The sudden explosion of adult ADHD

Is adult ADHD an actual thing? Or is it just ATTN seeking behaviour? 🧐


What in the world is going on?

Over the last couple of years, it feels like every other client I see at OOMPH has been freshly diagnosed with ADHD. What makes this particularly interesting is that I only work with adults.

I also hear from non-neurodivergent people exclaiming about the sudden explosion of adult ADHD. They’re wondering if it’s not just another trend – or even an excuse to justify ‘bad’ behaviour or poor performance!

So, I thought I had better get in there with my ‘two cents’ on the matter. And, rather than write a long LISA SAID SO article, I want to quickly get a few important points across to you.

'Adult ADHD' really doesn't cut it

ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

But ADHD is in dire need of rebranding for three good reasons:

Those with Adult ADHD —

1)  Don’t have an attention deficit 
In fact, this person has a super ability to focus… but only on things that are of interest to them! The real problem is being able to not focus on it, or trying to focus on something else.

2) Don’t always present with (overt) hyperactivity
See below 👇🏽

3) Don’t have a disorder
They simply have a different type of brain to the neurotypical or standard issue brain.

And this is why you don’t medicate (all types of) ADHD, but rather you support the person who has it, as the world we operate in is set up for those with the dominant brain type.

You don't grow out of ADHD

Not for the people diagnosed with this type of brain, and not for the people who (unfortunately) missed being diagnosed with this type of brain in their youth. Adult ADHD just presents differently throughout the stages of life, and in response to what you’ve experienced along the way. 

Now that the medical establishment has finally established this, they are essentially playing catch-up with their diagnoses.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil

You could be excused for thinking there was just one type of ADHD as many of us are only familiar with the ‘naughty boy’ version of this — Hyperactive/Impulsive.


The inappropriately named Adult ADHD is the umbrella label for three subtypes of this brain type:

This is primarily attentional and thought dysregulation.
Here they internalise their problems.

This is primarily behavioural dysregulation.
This is the sub-type that cannot be masked.

A hybrid of the two sub-types above.

FYI: ADD isn’t a thing anymore. 

Combined is actually the most predominate type.
Followed by Inattentive.
And surprisingly, Impulsive/Hyperactive is the least common type!

As you can probably guess, most females with ADHD have: Inattentive or Combined.

Because the ‘naughty boy’ was the ‘original poster child’ for this disorder, the other sub-types flew under-the-radar. Because the medical establishment was just focused on medicating those who were creating disorder in class and at home, or who were fully disabled by their ADHD – due to the lack of necessary support.

Woman can mask their ADHD

They want to fly under the radar!

They don’t want to be seen as a problem for others, so they try keep it all to themselves  — at great personal cost to themselves. On the outside they look like they’re handling things, but behind the scenes it’s a completely different matter. 

And depending on multiple factors, women can even have their very own brand of their particular sub-type of ADHD. Other health conditions that can either mask or exacerbate this brain type:


I hope I have your attention — possible ADHDers

I’ll endeavour to write a ‘full featured’ LISA SAID SO article on this ASAP.

I’ll explain what it means to have an ADHD brain, including how to go about getting screened, assessed, and supported.

I’ll also explain why I’m a big fan of labels, but why you might not be.

And, I’ll  discuss that if you don’t have ADHD what health issue/s you might have instead.


One last thing...

From a clinical neuropsychologist

“We are all born with a different brain. Differences in the way we process information, what we pay attention to, how we perceive the world and other people, and how we problem solve is called neurodiversity. This diversity in brain wiring is fundamental to our success as a species. People with ‘neurodivergent’ brains think, perceive, and process the world differently to most people. People with ‘neurotypical’ brains think, perceive, and process the world similarly to most people.”

Michelle Livock – is a neurodiversity affirmative therapist in Brisbane, Australia. Check out her podcast ‘The Neurodivergent Woman‘ 🤓

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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