Justin Theroux, the fiancé of actress Jennifer Aniston, is a successful actor and writer, but says his childhood was marred by his struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Like other ADHD kids, Theroux had trouble sitting still, focusing and concentrating, causing his teachers and peers to think he was unruly and stupid.
“That’s still my least favorite thing to hear: Someone saying, ‘Don’t be stupid,’ ” Theroux told GQ. “I could not keep my mind on one task."
It was like trying to bite down on a tennis ball. The toe starts tapping, your hand moves, and next thing you know, you’re grabbing a pencil, breaking it and throwing it. Reading was tough, like, insurmountable."
Theroux, 42, isn't the only celebrity who has opened up about his struggles with ADHD, which is often diagnosed during childhood and remains a condition that has to be managed throughout one's life.
Actor Channing Tatum recently revealed that he suffered from ADHD as a child and took prescription drugs to cope with his learning disabilities.
Tatum, 33, said he "felt like a zombie" while medicated, and experienced severe depression as he built up a tolerance for his ADHD drugs. As a result of his negative childhood experiences, Tatum vowed he would never medicate his daughter if she had the same issues.
Similarly, swimming icon Michael Phelps (winner of 18 Olympic gold medals) was diagnosed with ADHD at age nine, and took medication during his childhood to combat the condition. He later weaned himself off the drugs and has reportedly managed his ADHD through regular workouts and a low-sugar diet.
More recently, Lindsay Lohan revealed she was addicted to the ADHD drug Adderall, but claims she no longer takes any medication (prescription or otherwise) after completing her sixth stint in rehab earlier this year.
While the exact cause of ADHD is unclear, medical experts say ADHD and other neurological conditions such as depression and dementia are caused and/or exacerbated by a gluten-heavy, high-sugar diet.