When talking about Celebrities with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that can make it incredibly difficult for a person to sit still and concentrate, the conversation is usually centered around children. There’s good reason for that.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2016, there were an estimated 6.1 million ADHD diagnoses in children, with the average age of onset being 7 years old.
However, ADHD very often continues to manifest even as young people grow into adults. The CDC suggests that around 4.4 percent of adults, aged 18 to 44, may struggle with the condition.
ADHD Symptoms and Treatment
ADHD symptoms often range from problems with mental focus, hyperactivity, or difficulty managing impulsivity, and there are a combination of treatment options for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults.
Treatment options for ADHD can include prescription medication such as Ritalin or Adderall, psycho-social interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and even holistic approaches, such as mindful meditation.
Many people with the disorder are able to lead healthy, productive lives and, in some cases, are able to use their national platforms to bring attention to the fact that ADHD doesn’t have to hold anyone back.
Here Are 7 Celebrities Who Have ADHD
1. Adam Levine
The Maroon 5 frontman and former judge on “The Voice,” Adam Levine opened up about his struggles with ADHD, writing, “I remember being in the studio once and having 30 ideas in my head, but couldn’t document any of them. So I went back to the doctor to discuss my symptoms, and I learned that I still had ADHD.”
Levine continued, “It was affecting my career the way it affected me in school. I got the word out that ADHD doesn’t go away when you grow older.”
2. Simone Biles
Already a legend on the U.S. gymnastics Olympic team, Simone Biles broke even more world records in 2019, gaining her 24th and 25th gold medals in competition.
3. Michael Phelps
Another world class Olympian, Michael Phelps has experienced public struggles with alcohol, eventually going to court ordered rehab after a DUI and now living in recovery.
In an interview with People Magazine, the swimmer admitted ADHD “…changed my life from the beginning.” It was only when he realized that it was okay to ask for help and talk about his condition that he was “able to live life to its fullest.”
4. Howie Mandel
Comedy icon and a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” Howie Mandel has famously opened up about his battles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and ADHD, both on stage and in print.
He’s even able to bring a touch of humor to the issue, writing, “Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up, my symptoms didn’t have a name, and you didn’t go to the doctor to find out. So, in my case, they were called Howie Mandel.”
5. Lisa Ling
A staple in the field of journalism, Lisa Ling learned of her likely ADHD diagnosis while hosting an ADHD focused episode of her show “Our America with Lisa Ling.”
In the show’s trailer, Ling admits, “I have always had a difficult time focusing on things that aren’t interesting to me and I get really, really anxious before taking any kind of test or evaluation.”
6. Solange Knowles
Singer, songwriter, and actress Solange Knowles told BET that she was skeptical of her ADHD diagnosis, believing the condition “…was just something they invented to make you pay for medicine…”
After seeking a second opinion and having her condition confirmed, Beyonce’s little sister confessed at times people thought she was using drugs because of her occasional “sporadic speech” and effervescent energy.
7. Ryan Gosling
Awarded a Golden Globe aware for his performance in the musical “La La Land,” the Canadian born actor, Ryan Gosling, said in an interview that his childhood ADHD was a constant struggle.
“I didn’t feel very smart. They kept passing me in school even though I didn’t know how to do things I should have known how to do. Like, I couldn’t read…I couldn’t absorb any of the information, so I caused trouble.”
It wasn’t until later, when Gosling developed an appreciation of acting, that he learned how to concentrate and focus more effectively.
Medication For Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
As mentioned earlier, prescription medication is one of the most effective ways of treating ADHD, especially for teens and young adults, as well as some of the celebrities on this list.
Unfortunately, ADHD medication is also heavily misused by this same age demographic to get a jump on studying because it allows users to stay mentally focused, alert, and awake for long periods of time.
Adderall is one of the most frequently prescribed medications for ADHD. For those who need it to treat the symptoms of the disorder, it works very well, with limited side effects.
But for those who use it recreationally or in a way that it wasn’t prescribed by a doctor, it can have adverse effects specifically unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
It’s important to know about the different types of the medication, and how long the effects of Adderall last, so users don’t take too much or use it too often.
Other Famous People With ADHD
In addition to the celebrities mentioned above, here are more famous people with ADHD that have had successful careers in music, sports, business, and entertainment, despite living with this mental health condition.
- Justin Timberlake
- Paris Hilton
- Justin Bieber
- Richard Branson
- Henry Winkler
- Jim Carrey
- Terry Bradshaw
- Woody Harrelson
- Pete Rose
- Channing Tatum
For anyone struggling with ADHD at a young age, the people listed here are a testament that it is possible to flourish later in life, despite possible difficulties and setbacks in school. Success is achievable for those who live with ADHD.