It’s ADHD Awareness Month and very generously, Rosie Symes, our DEI Lead and one of our Community Managers has shared her experience of receiving a diagnosis, the preconceptions that she had about ADHD and how being diagnosed as ADHD has made a difference to her life.

I thought I was too smart to have ADHD.

When it was first mentioned to me at 25 that I might have ADHD my first thoughts were “no, surely not, there’s no way.” The image of someone with ADHD in my head was someone who was always late, dropped out of Uni, and couldn’t hold down a job.

In contrast, I’d just graduated top of my year from my Master’s Degree, I was diligently (annoyingly) punctual, and I was the star employee.

I thought about it some more, and put it off. But I was also extremely forgetful, had no attention to detail, would perpetually procrastinate big tasks, was always losing my belongings, constantly fidgeting, extremely impatient, emotionally volatile, and just completely unable to deal with normal amounts of stress.

On the outside people thought I was a ‘Girlboss’, on the inside I was crumbling just trying to keep my life together.

When I finally took the steps to get diagnosed my assessment psychiatrist said:

“I usually go away and review but in your case, I can tell you right now – you’re definitely ADHD.”

It was so validating and at the same time so gut-wrenching; I was glad to finally know why I was different, but I also grieved for the younger version of me.

The girl who struggled to make friends in the playground, forgot important information, nearly failed her A Levels, and felt like she was perpetually letting everyone around her down.

We’re only really just understanding that ADHD presents drastically differently in adults, that women are likely to be told it’s anxiety, and how even children can develop extensive coping mechanisms to mask problems.

That’s why ADHD Awareness Month is so important to paint a realistic picture of ADHD.

To find out more about ADHD Awareness Month, click here.

Rosie Symes

Gen Z, ADHD, ex-agency creative. Anti-hustle culture, pro-mental health, queer advocate and proponent of trans rights. Always snacking, sometimes running, and never too busy for a chat!