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[Podcast] Famous Women With ADHD

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How many women with ADHD can you name? According to mainstream media, the world is full of men who overcame ADHD to be successful. Not as heard about, however, are women who did the same. Part of this is because awareness of ADHD in women is a fairly recent thing. Another reason is because the women typically have to speak up about it to become news.

ADHD is short for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a chronic mental condition associated with inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to Express Scripts, women ages 26-34 who use ADHD meds increased from 2008-2016. Here are a few famous people with ADHD who happen to be women.

emma watson

Emma Watson

Hermione of Harry Potter fame has an English degree from Brown University to boot, not to mention United Nations ambassador status. According to Teen, Watson received her diagnosed as a child. She is the winner of the Teen Choice Awards, People’s Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards, among many other accolades. In addition to the Harry Potter movies, she also is known for roles in The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Noah and The Bling Ring.

zooey deschanel

Zooey Deschanel

Actress, musician, mother – there’s little “New Girl” Deschanel hasn’t done. The co-founder reveals that she turned to crafting to help settle her ADHD. She prefers to “focus [her] unfocused mind on projects that can be completed very quickly.” In addition to her New Girl role, she is a member of the music group She & Him and has starred in several movies, including Elf, 500 Days of Summer and Yes Man.

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Solange Knowles

This musician, model and actress said people often thought she was high because of her ADHD.

“I didn’t believe the first doctor who told me and I had a whole theory that ADD was just something they invented to make you pay for medicine, but then the second doctor told me I had it.”

From 2003 to 2012, Knowles released Solo Star, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, and True. A wife and mother, Knowles is known throughout the modeling and fashion world and is one of the faces of Rimmel London.

lisa ling

Lisa Ling

Ling, diagnosed at 40, said she always had a hyper-focus on her stories, but not everything around her. She stumbled upon her diagnosis while reporting on it for Our America With Lisa Ling. Ling is host of CNN’s This Is Life With Lisa Ling, with credits including programming on the Oprah Winfrey Network and National Geographic. Also a mother, Ling co-hosted The View from 1999 to 2002.

“My head is kind of spinning, but I feel a little bit of relief because, for so long, I’ve been fighting it and I’ve been so frustrated with this inability to focus,” she said after her diagnosis, captured on Our America.

mary kate olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen

Another actress who went to college, Olsen revealed her ADHD while she was at New York University. “Everybody’s brains work differently and I just need longer for things to register,” she said.

Olsen and sister, Ashley, co-founded several fashion lines, including the luxury brands of The Row and Elizabeth and James. She and her sister’s net worth are a combined $100 million. Shooting to fame during the 90s, their limited liability corporation Dualstar was a branding megahouse for all things Mary-Kate and Ashley.

britney spears

Brittney Spears

Brittney Spears went public with her ADHD in 2012 while filming the X-Factor and cannot take medication. Currently, the singer and actress is finishing out a residency in Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, which began in 2013 and lasts until the fall of 2016. In 2012, Forbes reported that the mother of two was the highest-paid female musician of 2012, earning $58 million.


liv tyler

Liv Tyler

In 2012, Liv Tyler said she meditates to deal with her ADHD. The actress and former child model is the mother of two children and rose to fame starring in Aerosmith music videos (she is Steven Tyler’s daughter). Her most notable movie credits include Empire Records, That Thing You Do!, Armageddon, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Incredible Hulk.

More Famous People With ADHD

As you can see, getting diagnosed with ADHD isn’t the end of the world. In fact, women everywhere are doing amazing things despite their diagnosis.

Other women reportedly with ADHD include:

    • Eva Longoria, Actress of Desperate Housewives fame
    • Joan Rivers, Comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host
    • Avril Lavigne, Singer-songwriter and actress
    • Whoopi Goldberg, Actress, comedian, television host
    • Michelle Rodriguez, Actress, screenwriter and DJ
    • Cher, Singer and actress
    • Suzanne Sommers, Actress, singer, author, businesswoman, and health spokesperson
    • Ellen Page, Actress
    • Paris Hilton, Socialite, businesswoman and TV personality
    • Karina Smirnoff, professional ballroom dancer of Dancing With The Stars fame
    • Cammi Granato, Olympic medalist hockey player

More About ADHD

From 2002 to 2011, ADHD diagnoses in girl increased by 55%, compared to only 40% for boys. If you think you may have ADHD, the only way of really knowing is visiting with a specialist, However, common symptoms include trouble focusing, hyperactive behavior and absentmindedness. Nobody really knows for sure what causes ADHD, but studies have shown that it’s genetic and linked to drinking or smoking during pregnancy, as well as low birth weight, birth complications and fetal exposure to toxic substances such as lead.

Images: Flickr/breezy421, Flickr/shankbone, Flickr/diginmag, Flickr/tradlands, Flickr/greginhollywood, Wikimedia/David Shankbone, Wikimedia/MyCanon, Wikimedia/Toglenn

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