Since Covid lockdowns lifted and many people emerged with exacerbated mental health problems, prominent women in media and sport have come forward to speak openly about their ADHD diagnosis later in life —women like Em Rusciano, Clementine Ford, Simon Biles and Zooey Deschanel. 

There are increasing numbers of doctors, psychologists and therapists themselves diagnosed with ADHD who are writing about the condition from a lived-perspective, like Dr. Edward Hallowell, Dr. Gabor Maté, Sari Solden and Michelle Frank. 

Add to that the increase in online chatter about ADHD on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and it’s no wonder that so many women are seeing themselves in the growing list of female traits, and feeling supported and validated for the first time in their lives.

For many, it’s an intensely emotional experience looking back at your whole life through the undiagnosed ADHD lens, as Em Rusciano points out aptly in her 2022 National Press Club address.

Diagnosed at 42, Rusciano admitted that finding out she had ADHD “ripped open scars I didn't know I had, and it triggered enormous grief. I felt a deep sadness for that precocious, curious, and chaotic 10-year-old girl who desperately wanted to get things right, the girl who tried hard all the time, and who just wanted to be like everyone else."

Watch the full National Press Club address: Em Rusciano

Broadcast Australia-wide on August 24, 2022


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