Will.i.am health: The Voice judge reveals how music helps him to control his condition2020-03-26
Will.i.am announced his talents to the world as the founding and lead member of the pop group The Black Eyed Peas. Since the turn of the millennium, Will.i.am has organised his life around music, a move that has been hugely successful. He has achieved runaway success as a solo artist, produced music for the likes of Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber, and become a mentor to aspiring musicians on ITV’s The Voice UK.
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It goes without saying that his musical ability has been a money-spinner, but it also occupies a therapeutic role in his life.
This is because Will.i.am suffers from ADHD, a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Speaking to the Mirror Online, the music mogul opened about his condition.
He said: “I have ADHD. I’ll admit it.
“I’ve got all this stuff in my head at the same time as I’m doing stuff and I don’t know how to stop or slow down.”
The music star goes on to explain how music helps him to control his disorder: “I’ve figured out a place for it. If you listen to the songs I write, they are the most ADHD songs ever. They have five hooks in one and it all happens in three minutes. I figured out a way of working with it.”
He added: “Music brings control to my thoughts. It’s not escape – it’s just order. I’m making order out of a disorder.”
According to the NHS, ADHD is mostly diagnosed in children aged six to 12 years old.
The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems, says the health body.
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How to spot it
According to the NHS, the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be categorised into two types of behavioural problems: inattentiveness, and hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Most people with ADHD have problems that fall into both these categories, but this is not always the case, explains the health body.
“For example, some people with the condition may have problems with inattentiveness, but not with hyperactivity or impulsiveness,” notes the health site.
This form of ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADD can sometimes go unnoticed because the symptoms may be less obvious.
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The main symptoms of inattentiveness are:
- Having a short attention span and being easily distracted
- Making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
- Appearing forgetful or losing things
- Being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
- Appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
- Constantly changing activity or task
- Having difficulty organising tasks
- The main signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:
- Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
- Constantly fidgeting
- Being unable to concentrate on tasks
- Excessive physical movement
- Excessive talking
- Being unable to wait their turn
- Acting without thinking
- Interrupting conversations
- Little or no sense of danger
How to treat ADHD
Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help relieve the symptoms and make the condition much less of a problem in day-to-day life.
“Treatment is usually arranged by a specialist, such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist, although the condition may be monitored by your GP,” says the NHS.
In addition to medication and therapy, some people may find alternative treatments help to manage the condition, such as cutting out certain foods.
As the NHS explains, some people may notice a link between types of food and worsening ADHD symptoms.
“If this is the case, keep a diary of what you eat and drink, and what behaviour follows,” advises the health body.
It is important to note that there’s no strong evidence that cutting out certain foods will work and they should not be attempted without medical advice, it cautions.
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