Ant McPartlin has been diagnosed with ADHD. At 43 years old. This doesn’t surprise me, it’s a condition that was never really taken seriously, let alone given a name in the UK at any rate, when our generation was growing up. It was more like ‘Really Annoying Kid Who Can’t Sit Still’ or ‘This Kid Can’t Focus on One Thing At A Time’. Oh yes I remember those days well.
It explains a lot of his recent behaviour and being on the frontline of ADHD myself I get it. It can be extremely challenging to live with – let alone try and control.
Since I got to know ADHD well, I’ve researched some more of the people who have it – and it won’t be surprising to know that many of them are the best communicators and creators. Something about being able to switch points of view, tasks and conversations quickly is helpful in careers that rely on creative problem solving.
Albert Einstein – he managed to communicate the theory of relativity pretty articulately despite research suggesting he displayed ADHD traits.
Richard Branson – arguably one of the most prolific creators and communicators of our generation.
Justin Timberlake – songwriter, singer, actor, campaigner, father – he’s a busy man and he credits ADHD with his success, in part at least.
Emma Watson – who could forget Hermione? But this bright lady is a UN ambassador for Women and has a degree in English Literature from Brown University.
Will Smith – as an actor and singer he’s a brilliant entertainer and his honesty about mental health is inspiring. Same goes for his wife Jada who has opened up about her battles with depression.
Whoopi Goldberg – just genius really
Winston Churchill – researchers say it’s likely he had ADHD, I find this unsurprising, I’m sure many PMs and leaders have similar conditions.
Stephen Hawking – as if you need proof of the incredible minds of people with ADHD he was it.
The term we use in today’s inclusive society is Neuro-Diversity – it encompasses anything from the autistic spectrum, to Asbergers to ADD and ADHD and probably many others.
Thinking on a straight line is not always the best way when it comes to solving problems, making quick decisions and going with your gut. Businesses, particularly those in PR and the creative industries should view this as a benefit, in fact if you’re reading this you probably know that already. After all thinking differently is what makes one brand or service stand apart from the crowd.
So well done to Ant McPartlin for publicly sharing his diagnosis, hopefully it will continue to make more kids and adults feel able to seek help and make the most of the gift they have (even if it doesn’t feel much a gift at times).