Former Justice Minister Kiri Allan has opened up on social media about her recent ADHD diagnosis and discussions with her psychologist.
Allan took to Facebook on Saturday to share her struggles with the common neurodevelopmental disorder.
About one in 20 people in Aotearoa live with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
“Talking to my psychologist, a neurodivergent specialist the other day and I asked, do I really have ADHD?” Allan wrote in her post.
“Feels like it’s the new fad and everyone has it… Is it even a thing?”
Allan said her psychologist cracked up laughing at her.
“ADHD is a very real and under diagnosed condition,” the psychologist told her.
“You [Allan] definitely meet the criteria and have ADHD.”
ADHD diagnoses must meet strict criteria.
“I mean I’ve always been this way and seem to have survived,” Allan replied.
“You’ve learnt to survive and built up behaviours to survive,” her psychologist said.
Allan said she accepted her cancer diagnosis, but “resisted the diagnosis of ADHD and being neurodivergent”.
“It’s been a ‘super power’ in my work but to the detriment of a lot of other things in life.”
Allan said she’s inattentive when she’s not interested in a task.
“For example, I can appear not to be listening when spoken to.”
She said she also ducks out of meetings to fetch water, as “I struggle sitting still”.
Allan wrote she often falls over too.
“My daughter knows me as MumMum who always is getting hurt.”
Her “shame”, she said, is getting easily annoyed and being impulsive.
She added she didn’t write the Facebook post to excuse her behaviour.
“I’m sharing this experience because it is coming to the end of ADHD awareness month.
“If sharing my journey helps even just one other person, it’s worth being a little vulnerable, biting the bullet and honouring what it is.”
ADHD support resources can be found here.