I was diagnosed with ADHD after struggling my whole life – here are the five little-known signs I missed

A woman has shared five ways undiagnosed ADHD can manifest – and several symptoms can go unnoticed for years.

Tahlia Lehmann For most of her life, she was “confused” about why she was “different” and could not complete tasks as easily as her peers.

The teacher was eventually tested for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as an adult – and her diagnosis made a world of difference in the way 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 someone might be suffering from ADHD – and one of them was ‘masking’ the disorder with a bubbly personality.

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

Other traits are that you are often off the agenda and ‘lazy’, appear confident but feel really anxious inside, fidget and often feel burned out.

People with the disorder also often have low self-esteem and often feel like they are not doing enough due to their poor time management and short attention span.

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to exercise age-appropriate self-control.

There are several other characteristics that people living with it may exhibit, such as persistent patterns of inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive behavior; and emotional regulation problems.

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

One in twenty children also has ADHD, with three quarters of children continuing to show symptoms well into their adult lives.

What is ADHD and its signs and symptoms?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to exercise age-appropriate self-control.

It is characterized by persistent patterns of inattentive, impulsive, and sometimes hyperactive behavior, and is often accompanied by problems with emotional regulation.

People with ADHD have little control over this behavior because it stems from underlying neurological differences.

ADHD can cause significant functional impairment across the lifespan and in all areas of life, and without appropriate intervention it can lead to significantly adverse outcomes.

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



  • Empathetic
  • Energetic
  • Spontaneously
  • Creatively
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Inventive
  • Innovative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Can hyperfocus on interests
  • Adventurous


  • Easily distracted
  • Inattentive
  • Forgetful
  • Problems listening
  • Disorganized
  • Chatty
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Daydreaming
  • Hyperactive
  • Poor time management
  • Low frustration tolerance

Source: ADHD Australia

American neurologist Dr Amen echoed some of Tahlia’s points and said there are many signs of ADHD beyond attention and hyperactivity problems.

“If you’re late, that’s one of the most common things. People with ADHD actually don’t start getting ready until that little voice in their head says, ‘Oh my God, I’m late,'” he said.

“Maybe only ten minutes sometimes, but it’s a chronic pattern of being late.”

Another ADHD indicator is ‘chronic procrastination’.

“You procrastinate, you just don’t get things done on time until someone is mad at you for doing it,” Dr. Amen said.

“If it looks like your book bag, your desk, your closet, your drawers in there has exploded, then that’s a sign that you may have ADHD,” he added.

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

‘I have thousands of interests but no real hobbies, it’s so frustrating! I spend an absolute fortune on something and then I’m like, ‘Meh, I’m over you,'” one viewer wrote.

“I’ve never thought about ADHD and this practically describes me as a whole,” a second replied.

“It took 32 years, two kids and TikTok, for the light bulb moment to happen. I was referred earlier this year and finally understand myself!’ one mother commented.