Einstein, Edison, and Frank Lloyd Wright

Einstein as a college student was described as being inattentive, often spaced out, and disorganized. Edison was said to be an incurable daydreamer, and Frank Lloyd Wright daydreamed so intensely that his family had to shout at him to get him to pay attention to what was happening in front of him.

Poor Robert Frost was kicked out of school for daydreaming and Nikola Tesla could work out his entire inventions in his head without ever putting anything on paper.

I feel that calling these folks inattentive is really kind of silly. These folks were absolutely attending to some pretty heady stuff. What they are not attending to is what is going on in front of them.

Some folks believe that putting creative inattentive individuals on Ritalin will stifle their creativity. I actually think that this is not the case. It is actually quite possible that these folks would have been even more creative and even more productive with a bit of medication.

I think that if I had found coffee before college, I might not have had so much catching up to do and I would have been, overall, more productive. I ended up getting two Bachelors degrees and a Masters degree but it took me the better part of two years to just catch up on some basics that I had missed in my first 12 years of education.

We have anecdotal data that reports that too high a dose of stimulants makes the inattentives less curious but just the right dose is helpful. So these great inventors would probably not have benefited from a high dose of Ritalin but a low dose of Ritalin may have made them even more amazing and productive than they already were.


  1. Maybe they didn't have ADHD-PI. It could have been sluggish cognitive tempo, in which case they weren't daydreaming but rather "spaced out" with a "foggy" mind.

  2. Except that they were not at all 'foggy'. These guys were just off thinking of something else. People with Inattentive ADHD do not have 'foggy' thinking and therein lies the difference between SCT and ADHD-I.

    Most people with Inattentive ADHD are thinking quite clearly about things that have nothing to do with what is going on right in front of them.

    Thanks for writing me. Tess

  3. I agree that medication is good. I have inattentive ADHD and without Adderall, there is nothing other than thought. I am constantly thinking but the medication gives me the motivation and focus to carry out those big ideas that I come up with.

    Now what is the difference between thinking about everything else that is irrelevant to a situation and a "foggy" mind? The chatter in my head, I am always thinking, I sorta pay attention, but in reality I heard nothing.

  4. I think that if the thinking is productive, creative and useful in any way, then it is good. If the thinking is just idle chatter, then that is not good but this is just my opinion.


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