Characters with ADHD

#1

So I’m very interested in character analysis and representation of not only people of color, but also different personalities that don’t get to be seen a lot, disabilities, cultures, neuroatypical, ect ect ect.

All of it’s really neat to me, but I wanted to know if any of you could think of any well written characters with ADHD.
I know some exist, but I can’t really think of any off the top of my head. If I do see ADHD characters I tend to see primarily hyperactive or combined type.
I have Innattentive type ADHD and wanted to make this topic for general discussion about how media perceives ADHD, any theories about certain characters having ADHD (and your reasons for theorizing), or if any of you are currently writing characters with ADHD.

I’d love to discuss this with you guys :smiley:

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#2

All I can think of is Nigahiga and I’m not sure he counts xD.

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#3

I remember someone telling me about a book where the ancient Greek gods were a thing in modern day life and their demigod children all had some form of neurodiversity and they were ‘the desired form’ of humans. I’ll have to ask her what the title of that book is though!

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#4

Oh! Percy Jackson!

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#5

That may very well be it! I’ll ask her when I see her next week, maybe there’s more stuff like it :man_shrugging:

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#6

From my own reading experiences, I only know the Percy Jackson characters (who are all a variety of POC, queer, etc in later books)

There’s a list of characters represented in TV/Books/Films (and also celebrities) etc here but I don’t know how updated that is.

Whilst not canonly confirmed… I think characters like Jake Peralta (B99), and Lance (Voltron), are pretty good representation of hyperactive and combined type ADHD respectively. Or at least, I relate to them a whole lot with my own personal experiences!

But I can’t say i’ve come across character that seem more inattentive.

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#7

You’re right, hyperactive ADHD is easier to spot because a) you can do more with it in a story and b) isn’t it always?

That list @Toffle linked to mentions Bart Simpson. I briefly thought of him, too, but wasn’t sure. It might run in the family, though, on Homer’s side.

The Doctor maybe? He’s often all over the place with his thought processes, has trouble focussing but when he does he does big time. Then again, he doesn’t have a human brain so he may be a totally neurotypical Timelord.

One of my favortite comic book heroines, Bandette, may qualify as the hyperactive type. She usually does have a plan, though, even though it hardly ever seems like it. It’s just that there are lots of detours and talking during a fight about where her adversary got that cape from and so many candy bars.

Tony Stark, especially the movie version. I just can’t decide if he’s hyperactive, too, or just inattentive.

I just started rewatching HUSTLE and, actually just today, thought Danny might be a bit ADD.
Maybe The Peanuts’ Lucy? I’m not sure, she might just be a brat. Schroeder, on the other hand, sure knows how to hyperfocus.
Hmmm… Krazy Kat? I don’t know…
Maybe Goofy, when he’s well-written. Which he isn’t usually.
In francobelgian comics, there’s Rantanplan, the dog that sometimes follows Lucky Luke. (Rantanplan is actually a pun. It means Rends ton plan - get your act together.)

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#8

Justin timberlake had ADHD

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#9

I can’t think of any off hand. I wouldn’t expect it to be all that common. Someone who can’t focus is going to be a hard person to drive a plot forward.

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#10

I think some of the Doctor’s regenerations show a lot of ADHD traits (the Fourth and Eleventh immediately come to mind). I think Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother actually says he was diagnosed with it. I think Shawn Spencer shows a lot of ADHD traits (impulsivity, creative thinking, mood swings, sensitivity to his environment and ability to hyperfocus on things).

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#11

There is research that says Albert Einstein was autistic, but I think he was an adhd brain.

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#12

Hi, I’m a hobby writer and TOTALLY also a sucker for some good character development
I have several theories (since I am a tv show junkie) but instead, this might be more practical;


Hope you like lists :slight_smile:

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#13

Totally forgot one of the most important characters! Here’s an article discussing if Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes has ADHD. He sure has a lot of the traits, although Watterson never made it canon either way.

(There’s one strip making the rounds in social media where Calvin gets his meds and lives on in a boring existence where Hobbes is a mere stuffed toy, but that one’s most definitely fake.)

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#14

Oh my gosh, I was so obsessed with that series. I have no idea why I didn’t even think of it! ALSO, I remembered another book/book series for younger kids that dealt with ADHD. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. I’m not sure how popular it is though, I enjoyed it when I was younger though! Has anyone else read it before? Think back to around 3rd-5th grade books.

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#15

Not necessarily! Characters at least in a fantasy setting will have a lot of stimulation in narrowing and dangerous adventures and therefore could get distracted from time to time, but not have a problem with pulling a story. I’m very interested in seeing an Inattentive ADHD protagonist who isn’t explicitly stated perhaps, but has rejection sensitivity, or trouble communicating, or just has any of the struggles that neuroatypical ADHD brains have to go through, but also how it helps them.

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#16

My protagonist of my web comic in progress is Innattentive but I do kinda wish I could relate to more characters :sweat_smile:

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#17

I’ve never thought about the doctor, but I can see that!

The Goofy Movies tend to come to mind. Those were pretty great, otherwise I agree, not a huge fan of Goofy.

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#18

I love lists!! :'D

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#19

The thing is, when a protagonist gets distracted for no apparent ( = plausible also to non-brains) reason it feels like lazy storytelling. Especially when it’s done to drive a side plot or derive conflict out of nothing. A hyperactive brain can explore several paths for a problem’s solution and drive a story, an inattentive one may actually hinder it by not engaging enough. Not saying it’s impossible. I guess it partly depends on what the brain n question is engaging with instead of what they should.

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#20

It’s so frustrating! I love Goofy as a character in general - when he’s naive but not stupid, following his own trains of thoughts rather than not thinking at all, when he uses his unique logic to come up with the one clue that helps solve a problem even if it takes Mickey to translate that into usable knowledge. More often than not, he’s portrayed as a mere village idiot.

I remember one story where he’s the only one in town to withstand a villain’s media-induced brain washing because he found alternate uses for his TV, radio and newspaper: He doesn’t want to spoil the fun for the kids who keep shooting rocks at his TV antenna, he turned his radio into a piggy bank, and he uses his newspaper to fix the window. That’s the Goofy I want to read about.

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