"Perhaps the most important aspect of ADHD creativity is the way ideas strike like epiphanies, lighting up the brains of people with the condition in a rush of excitement and activity, almost compelling them to try to turn them into reality. Rousseau describes stumbling upon the title of a prize essay competition in a newspaper while walking in the searing heat to visit his friend Denis Diderot in prison outside Paris. ‘Has the progress of the arts and sciences contributed more to the corruption or purification of morals?’ the question read.
‘The moment I read these words I saw another universe and became another man,’ Rousseau writes. ‘When I arrived in Vincennes I was in a state of agitation bordering on delirium.’
Diderot encouraged him to follow his urges and enter the competition. ‘I did so, and from that moment on I was lost,’ Rousseau continues. ‘My feelings, with incredible rapidity, had soon risen to the same pitch of fervour as my ideas. All my little passions were stifled by my enthusiasm for truth, for liberty, for virtue…’
People with ADHD often experience their new ideas as‘mini-epiphanies’, but those Rousseau describes seem so powerful and transformative that Littman suspects ADHD, which is more of a cognitive than an emotional condition, is not the whole story.
‘I would say that more than 45 per cent of those who come to my practice also have some kind of bipolar thing going on, and that is my suspicion here,’ she says.‘When you add bipolar, you’re simply adding the mood piece on top of it. The idea is larger and more exciting but it can also become more all-enveloping, and thwart good judgement to an even greater extent.’"https://aeon.co/essays/was-rousseau-s-restless-genius-a-symptom-of-adhd