Howie Mandel has Adult ADHD Does Adult ADHD is Real Awareness campaign

by Pete Quily on October 18, 2008 · 8 comments

Here’s another famous confirmed living person with ADHD.

Canadian born Deal or no deal star, comedian, Veejay, talkshow host, creator and executive producer of Emmy-nominated children’s animated series Bobby’s World, and actor Howie Mandel has publicly stated he has adult ADHD. He’s doing a series of Public Service Announcements to help raise awareness of Adult ADHD called Adult ADHD is Real.  Check out the site where you can see his TV and radio ads, his story and learn more about adult ADHD and find help. Maybe you might want to pass this on to people you know to help educate them about adult ADHD. Howie says

When I was in high school, my impulsivity led me to all kinds of acts and pranks. I had trouble sitting still and could hardly focus or pay attention in class. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was diagnosed with ADHD,” said Howie. “I’m involved in the Adult ADHD Is Real campaign because I want adults to know that it’s never too late to seek help for ADHD. I hope that sharing my story encourages people to seek help. I didn’t let ADHD prevent me from achieving my goals and neither should anyone else.

Howie Mandel said he has probably had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder all his life but was only diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. He talks about 10 million people having ADD in America but only one in 10 may get diagnosed and may get helped. Probably the number of adults with ADHD getting diagnosed is less in Canada, since we’re 5-10 years behind the US in awareness of ADHD and diagnosis and management of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.

As an adult ADHD coach I’m glad that the ADHD Coaches Organization which I’m a member of is helping to sponsor this campaign, which will help get the word out about how Adult ADHD coaches can help adults with ADHD. ADHD medications can be very useful but they’re not a complete solution to dealing with adult ADHD.

Congratulations to Howie for going public with having ADHD and helping to raise awareness, it always amazes me that there’s so many entertainers and celebrities who are willing to say publicly that they have depression or bipolar or are addicted to crack or sex or gambling but they’re not willing to say they have an inherited neurobiological condition like adult ADHD. Maybe with Howie having the courage to go public about having adult ADHD, some other public figures who have adult ADHD like actors, comedians, and musicians and atheletes may develop the courage to do the same and help increase public awareness and reduce the stigma against ADHD that prevents people from getting help for the condition. Lack of awareness of adult ADHD and stigma against the condition are the 2 biggest problems for people with ADHD. I’ve been waiting for a campaign like this for years.

I wonder what percentage of professional comedians have Adult ADHD? I’d say it’s a competitive advantage in that business.

Here’s a clip from Howie’s interview on his life with adult ADHD with Sidewalks TV host Cindy Rhodes

Here are a few excerpts from Howie Mandel’s interview.

Howie: The point is that even though I make fun of it and all the stories I have about school and being thrown out of school, and seeing my act, it is a real issue that I deal with each and every day. I am a hyper person, it’s real hard for me to focus, I’m not that attentive, it’s amazing that I’m getting through this interview without going off on a tangent.  But the truth is if you’re married to me or you’re my child my life is a little more difficult. So it was such a blessing to be clinically diagnosed and find out this was a real thing that I can get help for or a viewer out there maybe able to get help for and make their life just a notch better

Question: How has this disease affected your life?

Howie: It’s hard for me to focus and maybe do homework like memorize a script, it’s hard, it’s really hard for me. Or to carry out a conversation just with my child…its really hard for me, and it’s really hard for me to cope and focus each and every day. But now it’s not.

..And if you go to any of my shows I’m scattered. And it makes for a good act. It makes for a better act than it does a life you know. My act and my most comfortable place on earth is standing in front of the spotlight on stage. That’s where I am at my most ease. My life outside of that is a little harder, but you know what, I’m blessed that I’ve actually identified it, realized it and getting help for it.

The coalition for the Adult ADHD Is Real campaign consists of patient advocacy groups including ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). The coalition is dedicated to
raising awareness about ADHD in adults as a real and treatable medical disorder. Shire also supports the campaign.

If someone you know is open to seeking a diagnosis for adult ADHD, I’d suggest checking with your local ADHD Support group to ask for names of a doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist who knows enough about Adult ADHD to properly diagnose it. Hopefully people with ADHD and their families help spread the word about this campaign, maybe even contact their local radio and TV stations to ask them to run the public service ads.

Maybe we’ll have a similar Adult ADHD awareness campaign in Canada if people with ADHD and their families think it’s important enough to make it happen.

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