Symptoms of ADHD

Could Donald Trump Have ADHD?

On July 25, the American Psychoanalytic Association lifted the decades-long rule that members should not comment on the mental health of public figures. Even before then, some experts had suggested the 45th President demonstrates symptoms of undiagnosed ADHD. Here, we probe the DSM-V and public records looking for answers.

Donald Trump
Photo by Gage Skidmore

If Republicans and Democrats agree on anything, it is this: There has never been a President of the United States quite like Donald J. Trump.

Trump’s brazen, shoot-from-the-hip style appealed to many voters fed up with Washington politics-as-usual. And since his inauguration, Trump has made a show of breaking the rules — shaking up the political establishment with everything from unorthodox decisions to off-the-cuff comments to full-blown international scandals.

As the political maelstrom continues to churn, some pundits have questioned the president’s mental state and wondered aloud whether he has a diagnosable mental health condition. Some ADHD experts, including George Sachs, Psy.D., and Ben Michaelis, Ph.D., posit that Donald Trump might be running the country with undiagnosed ADHD.

[Self-Test: Could You Have Adult ADHD?]

And they’re not alone. Multiple other sources — from Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal, to NATO officials — have cited the President’s short attention span, impulsive tendencies, restless behavior, and daily dopamine fix via Twitter. And the President himself has credited his long-standing distractible nature for his business success, saying in his 2004 book Think Like a Billionaire: “Most successful people have very short attention spans.”

Of course, no one can or should diagnose any mental health condition without a full evaluation, and nothing in Trump’s public medical records indicate he has ever been diagnosed with ADHD. But Trump, age 71, grew up in a time when the ADHD diagnosis was rare. In fact, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM) didn’t recognize the precursor to attention deficit disorder, “kinetic impulse disorder,” until Trump was 22 years old. Yet many observers and close contacts of the now-president believe that behaviors he’s exhibited since childhood — ranging from the impulsive to the inattentive — could indicate underlying attention deficit.

The editors at ADDitude, a 19-year-old publication dedicated to ADHD news and information, are not trained clinicians; we cannot make a diagnosis. Nor would we ask our esteemed scientific advisory board to do so without first conducting a thorough in-person evaluation. Since that is unlikely, we’ve combed through the DSM’s latest ADHD diagnosis guidelines looking for clues and insight.

According to the DSM-V, an individual may qualify for an ADHD diagnosis only if five or more symptoms under one or more of the categories below are present before age 12, are present in more than one setting (i.e. work and home), and “interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.” Read the DSM-V diagnosis criteria below, and make your own judgment of the President’s habits and behaviors.

[Is It ADHD? Use Our Checklist of Common Symptoms]

Inattention

– Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities — Trump is known for making spelling errors in tweets (the confounding “covfefe” is perhaps the most obvious example). He has misspelled “honored” as “honered,” “tap” as “tapp,” and “unprecedented” as “unpresidented” — painting a picture of an impatient typist who doesn’t take the time to proofread the words reaching 34 million followers.

– Has difficulty sustaining attentionJack O’Donnell, a former business associate of Trump’s, said in an interview that if he wanted to run something by Donald, he would do it immediately upon seeing him. Otherwise, he added, “If you hit him too late in the conversation, he might say, ‘Let’s talk about it later’ — and he was gone.”

O’Donnell isn’t the only one who’s noticed Trump’s tendency to get bored quickly. When preparing for Trump’s first NATO meeting earlier this year, organizers encouraged presenters to cut down their speeches to less than four minutes — to better keep the President engaged and less likely to drift off.

[Late Diagnosis: Was ADHD to Blame All Along?]

The magazine Foreign Policy, in its article “NATO Frantically Tries to Trump-Proof President’s First Visit,” quoted one anonymous NATO source who said: “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing.”

– Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly — Early in his presidency, it was revealed that while Trump appeared to be nodding along to remarks given by Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, he was in fact not wearing a translation device in his ear, and thus could not actually be listening.

– Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace — At his transition meeting with former President Barack Obama, Trump “seemed surprised” by the job ahead of him, insider reports said. As of this publishing, he has nominated just 36 percent of cabinet positions in his administration. By comparison, Obama had nominated 78 percent of his cabinet appointees at the same point in his presidency.

Most notably, perhaps, the Trump administration and its allies in the House and Senate have failed in two attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a cornerstone of Trump’s presidential campaign platform.

– Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities — After his Electoral College victory, Trump and his team struggled to organize their personnel and materials for the post-Obama transition. One anonymous advisor told Deadspin that the Trump team lacked a coherent plan to manage the complex White House overhaul. “The best illustration is there were no prepared policy statements or papers,” the advisor said. “Whereas in 2012 Romney’s team had hundreds of pages worth of federal policy transitions planned and written out, Trump’s team had (as of Wednesday) literally no pages.”

– Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort — Trump has asked his staff to keep his daily briefings short, and fill them with “killer graphics” whenever possible. “I like bullets, or I like as little as possible,” Trump said in an interview before his inauguration. “I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.”

– Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli — Trump once paused in the middle of his own speech on infrastructure projects to wave at a passing boat captain. “We’re going to restore America’s industrial might,” he said. “And I look here, and, something, those barges, they’ve been waiting for us to say hello. The captain says please wave. Hello, Captain.”

