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Channing Tatum talks alcoholism and obesity: ADHD drugs made him depressed

Channing Tatum reveals dad's obesity: Was medicated for ADHD as child
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Channing Tatum is a Hollywood A-lister with a sizzling career, but joked that he's a highly functioning alcoholic with a sweet tooth who loves the reality weight loss competition, "The Biggest Loser."

The athletic 6-foot-1 Tatum said he's 25 to 30 pounds over his ideal weight of 180 pounds but can't help it because he really loves food and alcohol so much.

"I probably drink too much," Channing told GQ. "I'm probably a pretty high-functioning alcoholic. I equate [drinking] to creativity, and I definitely equate it to having a good time."

The rugged Channing was named the Sexiest Man Alive in 2012, but said he inherited his dad's huge appetite and tendency to gain weight. "My dad was 370 pounds at one point," he said. "I definitely have that.

"I enjoy eating whatever the hell I like. I can completely lose myself in absolutely satisfying things: a really amazing cheeseburger, a pizza, good fries, a beer. It's a big thing for me, just having the freedom to be able to do that. I just love cake, confetti cake, to be specific."

Surprisingly, Tatum said one of his guilty pleasures is watching "The Biggest Loser," mainly because he can relate to the obese contestants he sees on the show. "I really do love it," he said. "I really think it's because I have an inner fat kid in me. Right now, I am very fappy [fat and happy]."

Childhood ADHD Drugs Made Me Depressed and Suicidal

Channing is a new dad, but has already set down a few ground rules for how he'll raise his daughter Everly (with wife Jenna Dewan Tatum). Channing has dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder) and took prescription drugs as a child to cope with his learning disabilities. He says he'll never put his daughter on drugs if she winds up with the same disorders.

“I truly believe some people need medication; I did not," Channing told Vanity Fair. "I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall — it’s like any other drug. It’s like coke or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works."

Channing, 34, said he experienced severe depression and emotional distress as he built up a tolerance for his ADHD medication and the drugs became progressively less effective.

"For a time, it would work well, then it worked less and my pain was more," Tatum recalled. "I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.”

Channing said his father put him on the drugs to help him do better academically. Tatum's dyslexia makes reading extremely difficult, but he has learned to manage his learning disabilities.

“I read so slow,” he said. “If I have a script I’m going to read it five times slower than any other actor, but I’ll be able to tell you everything in it. It kills me that there are standardized tests geared towards just one kind of child.”

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD are lifelong conditions that children don't simply "outgrow," said Dr. Edward Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the condition and live happy, successful lives.

Channing isn't the only celebrity who struggles with ADHD. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, actor Justin Theroux (Jennifer Aniston's fiance), singer Adam Levine, and actress Jennifer Lawrence all revealed they were medicated as children for ADHD.

Phelps began swimming at age 9 to manage his ADHD. He revealed how he overcame his early struggles with his drive and unparalleled work ethic in his memoir, No Limits: The Will to Succeed.

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