150: I Don’t Know How to Tell You This – This is ADHD

150: I Don’t Know How to Tell You This – This is ADHD

James Casteel is a film-maker and was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 13 years old. After being fired from four network jobs in five years, James decided to look into how his diagnosis affects him. What Goes Up is James’ documentary that examines ADHD through his personal lens, as well as others throughout the ADHD community.

In this conversation, you will hear James talk about various aspects of putting this film together. He explains how the film has evolved throughout the process. The people that James is tapping into for this film is quite impressive. He also talks about the aspects of the film that he is struggling with.

Connect with James Casteel:

You’ll Learn:

  • [09:00] – I had the opportunity to see James at the CHADD conference. James talks about why people were concerned about him at the conference.

  • [11:23] – James explains why he feels he got assistance from Russell Barkley with this project.

  • [13:42] – James lists people in the ADHD community that he has talked with for the project. James met with Steven Tonti and we discuss his Ted Talk.

  • [18:30] – James shares his story and we talk about medication. He shares his experiences in the film industry. When he was fired from his last job, the director encouraged him to make a film on ADHD.

  • [27:48] – With the documentary, James wants to show that awareness results in growth.

  • [29:40] – James reached out to Alan Schwarz and he explains his rationale for doing this.

  • [36:49] – In the ADHD community, there are various ways to explore the scientific side of ADHD. I explain why the “story” side of ADHD is valuable.

  • [48:33] – James talks about how his film has evolved from what he set out to do. He also talks about the danger in echo-chambers.

  • [53:11] – James has a few areas of the documentary that he has questions on. James avoids the ADHD ReWired Hot Seat and instead, we look at these areas. We start by James talking about what he hopes he accomplishes with this film.

  • [53:52] – One of the areas we discuss is how people with ADHD reveal that they have a diagnosis. James has questions about where the line is with his involvement in telling their stories.

  • [1:04:20] – James talks about the difficulty of crafting the film through editing. We talk about how he can include that in the film.

  • [1:10:25] – I ask James if there are aspects of this film that he can delegate to others. He talks about this practice in the film industry.

  • [1:14:24] – James asks me a question about having a voice vs. being pigeon-holed.


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