Cognitive Disorder

Cognitive Disorder




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Cognitive Disorders

Michael Fred Phelps is an American former competitive swimmer. He is known to be the most successful swimmer of all time. Michael Phelps has twenty-eight medals for this. However, do not think that things were easy for Michael Phelps at any point in life. This is because he was struggling with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) from a very young age. He is a perfect example that ADHD should not deter anyone from being successful in life.

Anyone can get ADHD. In fact, today it is one of the most common conditions that affect children. It may be caused by a number of factors. One of the factors is when one’s part of the brain that control attention and activity cease to function as they should. It is also possible for a child to inherit the condition from the parents (Swanson et al. 2006). Other times one may be get a head injury that may interfere with the part of the brain controlling attention and activity. A child born premature is also more likely to get the condition. Mothers are advised not to take drugs such as nicotine and alcohol as this infects the child by increasing their risk of getting ADHD (Barkley, 2014). For Michael Phelps, there was no obvious cause for his condition. His parents did not have the condition. His mother also did not smoke or drink while she was pregnant.

People with this condition can barely concentrate or have a very low concentration span. They also tend to fidget, repeat their words a lot and be impulsive. Like all other children with ADHD, Michael found it very difficult to concentrate in class. He was constantly finding other things to do. His teachers could not understand him and ended up treating him differently. Other teachers even told him that he would be a failure in life because of his he behaved. Teachers in different grades continued to complain about Michael and how he never seemed to improved in his studies. It was a challenge and struggle for him all through. He was depressed and had anxiety due this condition.

His mother decided to take him to a professional and he was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of nine years old. Phelps started going swimming at an aquatic club nearby. He noticed that he loved doing this. Even though he could not concentrate in class, he was able to concentrate while swimming. He started wining medals at a very young age because he was exceptionally talented.

Much of Michael Phelps success can be attributed to his mother. His mother helped by establishing a routine that was meant to help him in his concentration. She implemented more strategies such as decreasing his intake of sugar that would help him be more successful. Her mother believed that swimming helped him through his condition. By seeking the help of a professional, they advised on how they would manage the condition. Many parents would have stayed silent with their children’s condition due to fear of stigmatization. Michael Phelps also took stimulants to assist him with his concentration in school. He had to carry them to school even though he was not comfortable with this.

Michael Phelps admits that dealing with his condition was not easy at all. He was constantly angry and depressed. In spite of his condition, he believed in himself and pursue his dreams. People should talk more about cognitive disorders and assist those who have the conditions. They can also become successful and happy if they accept who they are and work on themselves every day.


Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. Guilford Publications.

Swanson, J. M., Volkow, N. D., Newcorn, J., Casey, B. J., Moyzis, R., Grandy, D., & Posner, M. (2006). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science.