In March 2017, former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush said of Trump, “He’s a distraction in and of himself. He’s got a lot of work to do, and some of these things — the wiretapping and all of this stuff — is a complete distraction that makes it harder to accomplish the things I know he wants to do.”

Hyperactivity

– Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat — Donald Trump often moves items on tables when he sits down, as late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel realized.

– Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor” — Trump is an avid golfer, and former playing partners have reported that he speeds through courses at a breakneck pace. Sportswriter Rick Reilly, who played a round of golf with Trump over a decade ago, wrote that they completed 18 holes in less than three hours — “and that,” Reilly wrote, included “stopping often to harangue the stonemason, the path paver, and the greenskeeper to redo the bricks, or re-trim a tree, or re-pave a path that is not absolutely, immaculately Trumpalicious.”

– Talks excessively — The President has been known to give long-winded speeches that stray widely from his prepared remarks, though this is hardly a unique trait among politicians. He’s also a habitual tweeter, often going on late-night “Tweetstorms” regarding whatever’s on his mind (or on TV) that day.

Impulsivity

– Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed — Trump often speaks without clearing it with his team, which has led to some scrambling on the part of the White House. He once told the Associated Press that a tax reform plan would be rolled out in the next five days; his aides, however, were unaware of this and had no such intentions. “The reason your head is spinning on this is that the plan isn’t even written yet,” one senior White House official said shortly after Trump’s remarks.

Speaking off the cuff, he has also contradicted statements made by the White House team, as he did when speaking on camera with NBC News anchor Lester Holt about the firing of FBI director James Comey. After Vice President Mike Pence said the firing came at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump said quite the opposite on camera: “I was going to fire Comey — my decision… I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”

– Has difficulty awaiting turn — During a NATO meeting earlier this year, Trump was caught on video shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro in an apparent bid to get to the front of the group of world leaders. On the day of his Inauguration, he was also criticized for leaving behind his wife, Melania Trump, as he eagerly bounded out of their shared limousine.

– Interrupts or intrudes on others — During the debates, Trump repeatedly interrupted or spoke over his adversaries. After his first head-to-head match with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, The New York Times counted 39 interruptions from Trump — compared to just 8 by Clinton.

What Do These Symptoms Mean?

Do the examples above prove that Donald Trump has ADHD? Absolutely not.

Could strategically selected videos and quotes be found to support almost any similar claim against a public figure like Trump? Quite likely.

The fact is: Only a qualified professional with experience evaluating symptoms of ADHD in adults could make that determination following diagnostic interviews, test analysis, and a study of Trump’s family medical history. Without a full medical history and a transparent diagnostic process, we may never know whether Trump has attention deficit or, as others have suggested, BMD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or early signs of dementia.

On July 25, the American Psychoanalytic Association announced that its members were no longer prohibited from speaking about the mental health of public figures such as the President. The magazine Stat wrote this:
The impetus for the email was “belief in the value of psychoanalytic knowledge in explaining human behavior,” said psychoanalytic association past president Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago. “We don’t want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly.”

Still, many experts have criticized the recent trend of “armchair diagnosis,” accusing unqualified pundits of jumping to conclusions without first engaging in a full or accurate evaluation.

In a Huffington Post op-ed titled “Does Trump Have ADHD? My Professional Opinion,” clinical psychologist George Sachs emphasized that these speculations do no one any good. “When it comes to ADHD, many people are quick to assume that they ‘know it when they see it,’” he wrote. “To be sure, certain aspects of ADHD do tend to manifest themselves in pretty obvious ways. However, as a clinician, I recommend that people avoid jumping to quick conclusions, which besides being wrong, often lead us to put people in a box and then wipe our hands of the issue.”

He conceded, however, that “Donald Trump could very well benefit by having an ADHD specialist at his side.”

 

Top image: Gage Skidmore
Inset image: The Hill

48 Related Links

  1. I am similar in age 72, white, successful business entrepreneur, tall 6foot one, and have an education finished by 2 years of academic training by the military at a very young age. While my business risks are not equal to Donalds , my military service at what became known as the airborne, leaving a secure position as a VP of one of the worlds largest brokerage firms to start my own is commonplace today, it was unheard of in the that era. Also my parents were not alive to bail me out if it failed. Other similarities include running at the mouth, an upper 1% IQ and explosive yelling at others. The pecadillos of timeliness and forgetfulness were largely overcome by an assistant who was delegated that responsibility after too many missed client appointments . Three wives completes the similarities. You have probably guessed that i have been diagnosed as ADHD but not until a major depression and my 70th birthday had passed .
    It is never too late and it could be a tremendous relief for this president and any other of my generation to have a “specialist nearby.
    Great suggestion.

  2. I decided months ago that Donald Trump absolutely has ADHD. As the caregiver and parent of a child with, as one teacher put it, “one of the worse cases of ADHD I’ve seen in 20 years” yet who is “high functioning” (I hate that term), quite intelligent and does well in school in all mainstream classes, it is inconceivable to me that Trump does NOT have ADHD. I know Trump because I live with his personality twin. He will always stir up trouble because he loves conflict. You need a license to work in a nail salon or be a security guard. What test do you need to pass to qualify for president? There’s the real issue.

