Hi, I’m Leah and in 2019 I was diagnosed with ADHD and autism at age 43.

I’d always hated myself for being the way I am.

Why? Because no matter how hard I tried I always ended up feeling like a failure and a rubbish human.

Until I was diagnosed I couldn’t understand I had so much difficulty keeping things tidy, organising myself and paying attention. Why I always struggled socially, and felt so different from almost everyone around me.

Without a different explanation, I turned it in on myself and for many years I believed that I must be lazy, fickle and useless.

Over time I learnt to suppress who I really am, hide those shameful failings, and ‘pretend to be normal’.

It’s very isolating when you carry so much shame, because you never really allow anyone to get close.

Over the years I suffered terribly with anxiety, depression and insomnia, and despite visiting doctors and therapists countless times, nobody had ever suggested ADHD (or any kind of neurodiverse condition).

Getting a diagnosis made a huge difference to me, even though it was much later in life, because it helped me to forgive myself and start to accept my quirky, chaotic self, and feel confident in my own skin.

I now know that my story isn’t unusual and that many people don’t find out they have ADHD until much later in life (if at all).

So I started the #iamadhd campaign to raise awareness of ADHD in women and challenge some of the outdated stereotypes, shame and isolation faced by other women living with ADHD

It was clear to me that the reason so many women, like me, were being missed was because hardly anyone knew we existed let alone knew how to find us!

As the campaign has evolved, it’s become clear that although this is an issue that predominantly affects women, it also affects anyone who has been perceived by the outside world as female at least some point in their lives due to the gender bias towards a ‘male type’ presentation.

If you’d like to learn more about Leah and her journey, you can visit her website here.

Get In Touch

  • 104 Causeway View, Plymouth, PL9 9FP, United Kingdom
  • hello@leahleaves.com