Getting an Adult Diagnosis of ADHD

Helen Wills talks to Louise Williams about her life with undiagnosed ADHD, and getting a diagnosis as an adult during the pandemic.

We started this conversation with a discussion about the pros and cons of social media, and how there have been more diagnoses of ADHD during the pandemic. Louise thinks this is partly because more people have spotted the signs in themselves as they've seen others sharing, and partly because the boredom of lockdown has been particularly hard on those with the symptoms of the condition.

Louise explains that ADHD is a condition where not enough dopamine is produced in the brain. People with ADHD often seek dopamine 'hits' in the form of social engagements or unhealthy habits like binge-eating or drinking.

ADHD may present differently in women

At first Louise didn't equate her symptoms with those of ADHD, because she had the stereotype in her mind of a small boy bouncing off the classroom walls. But she explains how differently it can manifest in girls and women, which is often why it goes undiagnosed.

In addition, ADHD symptoms are exacerbated by fluctuating hormones, so teenage years and menopause are classic times for a diagnosis in women.

Louise also told me that people often have their concerns of ADHD dismissed by the medical profession because they're high achievers. She says people with ADHD absolutely can do well at school or in their career, they've just had to work harder than most to get there.

Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria

We also talked about Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria, an aspect of ADHD which sees people struggle to deal with the slightest indication of criticism or negativity from those in their lives.

Who is Louise Williams?

Louise is a 37 year old writer and mum of two children, a daughter aged 10 and a son aged 8. She loves to travel, take the kids on adventures and review festivals and holiday destinations. She also has a company teaching blogging to others, Top Blog Coaching.

In her spare time she loves photography and walking, mostly found with her dog Hendrix.

Diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, Louise has been sharing her life changing story in an effort to raise awareness and reach others in a similar situation to her. 

Where to find Louise

If you need more support with ADHD

More teenage parenting tips from Helen Wills:

Helen wills is a teen mental health podcaster and blogger at Actually Mummy a resource for midlife parents of teens.

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There are already stories from fabulous guests about difficult things that happened to them as teenagers - including losing a parent, becoming a young carer, and being hospitalised with mental health problems - and how they overcame things to move on with their lives.

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Please note that Helen Wills is not a medical expert, and nothing in the podcast should be taken as medical advice. If you're worried about a teenager, please seek support from a medical professional.