Was ADHD an evolutionary advantage in the past?

evolution and ADHDWhile ADHD and its potential evolutionary advantage may not be relevant to our modern world, it's at least interesting to think about.

As an example, one article we came across called Here's Why ADHD May Have Been an Evolutionary Advantage talked about common symptoms of ADHD (e.g. impulsivity, impatience, distractibility), and how in our modern world they can make sitting in a classroom trying to learn somewhat difficult. Way, way back in the day, however, when our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, these symptoms actually suited the way of learning at the time, which was to learn by doing, playing, and observing.

Another article called Did Hyperactivity Evolve as a Survival Aid for Nomads spoke about the benefit of being a "little bit more impulsive" and being "a little quicker on the trigger" during the days when things were inherently unpredictable, and nomads depended on adapting to a more spontaneous lifestyle. With such harsh living conditions, there was a huge disadvantage if you were to settle and stick with the status quo. Not only that, think about how an ADHD-style brain tends to jump around from thought to thought, idea to idea. In the old days, you actually needed to have a wide variety of skills to survive. If you simply focused on and specialized in one area, you wouldn't survive!

What do you think about this idea? Do you believe there was an evolutionary advantage to ADHD in the past?

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