    1. As an ADHDer who served in many positions of authority I believe it is our disregulation that is the scariest part of our makeup. Oddly it was at work that until recently that disregulation was the most controlled part of my environment. Communication was most often handled by typed correspondence until email appeared in the late 80s and that correspondence ran through a gamut of editors before it began its trip to the other. My secretary, my office peer, and even my own.changed opinion. Occasionally my wife who worked with one of our suppliers. That gamut of editorial steps is now missing from all but the presidents son or perhaps all but Twitter. This is the first president who arrived in office after Twitter was established(mainstream).The first who not only could in his own words dictate his thoughts but also transmit them directly to the world without second thought. So would we be having this conversation if the office holder chose not to share this part of himself ?
      Perhaps that is the attraction and the folly of twitter, all statements are on the record.

      1. This is also the first president in the modern era to arrive in office without providing a medical history .. That act of itself will result in many more speculations as to what afflictions that he and perhaps later everyone will suffer from.

  3. Why is this article negative? If Trump does have ADHD, isn’t that an opportunity to encourage someone with ADHD? Even with ADHD, you can become a successful business person and even the President of the United States. I thought encouragement was the mission of ADDitude.

    1. I agree! I am disappointed in ADDitude showing where they stand politically in this article. Using that Trump has not gotten certain things done, which involve a ridiculous Congress on both sides, as an example is quite slanted. What about all the things he has gotten done very quickly. If he never completed anything, how is he so successful? I too, believe he may have ADHD as my son does, but your examples were not valid and showed an obvious slant. I use this as a positive example for my son to say, “look he probably has ADHD, and he is the President of the United States, you can do that too”!

    2. I agree. I am VERY disappointed in this publication. To say negative things about POTUS is bad enough, especially since this publication has NO reason to make ANY political statements. To make negative statements with regard to ADD/ADHD in relation to President Trump is not in keeping with what this publication is SUPPOSED to be about (i.e. making POSITIVE statements and recommendations about the condition) and only serves to make a political statement that doesn’t belong here.

      If ADDitude continues to make such statements, which only serve to insult the POTUS and alienate 50% of their possible audience, I will stop reading and cancel e:mails. If they have something constructive to say, fine, but this is just a negative bully session, which I wouldn’t allow a child to do to anyone with this condition. For adults to do it, especially when they should know better, is disgusting.

    3. Encouragement to what? To do things that you are not able to do well, or that you might do particularly badly under difficult conditions? Not enough attention span, I guess, to think through what harm can be done by a person in a high political position with emotional regulation issues, with a lack of cognitive empathy towards others and towards oneself and with executive functioning problems.

      1. Your reply to my comment is insulting. You don’t know anything about me or my attention span. Comments on a discussion board are conversations, not an opportunity for derision.

        1. I took her response to be about Donald Trump, a person who is “in a high political position with emotional regulation issues, with a lack of cognitive empathy towards others and towards oneself and with executive functioning problems.”

          1. Well,ariadne, I had very much Trump in mind when writing this, but it was neveretheless a general statement about ADHD people. If with regard to emotional regulation, there is less of the narcissistic and choleric element, there might be still quite a lot of irrational anxiety problems, or too much emotional empathy with the immediate (Ivanka to Donald; oh the poor children in Syria! we need to do something about it!) without cognitive empathy for the less immediate (that Assad and his regime might not have done the poison gas attack, the harm missiles do in the medium and long run like nourrishing hate against the US for “their” reckless behavior).

            Take a look at the following passage:

            Christopher Swift, professor of national security studies at Georgetown University, said the most important question was whether the Trump administration’s vision in launching the strikes was “an impulsive one or a strategic one”.

            “It’s not clear to me, yet, whether this administration has thought through the implications of the actions they took this evening,” he told Al Jazeera.

            “If the president has a plan, then it will be interesting to see how that plan comes through. But if he doesn’t, he may have done more harm than good.”

            http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/us-missiles-syria-170407013424492.html

            Then please underline: “impulsive”, “no plan” & “”whether … has thought through”.

            And then compare again against what you know about ADHD.

      2. I believe it can be used to encourage others to perhaps become evaluated or failing that or following a treatment regime to know what part of our everyday psyche is prone to producing our biggest blunders or booboos. If our action is born by gut roiling instinct it might warrant a rethink or even better peer review. I found this to be the one step that even though I didnt know was necessary, my business partner provided and prevented me from sending one of the most cantankerous letters to the president of Blue Cross a major benefits supplier and my wifes boss. The BC president was also the person who had cut through the red tape a few months before and allowed me to be reimbursed for my expenses of a 14 hour emergency operation for cancer at Mayo Clinic 20 years ago that saved my life . The earliest I could have expected treatment from an approved supplier was 2 months later. Not a pleasant thought when you are facing off against metasticized cancer that had already claimed an inch of your lip and a Salivary duct. And being atypically impatient AdHd to boot. My gut reaction was what i was now using far more often . Recognizing it my partner had taken to reviewing my correspondence as it was processed rather than after the fact as we normally did

        On a different tack but one that is often sited in defence of successful business men our success if we really want to be honest is as much if not more due to luck as good management.

