ADHD is not normally a condition that comes to mind when you think about 50-year-old women. But six months ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I've been receiving treatment ever since, and it's completely transformed my life.
As the sole parent of my six-year-old son Harry, who was conceived via IVF, I have a big mental load, so this has been a huge relief.
I first realised I had ADHD when I read an article about what it looks like in young girls after a friend mentioned she was having her daughter assessed.
In that moment every single dot of my life joined.
The problems with jobs, relationships, terrible anxiety and depression and my complete lack of being able to rely on my memory for appointments, dates and times, names and more all suddenly had an explanation.
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Initially, I experienced a huge amount of grief for the life I could have lived if it had been picked up when I was a child, but there was also a huge amount of relief. I suddenly found that pretty much everything became so much easier.
ADHD affects different people in different ways, but for me, memory has always been a huge problem. In the day to day organisational side of things, imagine going to the fridge three times for three different things in a minute because you simply can’t focus on more than what is happening in each specific moment. Staying on top of things as a mum and running a business was so incredibly hard.
What makes things harder is that my son Harry is autistic and most likely also has ADHD (he is currently being assessed). I would estimate I spend 8 to 10 hours on appointments, planning, admin, research and more every week to help Harry thrive.
Somewhat ironically, I teach people about stress management. Realising that there weren’t any others available, I've just launched a free stress management course for parents of kids with special needs.