The music and film industry is littered with talented people who haven’t always had it easy, who’ve had to struggle to get the fame and acclaim they’ve always envisioned. But while some setbacks may be physical or social, a large proportion of today’s celebrities suffer from a wide range of psychological disorders which are often kept under wraps- from depression and mania to OCD and ADHD. Whilst some celebrities appear to be thriving on the outside with luxurious mansions, awesome cars and multi-million dollar movie deals, there may often be underlying issues such as ADHD which can help to shed light on both their public and private behavior.
The symptoms associated with ADHD include the inability to concentrate for long periods of time and a lively, emotive disposition, along with other signs such as restlessness. Left unchecked these traits can wreak havoc in a person’s life, but the celebrities in this list have managed to turn their ADHD to their advantage, channeling excessive energy into pursuits as diverse as music, TV and fashion.
10. Ryan Gosling
Known for great films such as The Place Beyond The Pines, The Ides Of March and Only God Forgives, Ryan Gosling is a talented individual who also struggles daily with ADHD. He usually leads his life away from the prying media gaze, but has made it known that the disorder is something that has greatly affected his life- but he’s managed to rise above it. He once bought a restaurant on the spur of the moment in Beverly Hills, spending nearly everything he had on the property and renovation- a classic impulsive symptom of ADHD.
9. Solange Knowles
A singer and songwriter in her own right, Beyonce’s younger sister Solange Knowles has an equally fierce attitude as her sibling- as witnessed in the elevator ‘attack’ on Jay-Z. She has always had excess energy that needed channelling, revealing that some people have thought she was on drugs at times due to her loose speech and hyperactive behaviour. Diagnosed not once but twice with ADHD, Solange first thought that the disorder ‘was just something they invented to make you pay for medicine’! Common traits of ADHD surface in her daily life such as memory loss and the inability to complete a task fully.
8. Justin Timberlake
First rising to fame in the Mickey Mouse Club alongside sultry songstresses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake has always had a passion for music and performing. However, the ‘Rock Your Body’ singer hasn’t always had it easy, having to cope with both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder coupled with Attention Deficit Disorder from an early age. Battling obsessive patterns of thought which includes lining up shoes and other everyday objects neatly, Justin tries to place his energy into creative outlets such as songwriting and comedy; making people laugh is something that he finds comforting, as it can often divert attention away from his anxiety disorder.
7. Adam Levine
Performing as the main vocalist for LA rock band Maroon 5, as well as judging popular talent show The Voice, Adam Levine has enjoyed widespread success this decade, despite living many years with ADHD. His greatest struggles came in school due to his hyperactivity, where he recalls his “difficulty focusing” and being “frustrated because of the challenges” present in the school environment. Since discovering he has ADHD, Adam has been able to work more closely with his doctor to control the symptoms which affect his career. On his first album he was unable to concentrate and get the task finished, stating he had many ideas floating around but was simply unable to pin them down to create something productive.
6. Michelle Rodriguez
Playing strong female roles in films such as Girlfight, Resident Evil and Fast & The Furious, Michelle Rodriguez has always aspired to be an actress in spite of her long-diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. Her main difficulties are with concentrating and maintaining focus on one task, leading her to believe that her vision to become a director is out of reach- she says, “It’s not easy with ADD, I have a hard time focusing when I’m alone.” Michelle is very wary of taking any kind of medication to help manage the symptoms of ADD, saying she doesn’t feel comfortable being so dependent on a drug to control her behavior.
5. Michael Phelps
One of the best swimmers of our time, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD at just 9 years old. Thanks to medication and exercise through sports; becoming a swim champion at the tender age of 15, he has truly turned himself into a great athlete, complete with dedication and a winner’s spirit. His mother Debbie has also been a great source of comfort and assistance to Michael throughout both child and adult life, and she now runs a website helping other families with ADHD children. Fourteen shiny gold medals from the world’s toughest swimming competitions go to show what can be achieved regardless of psychological setbacks.
4. Paris Hilton
A beautiful and talented entrepreneur with modest success in film, music and fashion, Paris Hilton certainly seems to have accomplished a lot in her short life- something that may have been driven by her relatively unheard of ADHD. Paris made the revelation live on TV to Larry King, believing that speaking out about the disorder is one of the best ways to help other families who may be affected. She took medication as a child to control her impulsive and demanding behaviour, probably a safe step forward considering she had such a large pre-paid credit card from the Hilton fortunes at her disposal!
3. William Adams AKA Will.i.am
A founding member of the Black Eyed Peas with a successful solo career to boot, including collaborations with Britney Spears and Justin Bieber, the multi-talented Will.i.am is constantly on-the-go and packed with energy. This is undoubtedly a sign of his ADHD which he has been able to focus creatively into sectors such as music, fashion and technology. He’s now a judge on Britain’s talent show The Voice, and has made public statements such as, “music keeps me sane” and “music is my therapy”. His ability to have fingers in many different pies is a characteristic trait of the disorder, and he continues to keep creative juices flowing in whatever task he takes to hand.
2. Bex Taylor-Klaus
A rising star in the world of US TV, Bex Taylor-Klaus is only 20 years old and has already appeared in many shows, such as House of Lies and Arrow. She was diagnosed with ADHD in her early years, having an abundance of energy which often got her into trouble at times, but her love of acting was definitely something she felt able to direct her energies into. For other sufferers of ADHD, she highlights the importance of embracing it, saying that while it may be a ‘nuisance’, there are ways to effectively manage- she also believes that “having Attention Deficit makes you special.”
1. Channing Tatum
Best known for action and comedy films like 21 Jump Street and Foxcatcher, Channing Tatum has a great acting talent which has served him well in life- but it didn’t start out so great for him. He was diagnosed with both dyslexia and ADHD as a child, but Channing felt like he was held back even further because the school he attended put him “in classes with kids with autism and Down Syndrome”. He says that he’s never been the sharpest tool in the box, and has always had to “negotiate the world physically”- everything from rough and tumble sports in high school to stripping off in college!
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