Mom in New Orleans says ‘ADHD changed my life,’ reveals how diagnosis helped her thrive

For many individuals, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity dysfunction) calls to thoughts overactive youngsters who’ve bother focusing or behaving. Yet the dysfunction additionally impacts adults, lots of whom are getting identified nicely into their 30s, 40s and past.

A current research from Epic Research, a well being analytics agency primarily based in Verona, Wisconsin, discovered that the share of females between ages 23 and 49 identified with the dysfunction almost doubled from 2020 to 2022. 

Some docs imagine that many of those ladies might have assumed that they had stress, nervousness or melancholy, because the situations all have many overlapping signs.

One of these is Marie Ohlsson Chisholm, a 42-year-old small enterprise proprietor in New Orleans, Louisiana


When her 7-year-old son was identified with ADHD two years in the past, she started researching the dysfunction and realized all the indicators and signs utilized to her, too.

At 40 years outdated, Chisholm obtained her personal diagnosis — and she or he stated it felt like a brand new starting. 

“I was floundering — and now I am flourishing,” she informed Fox News Digital in an interview.

From overachieving to overwhelmed

Chisholm stated she’d all the time been an “overachiever” throughout childhood and highschool — however when she entered her school years and maturity, she felt like she’d misplaced her sense of self-worth and confidence.

Marie Ohlsson Chisholm (pictured with her household in New Orleans) was identified with ADHD at 40 years outdated. She informed Fox News Digital her diagnosis has been each a blessing and a curse. (Marie Chisholm/The Crawfords Photography and Films)

As an grownup, she struggled to concentrate on duties, discovered herself in a relentless state of procrastination and felt unproductive and unfulfilled.

“Now I know it’s because I was in a state of executive dysfunction,” she stated.

Often seen in these with ADHD, government dysfunction is “a symptom that happens with conditions that disrupt the brain’s ability to control thoughts, emotions and behavior,” per the Cleveland Clinic.


Common indicators of government dysfunction are bother specializing in or ending duties, issues with impulse management, lack of motivation and incapability to concentrate.

“I would just sit and worry about things instead of doing them,” Chisholm stated. “It felt kind of like decision paralysis.” 

Females with ADHD have totally different signs than males.

Despite her incapability to take motion, Chisholm nonetheless felt fidgety and stressed, craving fixed stimulation. 

She stated this led her to snack when she wasn’t hungry, drink an excessive amount of alcohol and consistently scroll by means of social media, which left her feeling depressed and anxious with out having the ability to determine the foundation trigger.

Diagnosis felt like a brand new starting

After a number of rounds of remedy and in depth analysis, Chisholm was lastly in a position to put a reputation to her battle. 

She discovered that an ADHD mind features in another way than a non-ADHD mind.

After getting an ADHD diagnosis and starting treatment, Chisholm launched an online business, Little Hometown, which sells baby clothes and accessories. "I was stuck in the default mode network for so many years," she said. 

After getting an ADHD diagnosis and beginning remedy, Chisholm launched a web-based enterprise, Little Hometown, which sells child garments and equipment. “I was stuck in the default mode network for so many years,” she stated.  (Marie Chisholm)

In an ADHD mind, there are decrease ranges of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps with regulating feelings and delivering emotions of delight and reward, in accordance with Healthline. This compels individuals with ADHD to hunt extra methods to extend their dopamine ranges, which may result in inattention and hyperactivity.

People with ADHD even have bother toggling between the 2 totally different “networks” of the mind. 

The default mode community is lively when somebody isn’t targeted on a selected activity — it’s used for daydreaming, introspective pondering and creativity, per Psychology Today.

Then there’s the task-positive community, which is engaged when somebody is targeted on a selected activity, like finishing a piece undertaking, paying payments or planning meals for the week.


In individuals with ADHD, the 2 networks are activated on the identical time, making it tough for them to focus.

“I was stuck in the default mode network for so many years,” stated Chisholm. “Because of that, I wasn’t fully engaged in life the way I wanted to be.”

Chisholm’s physician prescribed Adderall, a stimulant that helps individuals with ADHD to focus, keep organized and regulate their feelings and conduct.

She stated the remedy was like placing on glasses for her thoughts. 

“I have basically redefined who I am as a parent, wife, friend and businesswoman.”

“Before treatment, it felt like every morning, when trying to get my brain started, the engine just kept turning and turning but never caught,” Chisholm defined. “The medication helps kick my brain into gear.”

She famous that whereas the medication is a superb instrument, nevertheless, it’s not a magic answer by itself. Education and consciousness are additionally important. Now that she’s conscious of how her mind works, she consciously modifications her ideas and conduct to accommodate it.

“I’ve been able to build structure and routine in my household — and have basically redefined who I am as a parent, wife, friend and businesswoman,” she informed Fox News Digital.

After her diagnosis, Chisholm created a dedicated art space that she calls her "creative studio," where she can relax and de-stress.

After her diagnosis, Chisholm created a devoted artwork area that she calls her “creative studio,” the place she will chill out and de-stress. (Marie Ohlsson Chisholm)

In addition to changing into mentally and emotionally more healthy, Chisholm has seen her bodily well being enhance. Since her diagnosis, she’s targeted extra on vitamin and train.