        1. Yes, business success depends also on luck. But it depends a lot more on other factors.

          It depends for example on your ability to exploit people: you are good at bullying people into doing something, instead of investing the effort to communicate more. Saves not the employees’ or suppliers nerves, but your time. Or to give you another example: A woman said that she got only puzzlement form Ivanka Trump in a job interview then she mentioned her 2-months-pregnangy and asked for maternity leave. Some people (like Ivanka) need to have a a post-partum depression (note: depression is common in neurodiverse people) in order to understand the sense of a maternity leave. And then with a dumb-ass tough-cookie like Ivanka, people give up much more easily their goal than they would with an empathetic person, because they see that it would take too much effort to make people of the likes of an Ivanka understand even the most basic things (the employee was later involved in the #women who work campaign, said that it was hard to convince Ivanka and was off set when she heart that Ivanka had made a mission out of it in her fathers .

          Or taking high-risks, because you are so bad at assessing the true risks. It is much easier to buy stolen goods, if you don’t get it, or to avoid paying taxes, if you have a low awareness of what the tax office might do to you and your business when they discover that what your tax consultant sold you as a tax saving scheme, but is actually (and would have been for less cognitively challenged people quite obviously so) – a tax fraud. It helps also a lot to have more than average trouble to understand why taxes make basically sense. (and are one of the reasons why countries like Germany are much better off economically than the US.)

          Which brings me to my 3rd point: no decency. No, it is not true,that people always acknowledge the contributions other people made. What is true, though, is that dumb-asses who had a hard time getting the easiest things, have it easier to pass their newly found truths on to other dumb-asses, although it might be less because of their missionary zeal and more because they share the same habitus and feel naturally attracted towards each others. And then there is envy. Terrible envy.

          Point 4: habitus, People sharing the same deficiencies easily connect to one another.

          Point 5: A sound minority complex makes ambitious, and anxiety issues can make people driven, and provide them with the maniac disorder to work much more than normal people would, which realize much better when and by what they are getting exhausted and stop long before getting a depression. (But to whom am I telling that …)

          So here you have them: the ingredientes for the “successful” buisnessman or – woman. (Just depends on how one defines success, doesn’t it?)

          1. This comment shows a decidedly negative bias against business and successful business-persons. A familiarity with what it takes to succeed in business shows that it’s all about relationships and leadership. Most people succeed by forming healthy long-term relationships with other people. Some people use bald authority to run their business and they are not as successful as they could have been. To lead people, they must believe that you have their best interests at heart or that your values and goals match their own and you can get their goals met. People with ADHD can be very good friends to have- and

            http://www.indiebrandbuilder.com/success-business-depends-success-marriage/

            Getting and retaining customers is all about providing real value and a positive experience: http://www.yapstone.com/blog/business-longevity-is-all-about-building-lasting-relationships/

          2. EVA MARTIN

            Yes, business success depends also on luck. But it depends a lot more on other factors.

            It depends for example on your ability to exploit people: you are good at bullying people into doing something, instead of investing the effort to communicate more. Saves not the employees’ or suppliers nerves, but your time. Or to give you another example: woman said that she got only puzzlement form Ivanka Trump in a job interview then she mentioned her 2-months-pregnangy and asked for maternity leave. Some people (like Ivanka) need to have a a post-partum depression (note: depression is common in neurodiverse people) in order to understand the sense of a maternity leave. And then with a dumb-ass tough-cookie like Ivanka, people give up much more easily their goal than they would with an empathetic person, because they see that it would take too much effort to make people of the likes of an Ivanka understand even the most basic things (the employee was later involved in the #women who work campaign, said that it was hard to convince Ivanka and was off set when she heart that Ivanka had made a mission out of it in her fathers .

            Or taking high-risks, because you are so bad at assessing the true risks. It is much easier to buy stolen goods, if you don’t get it, or to avoid paying taxes, if you have a low awareness of what the tax office might do to you and your business when they discover that what your tax consultant sold you as a tax saving scheme, but is actually (and would have been for less cognitively challenged people quite obviously so) – a tax fraud. It helps also a lot to have more than average trouble to understand why taxes make basically sense. (and are one of the reasons why countries like Germany are much better off economically than the US.)

            Which brings me to my 3rd point: no decency. No, it is not true,that people always acknowledge the contributions other people made. What is true, though, is that dumb-asses who had a hard time getting the easiest things, have it easier to pass their newly found truths on to other dumb-asses, although it might be less because of their missionary zeal and more because they share the same habitus and feel naturally attracted towards each others. And then there is envy. Terrible envy.

            Point 4: habitus, People sharing the same deficiencies easily connect to one another.

            Point 5: A sound minority complex makes ambitious, and anxiety issues can make people driven, and provide them with the maniac disorder to work much more than normal people would, which realize much better when and by what they are getting exhausted and stop long before getting a depression. (But to whom am I telling that …)

            So here you have them: the ingredientes for the “successful” buisnessman or – woman. (Just depends on how one defines success, doesn’t it?)

