Manifestations of flow and creativity in ADHD persons
MetadataShow full item record
ADHD is currently defined by psychiatry by its dysfunctional symptoms. As a result of this stigma, ADHD persons experience low self-esteem and prejudice from society, affecting their quality of life and potential to succeed. However, there is a contrasting positive view of ADHD as a healthy wiring of the brain different from the typical brain that inherently has its own benefits. A couple of these postulated benefits are increased flow states and creativity. These benefits are both supported and challenged by the research literature, which are reviewed here. I present a careful look into the research which shows a correlation between ADHD and inattention with particular kinds of creativity and points out issues with studies that challenge the ADHD-creativity connection. In my research study, ADHD persons are interviewed in order to evaluate whether there is a relationship between ADHD, flow states, and creativity. I also asked them how the stigma and misunderstandings of ADHD affected them in terms of self-appraisal and societal discrimination. I had found that ADHD does not seem to correspond with flow states, but nevertheless it is connected with a form of creativity called idea generation or elaboration, and that ADHD persons are indeed negatively affected by the prevailing academic view of creativity as merely dysfunctional.