“I’ve lost 30 pounds of weight and 39 years of shame,” she stated. “I no longer eat healthy foods and exercise just to look better, I do it to feel better — to stay focused on my purpose and my dreams.”

ADHD gender hole

Studies have proven that males usually tend to be identified with ADHD than females. The hole begins in childhood ; some 13% of boys are identified versus 6% of women, stated the CDC.

Dr. Guenevere Rosenthal, a workers psychiatrist at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, believes ladies get identified later in life for a wide range of causes, primarily as a result of their signs are extra refined.


“Women lean toward the inattentive-type symptoms, while men present with more overt, impulsive-type symptoms, which are a lot easier to notice at home or in school,” she informed Fox News Digital. 

“Because research has been more focused on boys and men, often health care providers and teachers do not look for the symptoms, which leads to a delayed diagnosis.”

As analysis has shifted and extra ladies are getting identified later in life, Dr. Rosenthal stated their signs extra generally proceed by means of maturity in comparability to males.

“I can finally see the full picture of who I am as a person.”

For Chisholm, the ADHD signs would usually emerge whereas she was juggling the quite a few day-to-day duties and obligations of motherhood.

“So many moms and women my age are overwhelmed with what they should be doing and what they see other people doing,” she stated. “I was always the room mom and the Girl Scout leader, and always seemed like I had it all together — but at home, I was full of anxiety and perfectionism.”

Role of genetics and surroundings

Genetics play a giant half in somebody’s chance of growing ADHD.

Between one-third to one-half of oldsters who’ve ADHD could have a baby with the dysfunction; and if an older sibling is identified, the opposite youngsters in the household could have greater than a 30% likelihood of growing it, in accordance with WebMD. 

Chisholm stated her father, son, brother and all of her nephews have ADHD — and she or he was the primary feminine in her household to be identified. 

In her "creative studio," Chisholm and her children (including her 7-year-old daughter, pictured) spend time together drawing, painting, making jewelry and creating pottery.

In her “creative studio,” Chisholm and her youngsters (together with her 7-year-old daughter, pictured) spend time collectively drawing, portray, making jewellery and creating pottery. (Marie Ohlsson Chisholm)

Environmental components may also set off the dysfunction, stated Dr. Rosenthal.

“There is a lot of evidence, although still ongoing, showing that ‘addictive use’ of technology correlates with the development of ADHD,” she informed Fox News Digital. “This link has been more notable with females.”

When “a person is using a tablet or phone for hours upon hours, scrolling through short clips and receiving instant gratification, it would increase the risk of not being able to focus for long periods of time and becoming easily distracted,” she went on.

Tips for girls fighting ADHD

Chisholm has made it a mission to boost consciousness of ADHD amongst grownup ladies. She provided some ideas for turning the diagnosis into a possibility for self-improvement and achievement.

First, she harassed the significance of studying about how the ADHD mind works.

“Reflect on your life. Think about the last time you felt like your most authentic, happiest self, then determine the reasons you felt that way,” she stated. 

“Then, start taking intentional steps to gradually make your daily life more like that again, one day or hour at a time.”


Chisholm additionally tries to maintain her surroundings tidy and arranged. “This is a constant battle for me, but I have made cleaning for at least 20 minutes a part of my daily exercise regimen,” she stated. “When I’m done, my house and my mind are less cluttered.”

Finally, she stated it’s vital for girls to offer themselves area, mentally and bodily.

“Make time every day to do something by yourself that energizes you, even if it’s just for 10 minutes,” she really useful. “Make a space in your home that is just yours, even if it’s just one corner of one room.”

“ADHD can be a blessing or a curse depending on your support system.”

For Chisholm, that area is her “creative studio,” which was previously her youngsters’s playroom. She reworked it into an inspiring surroundings the place she and the children can draw, paint, make jewellery and create pottery.

“When you have ADHD, it’s important to do things that fuel your interest and light up your brain,” she stated.

In an ADHD brain, there are lower levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps with regulating emotions and delivering feelings of pleasure and reward. 

In an ADHD mind, there are decrease ranges of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps with regulating feelings and delivering emotions of delight and reward.  (iStock)

Additionally, Chisholm stated having a assist system is important.

“ADHD can be a blessing or a curse depending on your support system,” she identified. “The same qualities that make people with ADHD extra-special when they are in healthy, supportive environments can lead to depression, addiction, anxiety and destructive habits when they are in toxic or unstable environments.”

Missing puzzle piece

Today, Chisholm stated that whereas she nonetheless generally struggles, her high quality of life has vastly improved.

“My self-confidence has skyrocketed,” she stated. “Now that I know how my brain works, I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to doing.”


Her sense of empathy has grown considerably, she stated. 

“As a result, I am a better mother, wife and friend,” Chisholm stated. “I value my time — and other people’s time — more. Understanding myself has allowed me to acknowledge my worth.”


Chisholm compares her diagnosis to discovering a lacking puzzle piece.

“I can finally see the full picture of who I am as a person,” she stated. 

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