In Their Words: Patrick McKenna

Patrick McKenna, an award-winning actor and comedian, reflects on juggling family, work, and life with ADHD.

Patrick McKenna, Comedien, on His ADHD
Patrick McKenna, Comedien, on His ADHD

I spent most of my life trying to hide what I suspected was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). As a child, I was chastised for doing badly at school. I didn’t feel very good about myself.

Still, I’m one of the fortunate ones who came through the tough times. I have a very happy, successful life — my career as an actor and comedian feeds into my ADD/ADHD-fueled needs. I always craved something new and exciting, and all the scripts, characters I played, and bright lights fulfilled that desire.

Some people think an ADD/ADHD diagnosis is the kiss of death. Not me. It was only when I was diagnosed that I recognized how much ADD/ADHD had cost my family and me, like impulsively buying a new car or missing dates. Now that I know I have the condition, I can deal with it.

Many people, unfortunately, believe a lot of myths, especially about ADD/ADHD medication: that you get zombied out, that it takes away your creative nature, that you’re not as funny. Not true. If you ever find that you’re dopey on meds, it’s because you’re overmedicated. In a nutshell, your doctor has done it wrong.

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