Struggling to be perfect

Emma’s ADHD story

Emma had started struggling during her A levels. She had always been shy and a people pleaser, and had worked hard to do her revision and homework, but this had dominated her evenings. She seemed to take much longer to do her work than other students.

She was keen to impress her teachers and hated being criticised at home, so she worked hard to make up for the fact that she had to read and re-read paragraphs or chapters in books to make the words and meaning stick inside her head and be understood or remembered.

Emma became anxious about the longer pieces of work she was expected to do in sixth form. She would feel overwhelmed when she had to read around a subject, summarise information and collect references for a piece of work. She struggled to organise all the information she needed for essays and yet, as she was conscientious, she would get them done.

The long hours she was needing to complete her work were taking their toll. Her teachers did not notice any problems, in fact her reports were outstanding. However, no-one had any idea that she was struggling so much at home and was giving up so much of her time to complete the work set. Her parents thought the problem was that she just lacked confidence, was too conscientious, ‘a perfectionist’ and was prone to anxiety.

ADHD stories

We have heard hundreds of people describing how their lives have been affected by undiagnosed ADHD. Some of these real life stories, but not real names or images, are shared here.

Typical ADHD Symptoms

ADHD presents in many different ways. It is characterized by three main groups of behavior traits and a range of typical additional behaviours within these.

About Adult ADHD Clinic

Dr Cubbin’s passion for ADHD has been developed in response to the growing understanding that this condition has been misunderstood, ignored and under-represented for too long.

How to book an assessment or appointment

If you find the information in our site useful and feel that you would benefit from a full ADHD assessment, we would be delighted to consider booking an appointment for you at one of our clinics. Please click here for more information.


Throughout my life I have developed many strategies to cope but none of them stopped me talking too much, over committing myself, becoming completely stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted on a daily basis.

Extract from recommendation.


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