Comedian Rory Bremner has found success in his ability to switch between impersonating many different people.
But behind this comic persona is a man who struggles to focus, loses the thread and takes on too many tasks that can leave his personal and professional life in disarray.
Rory had always put his chaotic lifestyle down to his personality.
However, after a young relation was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, a few years ago, Rory decided to investigate if he too may have the condition.
In a BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘ADHD and me’, he says: “When I think back to my childhood it’s with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment. I was always forgetting things.
“My Mum called me scatty because I could never sit still. But there was no sense I was suffering from a medical condition as such.”
Rory travels to St Catherine’s Hospital on Merseyside to talk to a support group for adults with ADHD.
There he meets Gary, who was only diagnosed in later life when his son was told he had ADHD.
“It frustrates me when my mind wanders…”
But his problems started much earlier in life, at just 18-months-old, when he was found trying to get into cars in his street. ADHD has had an overwhelming impact on Gary’s life.
ADHD expert Professor Eric Taylor from King’s College London explains problems organising and planning ahead which are typical for someone suffering from the condition, as is the tendency to act without thinking about or understanding a situation.
Rory is quick to see the similarities with his own struggles to concentrate and his lack of common sense.
“It frustrates me when my mind wanders and when I end up reading the same words again and again.”
Rhys Sinclair, from East Lothian, was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six years old – but only after his mother, Avril, had convinced their GP to consider the disorder.
He had been regularly misbehaving at school and was often a nightmare to deal with at home.
After trying different approaches, Rhys’s family settled on treating him with medication which helped him focus more.
On completing his investigation, Rory says he understands more about his own ADHD tendencies, what it is like to live with the disorder and how society’s attitudes to it should change.
And finally he realises why he is constantly making lists and setting his watch five minutes fast.
Rory Bremner presents ADHD And Me on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 23 May, 8:00pm – 8:30pm.
This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
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