ADHD: A Warrior’s Brain

This weekend as we remember the heroes who gave their lives to defend our freedom, it is worth noting that ADHD neurology has been called “a warrior’s brain”. What the algebra teacher calls distractible in the classroom turns out to be vigilance on the battle field. We always tell kids with ADHD that they have awesome brains: just not the pay attention kind but the notice everything kind! This is an asset in the high adrenaline environment of battle. Today we call the leaping-then-looking characteristic of ADHD impulsivity, however, in battlefield the same trait could be called decisive, quick thinking. Those snap decisions made by warriors over the centuries have no doubt saved and cost a lot of lives.

We always say if you take a vigilant brain, give it the ability to act freely without over thinking in times of crisis and attach it to an athletic body, then you’ve got an individual who will help keep the tribe safe! Mother Nature must agree.  With close to 10% of the world’s population now recognized as having ADHD neurology there has to be some advantages to it. The military doesn’t enlist individuals treated with medication for ADHD possibly because they prefer to manage the lack of executive function with strict discipline, organization and vigorous physical training. So when it’s time for action, it’s untreated ADHD that they want.

Mother Nature must not have planned on all of us having to get through Algebra but she wanted to make sure we had warriors to protect and defend us. This weekend is occasion to celebrate those warriors and the brains that serve them well.

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