An ADHD Attribute I Love and Cherish

April 29, 2010 Douglas Cootey

Is it true that adults with ADHD experience a frequent search for high stimulation? Could there be any truth to such an outlandish claim?

Personally, I don't see it. I don't go base jumping off buildings, though I did climb around my roof when I was in high school. I could climb out from my window and walked the apex like a balance beam to the chimney. But what kid wouldn't do that? And I don't drag race for cash or glory, though I did make it from Salt Lake to downtown Provo in about 23 minutes one time last year. But I was in a hurry.

There was a period where I learned to snipe on eBay auctions until I ended up with one too many things I didn't know why I bid on. But I stopped doing that. And although I would go bike riding along the unlit Jordan River Parkway at three in the morning at breakneck speeds, I have really good night vision. There was no thrill. Honest. I usually play things safe. Well, except for that time I was at the Grand Canyon in December and scooted under the DO NOT CROSS THIS LINE sign in plastic-souled moccasins across the snowy ground to get a fantastic photo from the edge of the cliff. But I was twenty.

Adult ADHD and Risk Taking Behavior

I suppose there might be some truth to it after all. I may not always take my life in my hands and fling it into the wind for kicks, but I do find myself on the constant lookout for novel, unique, and engaging things that tickle my fancy and captivate my mind. I seek new intensities.

Living moment to moment is so boring. There must be something out there I haven't experienced before! And so I go on the hunt. Couple that with a lack of impulse control and you have everything from the safe to the sorry.

The sorry can be so very embarrassing. The other day, I found a Japanese Video Girl clip online that gave me the giggles. It was super cheesy, and not just like the cake. So bad, I thought it was hilarious. But as I prepared to copy it to my iPad so I could share it with my friends, I had second thoughts. What would I say to my wife or daughters if they found it? It wasn't pornographic, but it wasn't family fare either. Phew! Another disaster averted.

Why the heck did I find it in the first place?! The answer is simple: I'm constantly seeking new things to experience. That's high risk behavior because I never know what's behind the doors I feel compelled to open.

Fortunately, most of the things I find are lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy. One time, I discovered Hayley Westenra's unofficial online forum in New Zealand and had a chance to correspond with her about her training regimen before she became shut away behind the wall of success. That benefited my oldest daughter.

Another time, during a family trip up into the Wasatch mountains, I decided on a whim to hike to Catherine Lake with my second oldest daughter. The trail practically killed me because I was sorely out of shape. My heart was beating so hard that the forest rangers complained that I was scaring the wildlife, but we discovered gorgeous country and took wonderful photographs. It was to become one of my cherished memories.

Alleviating boredom has lead me to discover a wide, eclectic range of music, television, entertainment, and knowledge. In turn, it has benefited my family. I didn't invent any of these things and I'm not necessarily the first kid on the block all the time (I was late to the Twitter party by six months in 2007), but my constant hunt for new stimulation leads me to explore my environment on and off line to discover treasures. Each treasure enhanced my life or my family's in one way or the other.

None of this has made me rich, but this frequent search for high stimulation has certainly enriched my life. I may discover the odd, embarrassing duck here and there, but overall this is my favorite aspect of ADHD.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, April 29). An ADHD Attribute I Love and Cherish, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

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