            DONSENSE
            I am afraid you are correct in the definition of todays success, taking advantage of, manipulating the price of , would seem to be pre qualifiers for that kind of success. My success and i left the corporate workforce 12 years ago was not in that realm. More on it later. My bullying while in business usully consisted of hammering service providers insurance providers, Blue Cross , Investmant companies and trust companies and claims adjudication orgs with facts that they so conveniently forgot, and promises that they had made both verbally and in writing. On behalf of my clients and their employees and families. My unique skill at the time was a photographic memory preceding computer searches and file systems. I Could not only remember the correspondence but also the reasons proffered for doing it that way. Coupled with a savant like skill with numbers that i have largely retained to this day. There was seldom anything better than thrashing someone or organization with their own words paricularly loud enough for their staff and or boss to hear. It was why i had been seconded to the strategic planning committee of a major Mid West Insurer. Although they were over populated with. B comm Actuarial grads and i was already replacing two other staff members whose work i was expected to continue to perform. My most attractive skilll was locating and or or manipulating Data that would measure the market size and opportunity value of moving into a new country with certain products. Their research assistant to date had failed to find such info Somewhat embarassing from some who had «some Highschool » in truth a complete Grade 9.

        2. Two additional facts that perhaps makes many of our arguments mute one important If POTUS did not want us to speculate he might have released his medical records like all those other Modern day presidents . Some of the very conditions “….path…” we most fear have already been mentioned and I am sure there are many more.
          And 2, my depression occurred 10 years after I retired a very common co with ADHD.
          Now if there are any more records you wish to be availed of I will comply, Which is really the answer we need from someone we trust to press the nuclear button.in the next few hours days weeks or months.

  4. Surely appears that he does. Thought that since early in the campaigning. Really hope he’ll get diagnosed and accept coaching. He could be so much more effective.

  5. I don’t think it’s ADD. He seems to show all the classic manifestations of Narcissistic Borderline Personality Disorder.

    1. It could be both.
      I agree that he shows the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and that affects his behaviour more than ADHD would.

    2. Why do either of you come to this site? I have to assume you have ADHD or know someone who does. If that is the case, you should know the way the uninformed can bully those with the condition. Why, then, would you do that to another person? Is that the example you set for your ADHD child? Is that the behavior you want ANY child to practice toward others?

      I’m sure you are having fun playing armchair analyst, but understand that your behavior is no different than that of the kids who bully your child on the playground.

  6. ADD is a gift and I’m a specialist in ADD and have 3 ADD brothers who are all different. Famous people like Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Charles Schwab, Ty Bennington, Robin Williams, are all brilliant people, and many more people we all know in the entertainment field, are all very successful. They’re our creators!

    They have gifts others do not. Everyone wants to put a label on Trump because he’s doing things differently that aren’t politically correct; and I believe that just because everything has been “politically correct” for decades, our country is in a mess! Trump is new in his office, so I think he should be given a fair chance. But people keep putting roadblocks in front of him.

    He’s a successful businessman, so he must have done a lot of things right to get where he is. If anyone is perfect, let me know. Perfection is in the eyes of the beholder, and people have to be aware of that. How many politicians have you known that have been attacked as much as Trump about who they are?

    There’s something wrong and people are afraid to change and that scares some people, so they attack. Or they feel so comfortable in their job even if they do a horrible job and aren’t accountable, and it’s costing taxpayers dearly. Politicians don’t have a free ride. The government employees forget who they work for and who pays their salaries–the people.

    If Trump is so bad, I keep asking myself, why did the PEOPLE elect him? Because they wanted CHANGE. It’s the politicians who have the problem because they’ve been on “easy street” and weren’t accountable. Now they’re going to have to be accountable and they don’t like it.

    P.S. There are bad spellers out there, but Trump could have pushed the button before he checked his spelling and tweeted. I know I’ve done it myself. That doesn’t mean he’s incompetent.

  7. Trump may well have ADHD. But looking at him right now, it also seems like he’s in the early stages of some form of dementia. He has trouble with words, he forgets what he’s talking about and the video clip that showed him heading to his car and then moving off in another direction and needing to be redirected has many people suggesting that he’s sundowning. His father was also diagnosed with Alzheimers before he died.

    If Trump does have the start of a dementia, I think this article is irresponsible. It’s a much more serious condition for the president of the U.S. to have than ADHD.

    1. Oops And here the experts called me combined ADHD . Had a client fire me once who I stood up for lunch not once but twice. On one occasion, my brother arrived unexpectedly from Out of town and I forgot the luncheon appointment and off i went with him. The other was a typical as I kept wotking through lunch on a report due the following day, oblivious to time passing. Three of my ex- wives can vouch for similar events if the circumstances were exciting enough and I was late. And ronically these events occurred in my twenties, thirties and forties . Then I was fortunate enough to delegate all my time related reminders to my assistant. Worked extremely well until my retirement at 60.
      As to the other pecadillos ….guilty as charged….

  8. While I hate armchair analysts, as they typically have an agenda, and I hate the attacks on Trump (even though I didn’t vote for him), I have thought for over a year that he must have ADD. For all the reasons you mention, plus his inability to see how others perceive him.

  9. Not that we would wish it but if a major catastrophe should occur and the nation needs a wartime leader and trump is ADHD he would prove the adage that we are at our best in those types of roles. Not for naught that they referred to its root cause was the warrior gene.

