Celebrities open up about ADHD, and how it led to success


(NewsNation) — ADHD, attention-deficit and hyper-activity disorder, affects more than 7 million U.S. children and 23 million adults.

And that number is only rising post-pandemic.

The Disruptors,” a documentary on ADHD, spotlights celebrities who attribute much of their success to their “special skills.”

The film features successful names including Will.i.am, Paris Hilton, Scott Kelly (Hall of Fame astronaut), Ty Pennington, David Neeleman (JetBlue founder), Michelle Carter (three-time Olympian), Steve Madden, Jillian Michaels, Terry Bradshaw and Tim Armstrong (former CEO of America Online).

“The Disruptors” Emmy-nominated producer Nancy Armstrong, says it’s a film she desperately needed.

“Parenting a child with ADHD can just be incredibly challenging and overwhelming. And the biggest problem around ADHD right now, is we’re still figuring out what it is,” Armstrong said during an appearance Thursday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

Ty Pennington also spoke out on “Banfield” to share how his ADHD became his superpower, once he was diagnosed.

“There’s definitely this lack of confidence that can really, like, derail your life,” Pennington said.

“A lot of parents would come up to me and just be, like, ‘Oh my God, you remind me so much of my child, but like you’re somehow successful,’ and I was like, ‘Well, I mean, I found an outlet,'” Pennington added.

Pennington says his mom used to say that listening to him was like “trying to drink from a fire hydrant” and that he still struggles to this day.

It wasn’t until after he was diagnosed and medicated that he could identify his strength in creativity.

ADHD certainly needs to be managed, Armstrong said. But finding the right path in life to amplify your skills could be a big asset to success.

“People with ADHD are really creative, like Ty. They’re very curious. They’re not risk averse. So they take plenty of swings at big opportunities and they see opportunities that other people don’t see,” Armstrong added.

A person with ADHD can connect dots that other people might not think to connect. Additionally, they have the ability to hyper focus, so they can shut out distractions and dive deep into a particular topic.

“Those are huge superpowers that are not really appreciated, you know, in a K-through-12 environment,” Armstrong added.

The Disruptors is available on Apple TV, Vudu TVOD and Google Play.

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