Is ADHD An Excuse For Bad Behaviour?

The reason why I pose this question, is because today my Facebook and Twitter feed has gone crazy with this article featured in The Sun.

Ant McPartlin has been diagnosed at the age of 43 with ADHD. Yay – welcome to the community!

However, the reason why I pose this question is that my feed has been lampooned by people saying that he is making excuses for getting into a car drunk and was behaving recklessly and is an entitled celebrity. I’m paraphrasing as obviously there were many choice words and lots of fruity language.

The article also spoke about ADHD in terms of mental illness. Now we all know that ADHD is certainly NOT a mental illness. It a neurological condition that affects a child’s ability to think, focus, act, speak, solve problems, organise, form relationships and persevere with a task.

Ant most probably had years of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, speaking out of turn, unable to focus, having unsuccessful relationships and being told that he was wrong, crass, rude and inappropriate. Yes he has known success. But at his core may be feelings of just being out of line with everyone else. These feelings can lead to a trip to the doctor or self-medicating through drink or drugs.

So I’m not excusing his behaviour of driving whilst drunk. I’m understanding that if you’re only diagnosed when you’re 43 the answers to so many troubling questions can play a huge toll on your own identity.

Ant McPartlin just damaged his car. Thankfully no one was hurt.

However if he had been diagnosed as a child and given the right support and advice, then maybe, just maybe he might not be such a troubled soul seeking for answers in a bottle of booze.