What would you like to know?
Share this Story

Simone Biles proudly admits to having ADHD like the winner she is

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Gymnast Simone Biles responds to cruel hackers with an ADHD admission that will help so many sufferers

Only a few weeks after slaying the Rio Olympics (four gold medals, no less), gymnast Simone Biles has experienced one of the downsides of fame — her confidential medical records have been hacked.

More: I used to joke that I was 'so ADD,' then a doctor told me it was true

The World Anti-Doping Agency issued a statement Tuesday revealing that Russian hackers had made the records of some U.S. Olympic athletes public, including Biles'. Her data showed that she had tested positive for methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin.

Methylphenidate is a banned WADA substance, but USA Gymnastics explained that Biles had received an exemption since she takes it because of a long-term medical condition. Biles herself was quick to offer further explanation, revealing on Twitter that she has ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and has taken medication for it since she was a child.

It's sad that we live in a world where people have no privacy. But Biles made it clear she wasn't ashamed of her condition.

More: Victoria Beckham is not to blame for anorexic models

The response to Biles' admission has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive, and so it should be. These hackers are nothing but cyberbullies with no motive other than to bring innocent people down. Biles has a condition that requires medication to manage it, and there's no way she should be punished for that.

Biles should feel no obligation to become any sort of "spokesperson" for ADHD. The fact that she's spoken so openly and proudly about her condition will in itself do so much to raise awareness and help eliminate stigma.

And there's no doubt that stigma still surrounds ADHD, because people who don't understand the condition jump to conclusions. This is particularly true when it involves kids with ADHD, because their hyperactivity, inability to control their impulses and failure to pay attention can be mistaken for bad behavior. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children and can continue into adulthood. However, it can also go undiagnosed until adulthood, and the symptoms in adults may be quite different. Common signs of adult ADHD include trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals and holding down a job, as well as difficulties with relationships, addiction and self-esteem.

Biles couldn't have dealt with this situation any better. In fact, she deserves another gold medal.

More: Dysphagia is kind of like a panic attack in your throat

For more information on ADHD in children and how to address the stigma, visit ADHD Together. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association has information on online resources and local support groups for adults with ADHD.

Tagged in
Follow Us

SheKnows Media ‐ Beauty and Style

New in Health & Wellness

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!