Dad’s mental health: discovering you have ADHD as an adult

This is a guest article by Author and Mental Health Campaigner Mark Williams.

I wasn’t a bad kid. You could even say I was respectful. That was the way I was brought up – respect your elders. But sometimes the boredom became too much to bear and I’d end up doing one of those pranks which the other kids loved but which teachers hated.

Sadly left school at fifteen years of age. I had many jobs until I got into mental health and found my passion. 

Once I get onto something i enjoy, I stick to it like a dog digging up an old bone. I wanted to find out more about my own mental state and started seeing specialists who could help me make sense of my chequered past. I was diagnosed me as having ADHD – at forty! No wonder my school days had been so barren.

ADHD is under diagnosed in people of my generation, and it didn’t help having the diagnosis so late in my life. But I now know what to look out for: stress, restlessness, edginess. I may have a quick temper, can be irritable and suffer from extreme impatience. I over-talk things, fidget and mislay stuff, just as I did at school. But at least I understand the reasons for this and so don’t beat myself up about it.

I believe my ADHD has helped me to think outside the box. I have been told I’m a pioneer in fathers mental Health.  

It took a long while and a lot of work, but, with the enormous help of my mentor, Dr Jane Hanley, I fulfilled my ambition to become an expert on and spokesman for dads’ mental health issues. I founded International Fathers’ Mental Health Day and have taken my campaign for awareness and support around the world, talking to audiences in universities, on radio and television; and I have been the key speaker at over 200 conferences.

I have also written many articles on aspects of the subjects and collaborated with doctors and academics, like Jane Hanley, on a range of projects, culminating in my first  and second published book. My first book has been made into a film, Daddy Blues, which is coming out  this year. 

I know the benefits from having ADHD and still make mistakes as a parent but like my wife Michelle says ” It would be dull if you didn’t have ADHD and your always there for our son Ethan and he knows you love him” 

I’m proud Dad with ADHD.

You can view mark presenting at TED Talks on this link:

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