“I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was nine years old. At home I was having a lot of emotional outbursts – a lot more than my sisters. One of my teachers suggested to my parents that I get tested. She noticed I was really checking out during class. I had a lot of trouble organizing. I would forget assignment deadlines and end up having to throw together book reports the morning they were due. That's a very vivid memory.
It was the 90s. Girls did not really get diagnosed with ADHD in the 90s.
Back then it was seen more like a disorder for boys because it was more obvious in boys – as far as the hyperactivity part of it. Boys tend to be more rambunctious, interrupting the class, and showing more of the outward signs of ADHD. With girls it tends to be more inward – like checking out during class.
I think as we begin to understand ADHD more, we see so many more hidden symptoms like the executive dysfunction, and just how much that affects our lives. It affects the smallest thing. Like you can see a sock on the floor for weeks and think, I should pick up that sock. And every time you walk by, I should pick up that sock. But you never pick it up. And then finally one day you do pick up the sock and you put it where it belongs, and you’re like, Oh that was really easy. Why didn’t I do that three months ago?
Nowadays there are people who say, ‘It seems like everyone's getting diagnosed with ADHD these days.’ And it's like, no – these are women in their 30s who were overlooked and not diagnosed as children. And they're finally realizing these symptoms are not character flaws. There's a reason they’ve been struggling with this their entire lives.”