INTP ADHD & ADD: How INTPs Can Improve Their Attention Span
The struggle with personality types and correlating them to things like ADD or ADHD, is the fact that sometimes it is simply part of their personality. Which types are more likely to have these disorders really isn’t something that can easily be measured, and so it is important to take a step back and analyze accordingly. Diving into the traits and differences can help to understand what might cause these types to be misdiagnosed, or what might make them potentially more prone to certain conditions. It is important to understand each individual on a deeper level before making assumptions, since there is far more complex details than simply pegging a personality type as something without learning more.
INTPs can often be labelled as having ADD or sometimes ADHD, especially when they are younger. As children their behaviors can be very easily misunderstood, especially by those people who are a bit too close minded to the differences people can possess. This can cause people to see the INTP as someone who needs help or needs to be fixed, when many of their behaviors are misunderstood entirely. There are many qualities the INTP possesses which can be viewed as similar to ADHD behaviors, but these things don’t connect in quite the same way and really aren’t things which should be changed or “fixed”.
INTP and ADHD
INTPs are dreamers, with rich and vivid inner worlds which they enjoy spending time diving into. They can often appear distracted and more focused on their own thoughts and imagination. INTPs struggle to really focus on the things they are required to pay attention to, and this is something which is easily misunderstood. This doesn’t automatically mean the INTP has ADHD simply because they do not enjoy the subject matter at hand. Instead the INTP often needs to find things which draw their attention and inspire them. Their active inner minds can make it challenging for them to focus on things which they are not passionate about, and they need to feel like they are being challenged in positive ways. The fact that they are bored so easily is often what causes this confusion, as INTPs find most things rather easy to analyze and figure out. They work at a much faster pace than most people and might even be ahead of those in their general environment. While others might need time to process what is in front of them, the INTP is often well ahead of this and on to something else. This does not mean they are incapable of focusing, it just means they work at a different speed.
For the INTP child and even as they enter adulthood, the best way to keep them focused on something is to challenge their minds the right ways. It is best to help the INTP to find things which keep their interest and continue to help them grow and advance. They are highly adaptable to the information in front of them, and find themselves needing more challenging tasks in order to remain interested. When the INTP does find things they are passionate about or which challenge them in the right ways, they are more than happy to remain focused and interested. For them it is about finding the things that spark their passions and actually can keep their minds from wandering in much more rewarding directions. The fact that the INTP has a daydreamers mind and can be seen caught up inside of their own minds, is not a bad thing at all. This is simply how they absorb the world around them, and they don’t need to constantly be interacting with others in order to be learning. For the INTP this can often make school rather exhausting and even a bit miserable, as they might seem like they don’t care or have trouble paying attention. In many cases the INTP is actually rather gifted, and might even be well ahead of their class and those around them. This often means that the environment is what needs to be changed, not the INTP.
INTPs can struggle to sit still sometimes, wanting to find new things to excite them. When they find something which does draw their attention they struggle to remain comfortable in the same position. For the INTP stagnancy and monotony are truly horrible fates, which is why they can appear to have ADHD to those who simply don’t understand how their minds work. The INTP enjoys exploring new things and wants to constantly keep their busy minds focused on information and learning. They are bored easily because they possess complex inner worlds and thoughts, and need to find the means of keeping their brain challenged.
While there can certainly be INTPs who do have ADHD, it is important to take their natural qualities into account. Simply labelling them as having a disorder because they have these incredibly rich inner minds, would be harmful to them. When the INTP is viewed as having something wrong which needs to be fixed, it makes them feel distant from those around them. It can cause them to feel completely misunderstood and rather lonely at times. INTPs need to feel like they are free to be themselves and to explore the many parts of their inner minds which makes them so capable of being creative and accomplished people. Without a sense of freedom to uncover these parts of themselves, the INTP will feel easily stifled. Just because the INTP can have a hard time staying focused on one thing, does not mean they have something wrong with them it simply means they aren’t focusing on the right things. Their minds often solve problems quicker than people around them can keep up with, which makes it appear like they just don’t care or aren’t capable of maintaining focus.