ADHD

Updated 19 August 2016

Ten of the most successful people with ADHD

Not all ADHD sufferers are too erratic to achieve anything. Take Albert Einstein for example . . .

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There is a mistaken belief that people with ADHD are too unfocused to achieve or accomplish anything. Usually ADHD sufferers are unable to control their impulsive actions, but not in all cases.

An estimated 7% of adults are affected by this common behavioural disorder, including some of the world’s most influential people. Some of the greatest musicians, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs of all time suffered from this condition.

1. Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist


He was the most influential physicist of the 20th century and developed the theory of relativity.

Albert Einstein was a typical case of ADHD.  He was known to be forgetful, often seemed unaware of his surroundings and was happy with his dishevelled look. He basically lived by his own rules.

His brain was removed after he died and kept aside to be studied instead of placed back in his body before he was cremated.

2. Sir Richard Branson, business mogul


Sir Richard Branson is an English business mogul. He started his own space exploration company and owns his own island, and his reach is truly enormous. He is able to innovate, achieve and succeed in just about everything he does.

3. John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States

He served in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate before becoming the 35th US president – with ADHD. He was popular in the media, more than most pop singers and movie stars. He faced many foreign challenges and managed to secure achievements such as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

4. Will Smith, actor/producer/rapper


This "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has achieved a lot – from creating one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, acting and rapping, despite his ADHD. Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood. He is a fan of chess and video games.

5. David Neeleman, aviation entrepreneur


David Neeleman only discovered he had the disorder while in his 30s, and disclosed it on CNN. This didn’t stop him from founding three commercial airlines. Neeleman attributes much of his success to having ADHD, giving him the ability to think outside the box.

6. Jim Carrey, actor/comedian/producer

Jim Carrey has been the funny man gracing our screens for over two decades. He clearly has a serious case of ADHD and he can’t stop his hyperactive behaviour. He has starred in some of the greatest comedies of all time. ADHD works well for him!

7. Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time


He became the greatest basketball player of all time and went on to be a successful entrepreneur and owner of the Charlotte Hornets. He is always looking for his next move – a common characteristic of this condition. He even owns a private jet with the "Air Jordan" logo on the tail.

8. Justin Timberlake, singer/actor/producer/businessman


JT dominated the Billboard charts for years and went on to win nine Grammy awards. In an interview with collider.com he revealed that he has "ADD mixed with OCD". He has since become an actor and businessman.

9. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time


Michael Phelps is one of the greatest athletic icons in the world.  Phelps also holds the all-time record for Olympic medals and credits much of this success to his ADHD. He started the Michael Phelps Foundation which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.

10. Walt Disney, the inspiration behind Disneyland


Walt Disney was known for his unsophisticated drawings which became recognizable worldwide. Even 50 years after his death, some of his earliest cartoons are still shown on television. He initially was the voice of his famous character "Mickey Mouse" – quite an achievement for someone with ADHD.

More of an advantage


People with ADHD will dedicate themselves to something they’re fanatical about, and excel. In cases like these, ADHD can actually be considered more of an advantage than a weakness.

Read more:

ADHD: Link between meds and socio-economic background

'Emotional' ADHD runs in the family

Source: Elite Daily, bio.



 

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ADHD Expert

Delia Strondl is a Registered Career Counsellor focusing on both school readiness and career counselling. She achieved her honours in Psychology and completed a career counselling internship. Since then, she has been working with children with a variety of learning difficulties including ADHD and Cerebral Palsy.

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