    1. JFK most likely had ADHD and he was a great leader. ADHD isn’t the problem.

      The problem with Donald Trump is not that he has ADHD, which he may well have, but that he is the most divisive leader the US has had since the Civil War. Not just African-Americans or immigrants but people like me whose family fought against the Nazis. I can’t remember the last time there were anti-government protests of this size with this many different groups of people. And the US is no longer the “leader of the free world”. That’s been taken by Angela Merkel while China is taking on the environmental leadership role.

      Trump hasn’t been able to get a single piece of legislation passed even though both Congress and the Senate have Republican majorities. Anything he’s done has been an executive order because he hasn’t been able to make a single deal with his elected officials even though they are of his party.

      I wish we would stop talking about whether Trump has ADHD and use it to excuse things he does and instead look at the results of his actions. ADHD is a minor part of who he is.
      I’m honestly terrified that he and Kim Jong Un are going to get into a pissing match that takes the world into a nuclear war.

      1. Maybe you should consider why you think it is appropriate to air your political opinion on this site. I sure don’t come here to hear your politics or those of the editors of this site.

        This article has no business on this site. It has given too many people incentive to vent their disappointment in the election results by behaving like schoolyard bullies. I would have expected better of those who have had to cope with bullies. It’s very disappointing.

        1. I agree that this article should never have been put on this site. I’ve said so earlier.
          However, I was very careful not to give my opinion but to state facts, or what used to be known as facts before “alternative facts” were introduced by this administration.

          You say you are in your sixties. Do you remember a time when not only across the US but in cities of America allies all over the world millions of people marched against the decisions of the president? Can you name one piece of legislation (not an order in council) that Trump has passed in the almost nine moths he has been president? England, France and Germany are opposing Trump’s decisions on the Iran nuclear agreement, Canada and Mexico oppose what the US Chamber of Commerce refers to as “”unnecessary and unacceptable …, -pill proposals” for NAFTA, and 92 countries disagree with Trump leaving the Paris Accord. Are you arguing that the US is still the leader of the free world? Because no foreign government is following him.

          According the the doomsday clock, we have never been this close to a nuclear war. It was moved it ahead based on Trump telling them he wants the US to have ten times as many nuclear weapons as it currently has.

          Don’t take this discussion personally. It’s not about the people on this board, it’s about the man in the White House.

          I have two degrees in clinical psychology and years of experience as a therapist. I also have ADHD. It is my opinion, not from an armchair, that whether Trump has ADHD or not is a minor issue. It is his Narcissistic Personality Disorder that is causing the increasingly divided debate.

          1. An underlying disorder is important, too, as it has a bigger impact on how problems are handled. Then the fact is: it is much easier to develop a narcissistic personality disorder, if someone has an underlying condition such as autism spectrum or ADD/ADHD. 1st because of the emotional regulation problems, 2nd because of the bullying that very likely took place in the childhood, 3rd because of the parents that tend to be neurodiverse, too, and to have more to far more parenting issues than neurotypic parents (partly because of their neurodiversity as such, and mainly for secondary issues that are likely to co-exist).

            Please retain: it is much, much, MUCH easier to develop a narcissistic personality disorder!

            Then: if a person with cognitive problems aspires to such a high political position, there is always strong narcissism involved. So talking about the first disorder includes somehow the second. (In particular when neurotypics talk, for them Trump’s narcissism is so blatantly obvious that there is no need to talk about it.)

  10. I was disappointed in the negative spin on President Trump. Not only is he a controversial figure, but he is viewed negatively by even many of his supporters. I felt the article shows a negative view of ADHD on the part of the editors of ADDitude and I was disappointed in that. Apparently, for ADDitude personnel, ADHD is a disorder and disqualifies us from public service.

  11. If that were true we would have to conclude that these people as well, who were assessed from afar, zwould not be suitable as they too were assessed with ADHD
    Jack Kennedy, Winston Churchhill, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, pablo Picasso, Galileo, Steve Jobs (apple) thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and those who have stated publicly that they have it Bill Gates Microsoft founder, Richard Branson Virgin Air, charles Neeleman Jet Blue, Justin Timberlake, Howie Mandel, Jim Carey, and this list goes on into every walk of life.
    Ironically this week additude published the news of a study on white matter in the Brains of children with ADHD, Autism, or Normal and discovered there is a significant lesser size of the corpus callosum in those who were normal than those who are Autistic and or Adhd. This is the part of the brain that controls communication between the spheres. In the brain of the late Albert Einstein that has been examined and analized , his Corpus Callosum was also enlarged with many more connective routes between the hemispheres.
    Something we share with Left handers and in particularly with those who are ambidextrous.

