Success Story – Howie Mandel

October 14, 2010

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** Please help me shine a light on the other side of a condition so often stigmatized by negativity. Share this ADHD Success Story with those around you to help them understand how ADHD can inspire great change, innovation and talent in the world! 🙂

Excerpt from ADDitude Magazine  (article by Kay Marner) :

In our recent interview, Howie Mandel spoke passionately and articulately about the stigma attached to having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or any condition that falls into the whole “mental health” category.

Here’s what he had to say:

“I wasn’t an easy child. My behavior in school and at home was not to be applauded. But my parents were incredibly supportive. I don’t have a high school diploma, and I’m sure that’s not a source of pride for them, but I never felt any less loved and supported by them than I would have had I gone on to higher education. I didn’t finish high school because I am, and always was, incredibly impulsive. It’s really hard for me to focus and listen for any length of time; to sit for any length of time. I spent more time in the principal’s office than in the classroom.

One of my last pranks was, I didn’t want to go swimming, so — this was years before Caddy Shack came out — I threw a candy bar in the pool, and you can imagine what that looked like. After the whole school was gathered around trying to figure out who defecated in the pool, I dived in and came up with it in my mouth. I thought it was funny at the time, but the administration didn’t.”

“After I impulsively revealed that I have OCD on a talk show, I was devastated. But when I eventually emerged into public that day, I was approached by all kinds of people saying, ‘Me too.’ Those were two of the most comforting words I’ve ever heard. Whatever you deal with in life, you’re overwhelmed with feelings of being alone. Well, you’re not, and I wasn’t from that day forward.

“Now, I’m a big proponent of mental health awareness. I don’t think there’s anyone alive who doesn’t have issues, whether its relationship issues, job stress, or something else. We take care of our dental health, but not our mental health. We go to the dentist for x-rays when there’s no issue — when we feel perfect. But we don’t get a mental health check-up, because there’s a stigma involved.

It’s easy for someone in a big corporate arena to get up and say, ‘Hey, I have to go to the dentist, but it’s hard to get up and say I’m going to a psychiatrist or a therapist.’ “And, take health insurance — they pay a bigger percentage for a diagnosed physiological problem than a psychological one — that alone tells you that there is a stigma.

Being open about it in articles like this, and in my book, may chip away at it, but the stigma is certainly very strong, and still there.”

Click on the link below for the full article by Kay Marner, by ADDitude Magazine.

Howie Mandel At School

Enjoy! 🙂

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