Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders that are crippling people today. While there are still a lot of mystery surrounding ADHD, people that are diagnosed today can manage the disorder better through medication, holistic interventions, and meditative practices. There’s a misconception and taboo notion that those struggling with ADHD are limited in what they can achieve. There are thousands of people that push the limits of the disorder everyday and find success and happiness in their lives. There are celebrities that prove this point everyday, doing what they love, and living fulfilled lives in spite of an ADHD diagnosis. Here are 20 of our favorite celebrities who have suffered through and conquered ADHD.
1. Bill Gates
Bill Gates has changed all of our lives. In fact, he continues to change our lives everyday with his personal accomplishments. As the founder of Microsoft, Gates is one of the richest people in the world. But there was a time when life was different for him. Gates grew up struggling with learning, possibly just his ADHD taking over his mind. Today, Gates still maintain an active schedule even though he probably deserves to slow down after all his successes.
2. Jim Carrey
It’s not his comedy that gave us the clue—not The Mask, not Liar, Liar, and certainly not Dumb and Dumber. Jim Carrey’s talent for physical comedy is difficult to separate from his ADHD. In fact, his ADHD diagnosis is paired with depression as well, possibly a reason why he’s always tried to be funny. Carrey has been candid about his mental health struggles, and he’s been undergoing treatments since he was a child.
3. Emma Watson
Sweet and demure Emma Watson was diagnosed with a combined type of ADHD. However, this diagnosis hasn’t stopped the actress from conquering the world. She was diagnosed as a young child, and she was actually medicated all that time she was filming the Harry Potter series. Even with ADHD, Watson is an accomplished actress, has an English literature degree from Oxford University, is an Ivy League alumnus (Brown University), and is a former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. She hasn’t let the disorder slow her down, and there’s no magic involved in any of it either.
4. Adam Levine
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine wants you to know that you’re not alone if you’re suffering from ADHD. Levine has always been outspoken about the disorder, and we see tendencies and traits of ADHD when watching him on stage and on television shows. People that suffer from ADHD must find a way to get a handle on it, much like how Levine and many other celebrities have. Levine’s successful music, film, and television career should be proof of this. But even to this day as an adult, Levine still has to work hard in order to focus on the things he needs to do. It isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy either.
5. Ryan Gosling
Much like many others, Ryan Gosling was diagnosed as a child and prescribed Ritalin. He struggled a lot growing up as a result of his diagnosis. He had difficulty reading and was placed in special needs classes. He was bullied and hurt because of his ADHD. Everything that he went through must’ve made him stronger because he turned his life around. He found his dream, and he pursued it. Gosling is one of today’s most talented actors.
6. Simone Biles
The world knows that she’s the greatest gymnast of all time, but Simone Biles might actually be in the running for the greatest athlete of all time. The young gymnast has pushed boundaries and broken glass ceiling after glass ceiling—ones that she creates herself. There’s just no touching her. It’s a surprise for many to hear that Biles actually lives with ADHD and has taken medication (Ritalin) for it since she was a child. Unfortunately, Biles’ private medical records were leaked by hackers to try to discredit her. But as said earlier, there’s just no touching the G.O.A.T. Biles then opened up about her condition and how proudly she supports and live by clean sports.
7. Vince Vaughn
There was a time when Vince Vaughn was everywhere. His brand of comedy was the kind of comedy people loved in the 2000s era. Vince Vaughn is not just a comedian, however. He has proven himself a more varied actor than most people give him credit for. There’s proof in his work on HBO’s True Detective, Into the Wild, and The Cell. Vaughn was diagnosed with ADHD and chronic dyslexia growing up. He struggled with reading and therefore school. He realized one day that hard work is what’s going to get him through, so that’s what he did.
8. Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler is celebrity royalty. As the daughter of singer Steve Tyler and model Bebe Buell, she grew up in the land of bright lights and fast-paced strides. Tyler has found her own success in Hollywood, and she did it even with her diagnosis. According to Tyler, she uses meditation as a way to cope and heal. Relaxation is the greatest counter to ADHD, but it takes practice and commitment to do.
9. Michelle Rodriguez
As controlled and controlling as she may seem in all her movie roles, Fast & Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez struggles with ADHD even as an adult. She describes herself as a scatterbrain, and she’s genuinely concerned that ADHD will stop her from achieving her dreams. Rodriguez wants to branch out to film writing and directing, and she’s not giving up. We’ve seen her play the toughest roles on screen. Now we know that she’s tough in real life as well.
