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Shaun Ryder opens up about ADHD diagnosis, insisting it causes his ‘nutty behaviour’


Shaun Ryder was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020 (Picture: Getty)

Shaun Ryder has said his ‘nutty behaviour’ throughout his career as a pop star was the result of undiagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The Happy Mondays singer, 58, earned a reputation as a prankster and trouble-maker during his late 80s and early 90s heyday and was at one time banned from appearing live on Channel 4 after an expletive-ridden appearance on TFI Friday.

He was diagnosed with ADHD last year after two of his daughters, aged 12 and 30, received similar diagnoses.

ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.

Shaun, who is releasing his first solo album in 18 years, said the condition ultimately led to him using drugs at the height of fame.

He told the PA news agency: ‘The problem stems from the ADHD. The nutty behaviour. You have got all this energy going and you can’t focus on anything.

‘It’s like games at school, like football. I couldn’t play because I couldn’t understand the rules. I couldn’t get offside. I just couldn’t take in the rules.

The Happy Mondays star as opened up about ADHD and his life before the diagnosis (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)

‘You want to be a bit of a superhero at school so you start getting into crime and robbing a bit of money, and the girls love you.

‘Attention-seeking stuff like that because that’s the only thing you could do really that I enjoyed – getting into trouble.’

Shaun said that he had known all his life that ‘something wasn’t quite right’.

He added: ‘It’s what led me into drinking as a kid, taking drugs as a kid, getting in trouble as a kid.’

Shaun, who no longer uses drugs, has developed a number of methods of dealing with his ADHD but does not take Ritalin, a common treatment, because it is an amphetamine.

The singer-songwriter, known for penning Happy Mondays hits including Kinky Afro and Step On, called for better understanding of the condition in schools.

Shaun recorded upcoming solo album Visits From Future Technology in 2010, shortly before appearing on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but the record was shelved as he pursued a television career.

He rediscovered the songs during lockdown.

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