A Hollywood Writer on Life with ADHD

Frank South, who wrestled with attention deficit disorder since childhood, spills everything he’s learned about himself, the unaccepting world, and his ADHD brethren.

Always Have Someone in Your Corner

As a TV producer, I had to write 10 scripts to start the season. I had dry-marker calendars on my office wall that covered four months’ time. I had binders for each show, and each binder had color-coded dividers. I had a post-production binder, a casting binder. And on and on.

Whether we know we have it or not, ADHD makes us leery of surprises -- because every day seems to be changing around all the time. So, in stressful situations, we become very fond of routine. Unaware of my ADHD at the time, I also self-medicated with mega-doses of caffeine. I washed down No-Doz with a zillion Diet Cokes, which I do not recommend, unless you’re fond of chewing off your lips.

None of this would have done a thing to help me if it hadn’t been for Kristy, my calm, organized, and intuitive assistant. She kept my rickety plans and structures from collapsing and, more important, was a nonjudgmental friend. Neither Kristy nor my wife, Margaret, ever acted as if my eccentric behavior was anything but normal.

Next: My Recipe for Living with ADHD

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