10. Avril Lavigne
Elementary and secondary schooling hardly goes well with ADHD. Most kids diagnosed with ADHD at a young age struggle with keeping it together at school. This was the case with singer-songwriter and all around punk rock goddess Avril Lavigne. You may never guess it with the intensity and focus she puts out when performing, but Lavigne has struggled with ADHD ever since she was a kid. With the help of her parents, Lavigne managed to overcome her struggles and make the most of her recognizable talents. This shows that a good support system could mean everything for someone with a mental disorder.
11. Paris Hilton
Diagnosed when she was only 12 years old, Paris Hilton has been taking Adderall for treatment ever since. She’s always had difficulty paying attention to things. The American socialite, businesswoman, and entertainer comes from one of the wealthiest families in the nation. She’s the great granddaughter of Conrad Hilton—the founder of Hilton Hotels. This shows that it doesn’t matter what your socioeconomic background may be; ADHD doesn’t choose. These days, Paris is pursuing a career as a music DJ, and she’s actually finding quite the success in it.
12. Glenn Beck
If you want to know how the mind of someone with ADHD works, you should spend some time with renowned political commentator Glenn Beck. He’ll take you from one topic to the next and next and back again—all within a moment’s notice. He rarely stays still, and he’s constantly talking. Beck’s ADHD brain is continually craving some sort of stimuli, and it’s up to Beck to make it happen or calm it down. Even with his ADHD, Beck has become a successful radio host, television producer, commentator, and more.
13. Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school, and today he is a world-class Olympic swimmer and most decorated Olympian athlete of all time. That’s quite an achievement for someone who couldn’t sit still in school when he was young. Phelps believes that his ADHD actually helped him become an Olympic champion. He fell in love with swimming because he found that the water slowed his mind down. He couldn’t be still anywhere, yet he could swim in the pool for hours on end. By the time he was 10, Phelps was a nationally ranked swimmer. He was 15 when he first competed in the Olympics, and the rest was history.
14. Jamie Oliver
As you would expect from a chef, Jamie Oliver manages his ADHD symptoms by maintaining a healthy diet. Oliver was diagnosed as a child, and he’s had to learn how to live with his disorder. Food has been known to affect various brain-related disorders, and Oliver is certainly on to something here. These days, he helps children with the same diagnosis as him do better in schools by learning about and applying proper nutrition.
15. Howie Mandel
Imagine having both ADHD and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). This is how childhood was like for Howie Mandel. Mandel grew up in a time when mental disorders were still largely misunderstood. Many kids with ADHD back then were either misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Today, Mandel manages his ADHD by taking medication and attending therapy. He has become one of America’s favorite show hosts, and he’s done this even with his mental health struggles.
16. Zooey Deschanel
She’s fun, bubbly, and full of energy. Zooey Deschanel is the classic girl next door—at least until that energy just never stops going. Deschanel has confessed that her ADHD prevents her from tackling and/or completing hobbies and activities that are too complex or time-consuming. As a lover of crafting, she often can’t finish a single project because of her ADHD. She’s claimed that she’s unmedicated, so she’s probably managing her disorder in other ways. Regardless of how she’s doing it, Deschanel is a successful actress and musician and a founder of an online women’s magazine.
17. Terry Bradshaw
There was a time when Terry Bradshaw thought that ADHD was going to end his career. Bradshaw has suffered from ADHD since he was a child, and it was something that followed him all the way to his career as a professional football player. Bradshaw has stated that his ADHD caused him a lot of anxiety and depression. As the quarterback for the Steelers, many people relied on him to carry the team through. He persevered and successfully led his team to victory not just once but four times. Today, Bradshaw is a beloved commentator for NFL on Fox and a few other shows. He’s even got some acting credits under his name.
18. Justin Timberlake
OCD mixed with ADHD sounds daunting. It is, and it’s what musician, actor, and producer Justin Timberlake has had to live with for majority of his life. Unlike many other celebrities on this list, Timberlake isn’t as vocal about his challenges. He’s only mentioned it on interview once, maybe twice. He has said that he’s found a way to manage it, but there are no further details as to how.
19. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum has established himself as a solid actor and excellent dancer. However, it took a lot for him to get where he’s at now. Tatum has once said that something as simple as reading scripts will take five times longer for him to do compared to the actor next door. He reads so slow, but what he does read he retains with absolute clarity. This perfectly sums up how an ADHD mind could work when it comes to learning—just a little different when compared to others. Tatum copes with his ADHD like many successful celebrities, and he definitely makes it work.
20. Sir Richard Branson
It maybe surprising for some to hear that Sir Richard Branson has also had to live with ADHD. As an entrepreneur and adventurer, Sir Branson always took risks—a mark of someone with the disorder. It’s probably this disorder that’s helped propel him to take the bigger chances and jump the wider gaps. Because of this, the world has benefited from his success. Sir Richard Branson not only overcame his ADHD; he’s not taking people to space and conquering the biggest frontier to humanity.