply a disorder of hyperactivity or inability to focus. It is a disorder of memory ability, a disorder of emotional dysregulation, and a disorder of increased anxiety. This is not someone with ADHD. If he has the real diagnosis from someone other than a teacher (a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist) then his is very mild and he has the hyperactive subtype because he is WAY too focused on this one subject for someone with the inattentive or hybrid subtypes. I have the hybrid subtype with more of the inattentiveness, and when I talk to someone, they have trouble keeping up. I talk extremely fast and move through topics quicker than most people have time to catch up with. Do not use your personal experience with a DISORDER that you may or may NOT have for your gain and to exploit the rest of us who struggle to function even semi-normally every day of our lives. Your experience is not OUR experience. Thanks for coming to MY Ted Talk

  34. Are their ants in your pants
    Get out of the closet( literally
    Be lady like your not a boy
    Just be quite or say ok
    Are actually listening to me
    Why you always doing something weird
    Death stares
    Injuries self inflicted (not purposefully)

  35. This is a sheerly antedotial…nearly useless video. His understanding of Adhd is weak at best. Watch Russel Barkley's videos if you would like an accurate and useful portrayal of Adhd.

  36. Attaining success in life with ADHD is not easy. any worthwhile goal you have in your life should "never" be easy to obtain. It should take much hard work and many failures before you reach that goal. otherwise it's a useless endeavor and a "worthless achievement". ( oxymoron)?

  37. Addition to last post : rather than trying to achieve success in your life make sure you can Define what success means to you. maybe better off trying to live a meaningful life.

  38. Without Ritalin my daughter would not learn. She has severe ADHD so bad that even though she may be sitting still her eyes can not focus on one thing. We chose to medicate to help her learn and to get her to a point where she can learn regulation techniques to eventually not need medication. I in no way want to change my daughters personality but until more research is done and public schools learn to educate neurodiverse children parents are lost. What this video fails to touch on is those children with ADHD and other disabilities. My daughter and son have ADHD, ASD level 2, SPD, APD, dyspraxia, my daughter also has a severe language disorder. When you add additional complications to adhd it’s not as simple as just letting kids be and not medicating them.

  39. I can really easilily hyperfokus on painting, if i got the right peak stimulus in my brain with additional audiodistraction … of almost anything coffein, sugger … other drugs … the exact stimullus seems not that important for the hyperfokus state, only the mood changes. The better or more normal my moods get, the better i can fokus on what ever. Thinking in the moment about taking or tring out a medication on Monday at all after 32 years without controlled stimulus. My main problem is the sleep deprevation and i am antisocial. I tried Ritalin once, but the mood change was very noticeable and i definitly was not dorsille (calm?) in that state more the opposite, but my neurologic doctor said that is normal and a question of the kind of derivate and peak.

  40. Good for him. Sounds like he was catered to and had a lot of support. Not all of us get that. And living with adhd sucks.

  41. I m ADHD and I love those aspects of my personality which gives me success. The problem is those successes are not great successes. They are winnings but petty winnings. The cost of that joy is not being able to have greater achievments. I cannot list all my unfinished plans. It is just two years of my 57 that I have been aware of this disorder andd only six months ago got diagnosed and prescribed Ritalin. Some times I get astonished of my own treats. For example, I need a tool which I have meant to be at that specific spot but it could be all other places but there. Now, sometimes when I need that specific tool, hoplessly I go to that spot and there, there it is. I just cannot believe that I have put that tool on it's place. ADHD is a diagnose for a very broad aspects of one's personality. If you are all those you mentioned, I have not written a book. I have stories which I know if printed , at least brings my name up as a writer, the stories are ready, I do not need to create them, but I lack the ability to put that on the paper. I look at my fire place and my wife tells the story that it costed 4000 equivalent USD and I managed to get it at two/ third of the price, it makes me overwhelmed but what is the value of that money we saved in front of not being able to go through my university studies, I am Iranian and I live in Norway. The teacher spoke in bizzar dialect of small part of the country and most text books were in English. In the first year of Social Anthropology, I had to read and learn 5000 pages, not a chance, I was busy with everything else than my studies. Some ADHDs have a good life, I am happy for them but many also have a very sad life.

