Finding strength in ADHD diagnosis
Finding strength in ADHD diagnosis

Finding strength in ADHD diagnosis

Condition has contributed to his empathetic trait, says producer-director

Most of the works of this prolific director and producer have sparked controversy.

With over 30 years of experience in the filmmaking industry, Shahrulezad Mohameddin, 52, is known for defying convention in his television dramas through storylines that are less explored but close to societal realities.

Known for productions such as Sutun (2005), Emil Emilda (2007), Antara Garisan (2009), Bila Hati Telah Hitam (2014), Budak Ijat (2017) and Nur (2018), his latest effort Khunsa has also received positive response.

Behind his creativity lies a startling revelation – Shahrulezad has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and he only found out last year.

The diagnosis finally explained why he often lost focus, was easily distracted, tended to procrastinate and would work at last minute, Shahrulezad said.

He also disliked routine tasks, all of which he had been struggling with since childhood, he told BK.

How is the Johor Baru-born director handling his diagnosis?

Shahrulezad said he had chosen to embrace the disorder, even attributing his empathetic traits to ADHD.

It was, according to him, a “gift that allows me to create works delving into emotions, especially in terms of looking at certain issues from different perspectives”.

“Due to ADHD, I struggle to complete daily tasks.

“But when I look at it positively, there is wisdom behind this illness, and I am grateful for this test,” he said, adding that he was now planning to produce Khunsa 2.

Shahrulezad, who is also a scriptwriter and co-founder of production house Radius One Sdn Bhd, said the struggles he faced as a person with ADHD were very real.

“I would say it’s a ‘silent disaster’, a struggle that is hard to handle.

“Things get worse when I experience writer’s block.

“When that happens, I can’t write for weeks, but when ideas flow, I become oblivious to my surroundings, forgetting to rest, eat and drink,” he said, adding that he now took medication to stay focused longer.

Shahrulezad, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Universiti Teknologi Mara, also said his habit of observing and listening had helped hone his skills.

This is his main strength when writing scripts, alongside his imaginative mind.

“I am sensitive and observant.

“After school, I preferred hanging out with aunties who liked to gossip and listened to their stories.

“That was my first step in becoming a storyteller.”

However, he added that each work he produces was not a solution to individual problems; neither does it clear misunderstandings.

Instead, it serves as an eye-opener.

“For example, in my drama series Khunsa, I can’t explain everything in each episode.

“So, it’s the responsibility of the audience to seek additional information,” he said, adding he was grateful the series received positive reactions from the community on which it was based.

He added that his vision in producing dramas was no longer about chasing awards, fame or high ratings.

All he wants is for each of his works to convey a positive message while maintaining respect for all religions.

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