Living with ADHD: Two Welwyn Garden City men speak out about the condition
PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 November 2018
Two Welwyn Garden City men have opened up about what it is like to live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to raise awareness of the condition.
Living with ADHD can be a challenge and for up to 1.5 million with the condition in the UK, this challenge can affect simple day-to-day tasks in school and the workplace.
For ADHD awareness month, which took place last month, Rohan Nosworthy and Robert Mitchell have told the Welwyn Hatfield Times about their experiences.
Rohan is 53 and was diagnosed with ADHD just three years ago.
He is an anomaly according to the statistics which show most people are usually diagnosed as children between the ages of six and 12.
“I had a sense I was different” Rohan said.
The father-of-two admits his interest in himself came when his son was diagnosed at five.
Rohan took parenting classes to understand his son’s needs and encourages other parents to “learn everything you can”.
Whilst doing so, Rohan became a philanthropist working closely with ADHD charities such as ‘space’ and producing content for ADDISS (The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service)
“I campaigned for an adult psychiatrist in my previous area, and this is how I was diagnosed.
“I can understand the process of going through GPs can be distressing, but I knew I had to be persistent.”
Rohan would like to encourage other adults of his age to trust and believe their symptoms and get diagnosed.
He said: “If you think you have it, you probably have it.”
Adult ADHD can be hard to diagnose due to the belief symptoms are more visible as a child.
Although there is a lack of a research into adult ADHD, some characteristics are similar.
For example, whilst hyperactivity characteristics may decrease, hyper attentiveness can increase due to the demands of adult responsibilities.
Often, the result can be difficulties in relationships and social interactions.
In some cases, adult ADHD will be partnered with conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD or Bipolar Disorder.
Twenty-six-year-old Robert Mitchell grew up in WGC and from the age of six was diagnosed with ADHD.
“You don’t want to be treated differently,” he said.
Robert recalls his younger self having a ‘hyperactive personality’.
He also recalls having difficulty paying attention in school, symptoms that are very common in children with the condition.
While in school, Robert admits at times he was called names and emphasises the school’s role in dealing with bullies.
“Each individual child is different, concentration levels are different so something must be done, without drawing them out,” he said.
Robert is grateful that his friends from primary school who also went to secondary with him recognised and understood his condition.
He said: “People who had taken time to know me, they were the most supportive.”
ADHD symptoms can be categorised into two characteristics: impulsiveness and inattentiveness with hyperactivity.
In some cases, those with the condition fall into both these categories but at times, they may not.
Therefore, their behavioural problems and needs go unnoticed.
Particularly in children and teenagers in school, this behaviour may lead to oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) described as defiant behaviour towards their teachers or parents.
Sadly, at times those with ADHD can live with partnered feelings of anxiety and antisocial behaviour such as violence and disruptive behaviour. Displayed in how they act towards their peers or parents.
“It is important this is recognised and not just seen as a naughty student,” says Robert.
“This can make you just want to get school over and done with and withdraw yourself.”
Without the correct support and awareness young people, can become withdrawn from socialisation and school.
Local charity, Space provides support around Hertford, Hatfield, Welwyn, and Stevenage.
Space works closely with behaviour specialists, county councillors, the NHS and other relevant services.
You can contact Space at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, Rohan invites people to join his Facebook group ‘Activating ADHD - Welwyn Garden City’