Naomi diagnosed with ADHD at 29 in the United Kingdom

Naomi Dyson
Age:
30
United Kingdom
Diagnosed at:
29

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

It was a combination of really struggling during driving lessons, becoming overwhelmed frequently after having a baby and then learning more about ADHD just by chance via social media!

2. What do you do for a living?

Business Development.

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

School was really difficult for me. In terms of grades, I did well, but having to sit still in a class and listen felt impossible and I relied heavily on 'cramming' the night before exams.

5. Looking back, what was an obvious ADHD trait in your childhood?

A messy bedroom and the inability to stop talking!

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

The wait time for a referral was 3 years via my GP, so I opted for a private assessment, which was expensive but quick and simple.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I actually prepared myself more to be told I don't have ADHD. I'd done so much research and was convinced myself by that point I had ADHD. I'd already put various ADHD-related self help techniques into place that were helping me manage day to day. I reminded myself that I could continue with those regardless of the diagnosis result.

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8. How did you feel right after getting your diagnosis?

Strange, with a splash of imposter syndrome. I had a strong sense of feeling like... 'maybe I exaggerated things'.

9. How do you feel about it now?

I'm in a really good place. Getting a diagnosis hasn't changed anything about who I am, I just have a better idea of what I'm working with now.

10. Do you think you "look like" the ADHD stereotype?

No. Maybe. Self-awareness isn't my strong suit, so I honestly don't know.

11. What are you struggling with because of your ADHD brain?

Sensory overload is still the area I struggle with despite treatment.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I'm creative, enthusiastic, empathetic and spontaneous!

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

It was life changing for me. It's not an exaggeration to say that every area of my life has improved post-diagnosis.

14. Do you feel your life could have gone the other way if you'd been diagnosed earlier?

Yes. Of course things could have been different, particularly in terms of my education and career, but I'm in a great place now so I try not to look at the what-ifs.

15. What was your family/friends' reaction to your diagnosis?

My friends and family have all been super supportive throughout the process.

16. Do you have any comorbid disorders or neurological conditions?

No.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I did suffer with post-natal anxiety after the birth of my son, but looking back I think I was completely overwhelmed and a lot of that was sensory related. If I do ever feel like that, 5 minutes quiet time outside is all I really need for a quick reset.

18. Did people around you make you doubt yourself during your diagnosis journey?

I did have a few comments along the lines of 'you obviously just have it mildly', 'why does everything need a label' or 'everyone gets that' ... but these weren't from the people closest to me, so it didn't really matter!

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Yes, there's still a weird creeping feeling that I've tricked the doctors!

20. How has the diagnosis changed the way you live?

Learning about time-blindness, object permanence and sensory overload helped me so much. It meant I could make adjustments to my surroundings, how I manage my time, schedule etc.

21. How do you feel about medication?

Wonderful!

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