We often hear the cliché,” ADHD superpower” but what is this superpower?

selective focus photography of boy wearing black Batman cape

We often hear the cliché,” ADHD superpower” but what is this superpower?

Did we just say superpower? Can humans possess a superpower? Well ADHD patients seem to have a useful habit that may help them achieve certain goals as if they have a superpower.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological difference. It results in certain behavioural issues such as lack of attention and impulsivity. There was a myth that it affected male children only but now we know that it affects adults and females as well. ADHD can make everyday life a little difficult to lead as the patient is unable to pay attention to one task and makes impulsive movements. This can lead to learning difficulties in school as well.

What is ADHD Superpower?

Have you ever enjoyed an activity so much that you forgot time? Hyperfocus is the ability to concentrate on a task so much that you forget other things.

As the name Attention Deficit indicates the patient faces a lack of attention but recent studies have found that the patients face the challenge of concentrating on one task only and therefore get distracted easily. These patients may have a habit of hyper-focus. In other words, they can concentrate on one task completely, or even with more than normal concentration, if they found the task interesting.

Hyperfocus can help achieve incredible tasks. One can complete great tasks, from writing a 5-hour long tiresome research paper nonstop to completing art projects with great enthusiasm. Michael Phelps, an American professional swimmer who has won many Olympic gold medals, also has ADHD. Many famous actors and artists have ADHD and probably this superpower helped them achieve these accolades.

Disclaimer: ADHD is a disorder that may have this additional beneficial symptom. So, it is not at all worth praying or wishing to have this superpower. ADHD comes with great difficulties in life. It is not a blessing, and it should be clear to those who are lazy, face difficulty paying attention, possess poor memory, etc.

Is ADHD Superpower present in every patient?

Hyperfocus is not present in every ADHD patient however it is found to be more prevalent in adult patients. More so, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition (DSM-5) does not even list hyper-focus as one of the diagnostic indicators of ADHD. However, hyperfocus can help psychiatrists identify the disorder in adult patients as it is difficult to diagnose ADHD in adults.

Is ADHD Superpower always beneficial?

People who may get distracted easily or find it difficult to concentrate on studies and tasks may think that this superpower of hyperfocus is beneficial and may even wish to have it. But the reality is that where hyperfocus can help people achieve their tasks fully, it can also disrupt their schedules and may result in ignorance of more important tasks. Hyperfocus can result in a loss of interest in other activities such as eating food, studying for exams, completing job work, etc

How to control the ADHD superpower to your advantage?

With every superpower comes great responsibility to use it for the right purpose. If this superpower, that is hyperfocus, is used appropriately, one can use it for great purposes. Learning to control this power is the key here. And who knows you may be the next Olympic gold medal winner or some award-winning artist or scientist.

Following are some tips to follow so that hyperfocus doesn’t lead to wasting your precious time that could have been used for more important tasks.

  • Set alarms or reminders that disrupt your hyperfocus.
  • Prefer social settings over alone time as they generally have more distractions.
  • Ask friends or family for help.
  • For children, communicate with them about this symptom so they have a better understanding of it.

What is the effect of medications on ADHD superpowers?

General medication for ADHD can also help mitigate this superpower.


ADHD patients may have this seemingly paradoxical habit of hyper-focus, leading to prolonged fixity on one task that is most of their interests. This may result in not only completion of their tasks but also in an incredible way. But learning to control it and use it for productive things can be a feat to achieve. There are some modifications or medications to not let hyperfocus get the best of you and you are good to go.


Barrell, A. (2019, 8 juli). What to know about ADHD and hyperfocus. Medical News Today. Geraadpleegd op 7 mei 2022, van https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325681#summary

Hupfeld K, Abagis T, Osborne J, Tran Q and Shah P (2022) Hyperfocus: The ADHD Superpower. Front. Young Minds. 10:625433. doi: 10.3389/frym.2021.625433

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