Sunday, July 8, 2012

ADHD: Celebrity edition

Because I find it reassuring that there are people who have grown up with the disorder, with or without being diagnosed, with or without going on meds, who become incredibly successful adults. Also, my suspicion is ADHDers are almost naturally drawn toward the arts and entertainment fields, because they tend to be so creative and crave attention, and because a 9-to-5 TPS Reports office job is not going to appeal to them. So here is the absolute beginnings of a comprehensive list of which celebs have it.

I tried to find interviews with said celebs in which they acknowledged having ADD/ADHD, but in some cases that wasn't possible -- just a lot of blogs name-checking each other's posts saying that so-and-so has it. Robin Williams, for instance: I couldn't find a single legit article saying definitively that he has it (I'll keep checking), but I found a whole lot of people who think he has it because he's so off the wall in stand-up and in interviews. I agree it's entirely possible -- yeah, I've seen his stand-up too -- but I kind of want him to say so himself.

A few names below come from an article in ADDitude magazine, which is a pretty useful resource, but then I couldn't find any corroborating articles elsewhere, so in a couple cases, this is the only source. Just FYI.

Disclaimer: Just because I include someone on this list does not mean I .. 1. like their music; 2. agree with their politics; 3. follow their team.

So here we go, in alphabetical order:

Glenn Beck: You know him, you love him ... or you hate him intensely. Either way, he's got it, and managed to build himself a bit of a media empire, so that's something. Here's the transcript of an interview with Ty Pennington a few years back in which they both discuss their ADD issues and medications. (More on Ty below.)

Terry Bradshaw: As in, the four-time Super Bowl champ. He goes into his ADD a little bit in this article, which yes, I realize is on the 700 Club website, but it's the best I found.

Russell Brand: Currently famous for breaking Katy Perry's heart, but he is a pretty big-deal comedian/author back in the U.K. Also, he was funny in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," so there you have it. Unfortunately, the only mention of his ADD I found was this review of his new talk show, which you'll notice is less than positive. Sorry, Russell.

Sir Richard Branson: Per ADDitude and nowhere else definitive, although Mr. Virgin Airlines does talk about growing up dyslexic in this clip.

 James Carville: Per ADDitude, and apparently he also said so on CNN, although I can't find the clip. Super-Dem strategist and pundit, credited with getting Bill Clinton elected, and notable for his marriage to Republican strategist Mary Matalin, which I mention because I did kind of like the movie "Speechless," which was sort-of kind-of allegedly not at all based on their relationship.

Scott Eyre: The MLB pitcher -- most recently on the Phillies -- was diagnosed while he was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, and he's made a point of speaking out about it to help other kids. Interview here.

Adam Levine: Probably the most notable right now, because he's everywhere, and also Maroon 5 has a new album, and he's been doing PSAs for "The Own It Project" (, which is supposed to encourage adults who think they still have ADHD to take control of it. Basic info on it is here, and here he talks about what it was like to grow up with ADHD.

Howie Mandel: And OCD too, apparently. The actor/comedian/game show host/"America's Got Talent" judge is pretty open about it, I think to his credit. He talks about it here and in this clip from "Ellen."

Jamie Oliver: Per ADDitude. And I already think he's awesome for trying to make school lunches healthier.

Ty Pennington: Sorry about "The Revolution," Ty, but thanks for being so willing to talk about growing up with ADHD in, for instance, this article and this ABC News interview.

Michael Phelps: Mr. Mega Olympic Swimmer is making a pretty good case for my kid's swimming lessons. He told the New York Times about how swimming helped him find himself.

Britney Spears: *Sigh.* I'm inclined to argue that she's not helping the cause, but let's see how she does on "The X Factor." Anyway, this is per an anonymous source, so ... grain of salt? 

Justin Timberlake: Yet another grain of salt, because the only article I can find in which he says he has it is this one from Collider, and it's one sentence about him having ADD and OCD, and then a whole bunch of quotes about "The Love Guru," which I refuse to believe people were actually interested in even when it did come out. Every other mention is other websites citing this article, and then saying snarky things about Justin Timberlake. Memo to bloggers: I don't think he cares if you hate him.

Andres Torres: Not only does the Mets player (born in NJ!) speak out about his struggles, and how he improved as a ballplayer after he started actively managing his condition, but there's a documentary in the works about him and how he's an inspiration to others. See here for an interview and here for a preview of the film.

Shane Victorino: And we're back to the Phillies. He's also been speaking out about it, for instance here, as part of the same campaign as Adam Levine. Here's his PSA.

I'll add more names as I find them, should any more be findable. 

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