    1. Why “ironically”, donsense? Brain (over)growth can also be due to an excess of activity in order to try – more or less
      successfully – to compensate for an underlying lack of functionality. And then, just to challenge a bit your feeling of superiority: the matter, once created, and when not used for complex tasks like evaluating situational aspects of communication and building up a cognitive empathy, could be used for cognitively less challenging tasks like thinking about or creating physical objects (preferably in close collaboration with an “assistant” such as Einstein’s first wife Mileva Marić, who had the same study interests, with whom he discussed “OUR theory” and “OUR work on the relativity movement” and whose name had been on the manuscripts of 3 articles published in the so-called miracle year 1905). However, just because a talent is rare, it should not necessarily be considered as being superior to a more common talent.
      Plus: Common sense is unfortunately not THAT common.
      E.g.my common sense tells me that military leaders are bad advisors, while your’s donsense, makes you think the opposite. It is simply because you like military people, because they are as comfortable with bullying as you are/were. And military IS instituionalized bullying, as very hierarchical rigid order systems always are (follow even if it s completely nonsense,or get dissed).
      By the way: are you aware of the high rate of children with autism in the military personnel and what this means for their parents with regard to Broader Phenoptye of Autism /Asperger personality type?
      If common sense was more common, neurotypic people could focus more on object-related interests instead of the people-related interests they consider of more interest for the humanity as a whole, and who knows what kind of skills they could develop then.
      One common sense truth is: cognitively challenged people (or put: people with developmental disorders, emotional regulation problems, low cognitive empathy) should DEFINITELY have MUCH less power than they currently have and aspire to have. They should be the ones to assist the others, and NOT the other way around !

      1. For some reason i missed your reply. Perhaps The Irony in that article is that it discovered there is less not more white matter while many of those I mention elsewhere who have been judged ADHD by historians and others to have had far more white matter and in fact Einstein did.
        We agree completely on your assessment of military role models. I too having had first hand experience of the breed echo your comments. Perhaps i have had too much music in my life but in all other aspects except perhaps income I can usually be found scraping the bottom tier. As such, empathy once i recognized the cause for it (unfortunately also somewhat like Donald) is something I have had to much of. To put it succinctly I have three very comfortably well off ex wives from their time spent with me while I survive on minimum wage income. Must have come from that superiority complex that felt I could always go out and earn more or having grown up the youngest of 12 siblings in a blue collar family i could comfortably live on far less. As i said, too much empathy, giving to charities and my church this year where I am a gopher and choir member 15% of my income .
        You will also find if you look at anything written by me me that I have praised in fact given all the credit to anything I achieved to those who are the real achievers. I also agree with you as to the value of IQ equating it to being part of the 200 score that we all have , The Sum of IQ and EQ . I trust by your use of words I had to check the meaning of means that you also have an EQ in the thirties.

        1. Cognitive empathy versus emotional empathy. Many neurodiverse people feel overwhelmed by the latter. At least if it is easy enough for them to understand that somebody is suffering (the others, with the more complicated matters, get unfortunately much less of their attention). This (together with certain life experiences) might lead to a variety of reactions such as being sometimes generous to the fault and sometimes particularly tough, believing animals to deserve much more care than human beings, or hardening oneself excessively against the flood of feelings.

  12. I know one of the letters in ADHD represents the word disorder, but I think it’s just a different type of person. But either way, this article reinforces an unnecessarily negative stereotype of ADHD and I find that frustrating. I don’t care so much if the authors and editors want to bash President Trump, but please don’t do it by throwing all of us under a bus.

    1. I would really like you to elaborate a bit on “unnecessarily negative stereotypes”, on in particular on negative stereotypes (versus “uncomfortable truths”) and on “unnecessarily”.

      I mean: there are negative aspects to all kinds of people. As a baby you depend strongly on others, you cannot talk, and you have severe deficits compared to an adult. Or as a 90 year old person you most probably have some problems with moving around or dancing compared to most 30 year-olds, and your brain is not working as well as it used to, either. As a neurotypic you might have a bad memory for details (compared to some autistic people for sure), no good visualization skills and you are neither good at playing the piano at sight nor at improvising freely. I understand that this can be quite frustrating at times (in particular if you had piano lessons for 10 years, believe me). But there is nothing to do about it: It is just dull facts.

      1. Everyone looses their mind when it comes to our president. No matter where we are on the gradient from inexhaustible, mindless hatred – to – bottomless, mindless worship, he’s not exactly the person I would choose to represent our type of person (ADHD) to the world. By putting this article up, which has a decidedly negative spin, ADDitude has alienated Trump’s supporters, who could have received benefit from the resources found here. And for those who despise our President, ADDitude has identified the Hunter Type (ADHD) with a person (and a topic) who is actually breaking up marriages, causing family members to stop speaking to one another and poisoning Facebook with politics. It was a thoughtless move on ADDitudes part.

      2. Now that I’ve emphasized my most important point, I have observed that just the acronym ADHD is enough to make some neuro-typical people uncomfortable.

