A YOUNG Athy woman, who was diagnosed with ADHD last November at the age of 24, is campaigning for better public understanding of the condition.
“ADHD is not shameful and it shouldn’t be treated as such,” said Slaney Foley whose story was brought to the floor of Seanad Éireann by local Senator Mark Wall last week.
“We need to do better in terms of understanding our differences, respecting our needs and supporting us in ways we are comfortable with,” said the young woman who had to seek a private assessment to finally get her diagnosis.
Her vivid description of living with ADHD paints a very clear picture of how it has affected her life.
“I feel like there are 100 conversations going on in my head 24/7, even when I sleep I experience vivid dreams. I never get a break from my hyperactive mind,” she said.
She has shared her story here in her own words in order to help others who may be going through similar issues.
“I was diagnosed with combined type ADHD in November 2022 at 24 years of age. Going through my whole life with undiagnosed ADHD was an exhausting struggle, not to mention the stress I endured while trying to avail of an assessment.
“Although I struggled with respecting authoritative figures, teachers and getting along with my peers, no one suspected that I had ADHD as I was an extremely bright student in primary school. There’s a serious lack of education on the condition as the stereotypical idea of someone with ADHD is a “hyperactive young boy,” resulting in many girls and women living with undiagnosed ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD vary from person to person. For example, one person may be physically hyperactive and another person, like myself, may be more mentally hyperactive. In other words, I feel like there are 100 conversations going on in my head 24/7, even when I sleep I experience vivid dreams. I never get a break from my hyperactive mind.
You can read Slaney’s story in full in this week’s edition of the Kildare Nationalist, currently on sale in all local stores or online.