  42. Yeah…I'm not super a fan of this reframing of ADHD as a "Difference", not a "Disorder". I have lots of skills and talents too– most ADHD'ers do– but most of us struggle to put them to use, let alone I struggling our lives on a daily basis. In fact–I run an Adults with ADHD group, and I've got some very smart, very skilled and talented people in that group–but not ONE of them is "successful" by most standards, and all of them struggle with the day to day tasks of living, including staying employed. Most of us would trade some of our innate talents to feel less stressed, frustrated, and sometimes downright depressed.

  43. What he fails to mention is the improbability of ending up on a career path that favors one with ADHD. Creative jobs are hard to come by, some require education and most of them are located in larger cities. A lot of people don't want to live in a big city. Lots of us are also quite far down the
    socio-economic ladder, probably due to ADHD being heraditary. Thus making failiure somewhat heraditary too.

    I did not have the luxury of being cared for financially after I turned 18. I couldn't just "explore" what I wanted to do forever, what I needed was a stable income so I could feed myself and pay rent. During that time, my country was in recession and finding work was very tough, switching jobs regularily was not realistic. Switching academic paths a thousand times won't work either, the loans you rack up eventually has to be paid back.

    Building a foundation for your life is INCREDIBLY hard with ADHD. His advice is utterly useless for a large portion of the population and I honestly find this speech a little bit offensive. The way he talks about ADHD being a good thing, is as silly as someone becoming rich by "teaching" others how to make money. It's a nonsensical circlejerk.

  44. For people with adhd:
    1) Life expectancy is 13 years less than average
    2) Twice as likely to be obese
    3) Twice as likely to dropout of high school
    4) Have a 60% of divorce

    Let's be real here, ADHD is extremely detrimental to many areas of modern life. Study after study shows medication is more effective than lifestyle changes and the medication is extremely safe/well tolerated. That being said, those same studies have shown medication AND lifestyle changes produce the best results. ADHD is a disorder and will lead to significant unneeded hardship if not treated with medication and lifestyle changes.

  45. Medication IS the major help for Adhd. Serious adhd is a nightmare, it terrorizes the brain. How dare you tell those afflicted with this terrible neurological disorder not to go the drug route. A heavy lap weight stress balls does not work.

  46. Maybe I’m easily distracted but I can’t get past how ridiculously cute this guy is! But on a serious note, so well explained! “Our society has to embrace cognitive diversity” 👏👏👏

  47. This is how I want people to see me. Not as someone that needs to change. Someone who is creative, intelligent, and free spirited. Yes, I have ADHD, but I'm not inhibited by the way my brain likes to think, and I'm not ashamed of the way I admire the things I find wonderful in the world around me. Nobody should have to feel like a 'defect'.

  48. My meds just made me tired aderal just made me sleepy and I was taken off it and put on something else very slowly

  49. it looks like I'm adhd. I really like to do something at night until morning. The reason is simple, because the night is quiet and not much disturbance. So it's more free to do something without any telephone interference and from other people around. Because most people sleep at night.

  50. So you have this guy with no medical experience saying ADHD is not a disorder!? WTH is wrong with people. This guy is going to prevent people from finding the medical care they need.

  51. I don't know how I watched almost all of this bragging. This guy is privileged and self centered. The talk in unrelatable and boring. Thanks for telling me how great your entire life has been.

  52. Hi I have ADHD and I sometimes use it as a excuse but we all do in some point in our life. Cause your pressured by being made fun of and taking the medication which makes you depressed. Stop thinking you have a disadvantage and 5ink you have an even greater advantage because if you put your mind to something and you like it you will see that for a moment you don’t feel like your a mistake.

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