        But lets look at the research data:

        From the National Institutes for Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information:
        “…patients suffering from ADHD are at high risk to be confronted with stigma, prejudices, and discrimination. A review of the empirical research in the field of ADHD with regard to stigma was performed. The findings of investigations in this field were clustered in different categories, including stigma in children with ADHD, stigma in adults with ADHD, stigma in relatives or in people close to a patient with ADHD, and the influence of stigma on authorities’ attitudes toward patients with ADHD. …public’s perceived dangerousness of individuals with ADHD…”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430836/

        Here’s from a specific study:

        “Participants exhibit significantly less desire to engage with those with ADHD (as compared to both [control groups]). …Conclusion: It is suggested that fairly subtle, negative bias toward ADHD contributes to rejection of individuals with the disorder, particularly in academic and work settings.”
        “Social Appraisal of Adult ADHD: Stigma and Influences of the Beholder’s Big Five Personality Traits”, in the Journal of Attention Disorders, vol. 11, no.6, May, 2008.
        https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Will_Canu/publication/5911485_Social_Appraisal_of_Adult_ADHD_Stigma_and_Influences_of_the_Beholder%27s_Big_Five_Personality_Traits/links/0fcfd5100639d5a441000000/Social-Appraisal-of-Adult-ADHD-Stigma-and-Influences-of-the-Beholders-Big-Five-Personality-Traits.pdf

      3. It doesn’t have to be this way. Seeing it as a ‘disorder’ contributes to the negative stereotype. Instead of being seen as ADHD and Neruo-typical, we could start viewing it as: the Hunter Type versus the Farmer Type. It’s possible that the term ‘Hunter’ might have negative associations for some people, depending on their upbringing, culture, values and politics. But I think it’s much less negative than the ADHD term.

        http://www.drummerandthegreatmountain.com/hunter-type
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_hypothesis

      4. Eva, my answering comment is still awaiting moderation for some reason, although I have not attacked anyone or used foul language.

  13. I love Additude as it is usually full of information validation and support. But this article made my blood boil. The majority of ADHDers I’ve met in the many years since my daughter was diagnosed are insightful creative intelligent and have empathy. Trump has none of these

    I’ve now been a a Domestic Violence Advocate for close to 13 years and it’s my opinion and belief Trump is a Sociopath. Check the symptoms, he’s got them all and then some. It’s insulting to even conflate that man’s behavior with ADHD

    1. What utter, unmitigated nonsense.

      If you feel the need to attack anyone, you should find another forum for it. If you want to act like an ignorant bully, feel free, but take your disgusting and uneducated comments elsewhere. Being a DVA does NOT qualify you to diagnose ANYONE. What is insulting is dragging your political opinions into this. That has no place here.

      If you behave in your workplace the way you have here, you have no business doing the job you have. You obviously can’t keep you political bias from coloring your reason. I pity your clients.

      1. This reply proves my point. ADDitude is unnecessarily causing trouble for itself by attempting to identify us Hunter Types with a very polarizing figure.

  14. Batyah you may have a point about empathy, i am not an expert but have passed through many similar life experiences.
    Do I wish I had expertise and treatment long before my 70 th birthday …believe it.
    Have I gained since that expertise and treatment was made available… absolutely.
    Have I become more empathetic …in some ways yes as a result of reading about mindfulness. Charitable leadership and giving and personal non financial helping in any way I could has always been part of my lifes purpose.
    But was I a bully yes …vocally in particular and in my case it is why I sold my business and retired. Bullying suppliers of your clients by yelling at them is a recipe for disaster in my business and I was very fortunate to recognize this and seek a solution.
    So if and that is a big if, he has ADD l believe he would benefit from having an expert in some ways near him,
    He has definitely made a change in those nearest him with many of his advisors. Some of those appear to be ones he holds in highest regards. Military leaders.

  15. Well that explains everything!!! Okay he isn’t very diplomatic but at least he tries. He definitely needs a staff that will pick up what he can’t or doesn’t do well. This article isn’t a political slam against the president just an observation. People need not to read too much into this article.

  16. I would STILL like you to elaborate a bit on “unnecessarily negative stereotypes”, and in particular on negative stereotypes (versus “uncomfortable truths”) and on “unnecessarily”.

    Then I don’t think that I am not any of those extremists you mentioned: I neither hate Trump nor do I worship him. Although I do see the risks with a personality of his, and fear them, I manage to stay reasonable, and not let my fear overcome me. People with emotional regulation problems might have more trouble with keeping their anxiety in check,and I might remind you that neurodiverse people tend to have such emotional regulation issues much more than neurotypics do, and that certain negative historic events, like for example the holocaust, are seen by some historians as anxiety on both sides of the political spectrum spiralling up. As for the Trump government, this risk also partly materialized, e.g. when Donald Trump launched the missiles on Syria after the poisonous gas attacks that the Assad government might well have not been responsible for, I have to admit that I did have a fit of rage against him that you if you had overheard it, would have interpreted as hate.

    As for why it is legitimate to express one’s anger,necessary for neurotypics to do it more, and that the others (those that tend to get anxiety issues more easily) need to learn to better stand that anger, I would like to refer you to my comments in the comment section of this post: https://failuretolisten.com/2017/07/25/i-am-so-fucking-sick-of-this-world/

    I think if the advise given there concerning anger, also with regard to neurodiversity, by me and others (Gandhi,concentration camp survivor and resistance fighter Stephane Hessel, LINUX developper Linus Torvald), would be followed more, we would get a much more rational discussion and a much better composition of government where people are aware of each others strength and weaknesses. All in all, there are far too many neurodiverse people in power positions or aspiring to have some power, that they should be made more aware why this over-representation is bad, and that neurotypic people need to live up to their responsibility. Only than humanity as a whole will change to the better.

Comments are closed.