Kurt Cobain was helped by ADHD?
Published 04/02/2010 | 12:14
Kurt Cobain, James Dean and Clark Gable shared a developmental disorder which helped their talents to flourish, it has been claimed.
They are among a list of names of notable achievers who displayed symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Others include Jules Verne, Mark Twain, guerilla leader Che Guevara, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Picasso and Sir Walter Raleigh - and Professor Michael Fitzgerald, from Trinity College, Dublin, believes they all owed their success to "risk taking" genes that play a role in ADHD.
The disorder is one of the most common behavioural problems in children, causing them to be restless, impulsive, and inattentive. In some cases the symptoms carry on through adolescence and adulthood.
But Prof Fitzgerald believes there can be an "upside" to ADHD, which he explained today at a Royal College of Psychiatrists' meeting at Keele University.
He said: "People with ADHD have symptoms of inattentiveness, but they often also have a capacity to hyper-focus on a narrow area that is of particular interest to them.
"Clearly ADHD is not a guarantee of genius, but the focused work rate that it produces may enable creative genius to flourish. For example, Kurt Cobain - who we know was prescribed the anti-hyperactivity drug Ritalin as a child - had an amazing ability to focus on writing music."
Kurt, the lead singer of Nirvana who committed suicide in 1994, was hailed as a musical genius by many critics.