With celebrities like former Bake Off host Sue Perkins and Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha both recently diagnosed with ADHD later in life, Hester Grainger, co-founder of neurodiversity consultancy Perfectly Autistic, shares the traits you should look out for.
Sue Perkins explained that since her diagnosis, “suddenly everything made sense”. This resonated with Hester, who was diagnosed with ADHD at 43.
With 3.1m hashtags for ADHD on Instagram and videos about ADHD traits all over TikTok, many people are starting to wonder if they have ADHD or are just easily distracted or impulsive.
ADHD is often seen as something that only naughty boys at school have. When it comes to adults with ADHD, it’s something that’s only been discussed in the last 20 years. There are three main subtypes of ADHD – hyperactive, inattentive and combined.
Some typical traits that someone with hyperactive ADHD may have are fidgeting or difficulty sitting still. They may also talk a lot, interrupt others and blurt out answers.
When it comes to inattentive ADHD (formerly ADD), people may make careless mistakes, lose things regularly, and have difficulty following detailed instructions or organising tasks.
Combined ADHD is a mixture of the two subtypes so you may have all these traits and more.
If you are looking at getting assessed, read about Right to Choose and then book an appointment with your GP. Ask for an adult ADHD assessment, and then you will have the right to choose where you go for it.
Start remembering things you may do, e.g. losing your keys and how often this happens, or times you were unable to concentrate during a meeting or when you’ve blurted something out you’d rather not have shared.
To be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you must have had a certain number of symptoms present, and they also have to have been there when you were a child. Talking too much, regularly forgetting to unload the washing machine or finding things overwhelming, like replying to emails or returning phone calls, doesn’t mean you have ADHD.
People with ADHD must show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
Hester Grainger, the co-founder of Perfectly Autistic, explains: “It’s great to see celebrities like Sue Perkins being open with their diagnosis, as this opens up the conversation about neurodiversity.”
“I felt greatly relieved when I received my official diagnosis from the psychiatrist. Looking back, I’ve been masking for years which is exhausting. Now I understand why and I feel ok about that.”