It’s no secret to those who understand Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that many people who work in the media have ADHD. The fast paced, constantly new, multitasking, creative, stimulating environment is a natural fit for them. The adrenaline fuelled deadlines that help them focus are also a bonus. You won’t find may ADDers on the assembly line. Many ADHD adults work in the entertainment industry.
I think if you were a radio talk show host and didn’t have ADHD you might be at a competitive disadvantage, i.e., from competing with radio talk show hosts or Dee-Jays with ADHD, who can self medicate their active ADHD brains with very creative stimulating work that boosts their dopamine levels which helps them focus. ADHD stimulant medications are designed to boost dopamine levels in the brain. But work or hobbies you love, exercise, sex, and meditation also boost dopamine.
Here’s 9 Advantages of having ADHD as a Radio Talk Show Host
1. Fast processing minds. For the fast pace of radio, and dealing with it’s live interactive elements. ADDers who have the hyperactive impulsive or combined type of ADHD are usually good at thinking on their feet. Dead air is death in radio.
2. The ability to multitask easily. Go from guest to caller to comment and back quickly.
3. High energy level. Who likes tired, boring radio hosts?
4. Creative. You need to think on your feet quickly and be creative especially if you have a guest that may not be so interesting. Being able to come up with new and innovative ideas and topics for the show and being able to quickly think of a new direction do go towards during the middle of a show is useful. No second takes in live radio. If you’re not creative enough, you might run out ideas and out of time before the commercial.
5. Quick learners (if they are interested). Radio talk show host have to have a wide variety of guests and topics and need to quickly get up to speed on those topics. If the guest and the callers have to spend a lot of time educating the host, it makes for boring radio. Boring radio = changed channels.
6. Good in chaos and crisis. So they can manage a wide variety of callers and hosts as well as their ever changing moods, let alone dealing the on air conflicts and callers that are occasionally either aggressive, ignorant, stupid or all of the above.
ADDers are usually great in a crisis, because a crisis stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter Norepinephrine, which ADDers are low in and it helps them focus
Norepinephrine, along with dopamine, has come to be recognized as playing a large role in attention and focus. In response, Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals has released Strattera (atomoxetine), a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, for the treatment of ADHD in adults and children
7. Impulsive risk takers. Not afraid to take risks, so the show’s not too boring, and is exciting and interesting.
8. Stimulus seekers. People with ADD have brains that are understimulated (because a shortage of dopamine) so they naturally seek out stimulating activities, some healthy (enjoyable work, ADHD medication, exercise, sex, happy thoughts) or unhealthy (tobacco, alcohol, every illegal drug besides hallucinogens, gambling). So an ADDer at a job they love will try to keep the job stimulating which in radio has the benefit of keeping the listener stimulating.
9. Highly Entertaining. Not too many Adults with ADHD are boring. We’re often very interesting and entertaining people (sometimes irritating too, especially if you haven’t yet learned to properly manage your ADHD) and part of any radio host job is to be entertaining even as a news talk radio jock. If you’re entertaining, it’s more easy to inform or educate or persuade people.
There are some disadvantages to having ADHD as a radio talk show too, such as problems with paperwork, scheduling, getting lost in hyperfocus too long, verbally stepping over the line on air/to the boss etc. That’s why a good producer who understands you and how you work and does the things that you may either not like to do or are not good at is so important. Paperwork is often kryptonite for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Sometimes in addition to a good producer, an adult ADHD coach can be helpful in understanding ADD and learning how to deal with the day to day challenges more effectively and recognize and develop the person unique ADHD Strengths. Some of my clients hire me to help them in their career; some hire me to help them in their personal life, especially in relationships and some in both areas. A person with ADHD may function very well at work, but might be on the brink of divorce at home, or surrounded by clutter, financial problems etc. ADHD can affect one or more or all areas of a person’s life. You can be wildly successful in one area and quite the reverse in another.
If you know any other advantages of having ADHD as a talk show host, or DJ please let me know in the comment section