I was diagnosed with ADHD after struggling my whole life

By Shania Obrien and Louise Allingham For Daily Mail Australia

08:28 21 Nov 2023, updated 08:28 21 Nov 2023

A woman has shared five ways undiagnosed ADHD can show up – and several of the symptoms can go unnoticed for years.

Tahlia Lehmann spent most of her life ‘confused’ about why she was ‘different’ and couldn’t accomplish tasks as easily as her peers.

The teacher finally got tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as an adult – and her diagnosis made a world of difference in regard to how she approached her problems.

ADHD is still widely misunderstood in the medical community and goes undiagnosed in most people. 

Tahlia revealed little-known signs that a person is suffering from ADHD – and one of them included ‘masking’ the disorder with a bubbly personality. 

Tahlia Lehmann spent most of her life ‘confused’ about why she was ‘different’ and couldn’t accomplish tasks as easily as her peers

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Other traits involve zoning out often and being ‘lazy’, appearing confident but feeling really anxious on the inside, fidgeting, and feeling burnt out a lot.

People with the disorder also tend to have a low self-esteem and they often feel like they aren’t doing enough because of their poor time management and short attention span. 

ADHD is a complex neuro-developmental disorder which affects a person’s ability to exert age-appropriate self-control.

There are several other characteristics people who live with it may exhibit, such as persistent patterns of inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive behaviour; and emotional regulation challenges.

ADHD was long thought to mainly impact children but now as researchers observe how it manifests in adults, diagnoses are on the rise with one in 20 Aussies affected by the disorder.

One in 20 children also have ADHD with three quarters of those going on to display symptoms well into their adult lives.

What is ADHD and its signs and symptoms? 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neuro-developmental disorder which affects a person’s ability to exert age-appropriate self-control.

It is characterised by persistent patterns of inattentive, impulsive, and sometimes hyperactive behaviour, and is frequently accompanied by emotional regulation challenges. 

People with ADHD have little control over these behaviours as they stem from underlying neurological differences. 

ADHD can cause significant functional disability throughout the lifespan and in all areas of life, and without appropriate intervention can lead to significantly unfavourable outcomes.

However, with evidence-based treatment and support, people with ADHD can embrace their strengths and interests, learn to manage their challenges and live a full and rewarding life.



  • Empathetic
  • Energetic
  • Spontaneous 
  • Creative 
  • Intuitive 
  • Imaginative 
  • Inventive 
  • Innovative 
  • Enthusiastic 
  • Can hyper focus on interests 
  • Adventurous


  • Easily distracted 
  • Inattentive
  • Forgetful
  • Trouble listening
  • Disorganised
  • Talkative 
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Day dreaming
  • Hyperactive
  • Poor time management
  • Low frustration tolerance 

 Source: ADHD Australia

American neurologist Dr Amen echoed some of Tahlia’s points saying there are many signs of ADHD that lie outside attention and hyperactivity problems. 

‘If you’re late, it’s one of the most common things. People who have ADHD actually don’t start getting ready to go until that little voice in their head goes, ‘Oh my god, I’m late’,’ he said. 

‘Sometimes maybe only by 10 minutes but it’s a chronic pattern that you’re late.’

Another ADHD indicator is ‘chronic procrastination’. 

‘You put things off, you just don’t get stuff done on time until someone is mad at you to do it,’ Dr Amen said.

‘If your book bag, your desk, your closet, your drawers, it sort of looks like a bomb went off in there that’s a sign you might have ADHD,’ he added. 

The clips prompted hundreds of women to share their experiences getting diagnosed and living with ADHD. 

‘I have thousands of interests but zero actual hobbies, it’s so frustrating! I spend an absolute fortune of something and then I’m like, ‘Meh I’m over you’,’ one viewer wrote. 

‘I’ve never even thought about ADHD and this has just practically described me as a whole,’ a second replied. 

‘It’s taken 32 years, two kids and TikTok to have the light bulb moment. Got referred earlier this year and finally understanding myself!’ a mum commented.


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