Matilda Boseley: Chore charms, TikTok & moral panic in the mediaDec 04, 2023
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“I missed it, my teachers missed it, my parents missed it, my therapist missed it, my doctors missed it, but TikTok figured it out in a couple of weeks.”
Matilda is an award-winning social media reporter and presenter for Guardian Australia. Based in Melbourne, she has spearheaded the publication’s popular TikTok channel where she writes and hosts their short-form news explainers.
She regularly reports on issues affecting young people, women and mental health and her first book, The Year I Met My Brain, documents her experiences and discoveries after being diagnosed with ADHD at 23 and investigates the hidden prevalence and costs of ADHD among adults.
We talk about how TikTok diagnosed her with ADHD, her viral video of her chore charms, and what made her decide to write a book about her diagnosis journey. We also talk about some of the media backlash against the recent rise in ADHD diagnoses, as well as about a thousand other rapid-fire topics because that’s what we do on this podcast.
Matilda explains her theory on “land brains” vs “ocean brains” and I basically had zero chill and just gush the whole time because I’m such a huge fan of Matilda’s work!
The Year I Met My Brain by Matilda Boseley
Click here to watch Matilda’s viral chore charm video
The Guardian’s Full Story podcast episode
That’s Helpful with Edwina Stott podcast episode
Matilda Boseley 0:00
I do think there is like such this element of needing to acknowledge it as a disorder, but also, it's so easy to get trapped in like, it's only bad and it's only negative and I wish I didn't have it. And I don't think that that's really fair, either for us to only be fed those negatives and feel like it's just hopeless.
Katy Weber 0:22
Hello, and welcome to the women and ADHD podcast. I'm your host, Katy Weber. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 45. And it completely turned my world upside down. I've been looking back at so much of my life, school, jobs, my relationships, all of it with this new lens and it has been nothing short of overwhelming I quickly discovered I was not the only woman to have this experience. And now I interview other women who liked me discovered in adulthood they have ADHD and are finally feeling like they understand who they are and how to best lean into their strengths, both professionally and personally. Okay, before we get started, I'm going to read a review that was left on Audible from a listener called Knox. This review brought me to tears because it absolutely encapsulates all the reasons why I have continued to put this podcast out week after week for nearly three years. It's entitled The single best thing to happen to me after listening to every episode at least twice, often listening 40 hours a week during work for over a year, the executive function gods have smiled upon me and I am able to write a review. I never listened to a podcast before but when I started realizing I might have ADHD. I was confused by the clinical information on the internet. And even the self tests had me unsure what some of the questions meant. I wanted to find something that explained what ADHD feels like for females. So I clicked on the podcasts that had the most reviews and that was it. I could never put a price on the knowledge and clarity I've gained from these stories. Not only did it help solidify my self diagnosis, but it also helped me to sort out the ADHD symptoms and realize that I am likely autistic too. It's been so cathartic to realize that all the times teachers called me too sensitive or loved ones yelled at me to stop being lazy and just do the thing or the 10 years I've struggled to get through my degree are all because of these neurological differences I have and not because I'm a horrible, worthless person. This podcast has also been an amazing tool to educate others. When I clearly recognize my mother. In some of the episodes, I called her up and said I think I have ADHD and you do too. I then sent her the Casey Davis episode and told her to listen. My previously skeptical mother has now been diagnosed with ADHD in her 60s and finally knows why she's been struggling her entire life. Did I mention two of my sisters have since been diagnosed as well. I can't thank you enough for the journey. This has started me on as I can finally get the help and support I need to accomplish what I want in life. Please keep doing what you're doing. Oh, gosh, thank you, Knox. And thanks to reviews like yours, I fully plan to keep doing what I'm doing. conversations like the incredible one you're about to hear right now are not only cathartic and validating. But I firmly believe it is a far more effective way of learning about our brains and reframing our ADHD than reading books or articles or the DSM ever could. Your reviews inspire me and they keep me going. So if you are a listener of this podcast and you found it helpful, and you've been meaning to leave me a review, and you just haven't gotten around to it, please consider heading over to Apple podcasts or audible and you can now leave feedback on individual episodes on Spotify. And if that feels like too much right now, and I totally get it. You can also just quickly hit the five stars. In fact, why don't we just pause right now you can go do it and I promise we will wait for you. So here we are at episode 166 in which I interviewed Matilda Bosley Matilda is an award winning social media reporter and a presenter for Guardian Australia. based in Melbourne, she has spearheaded the publication's popular Tiktok channel where she writes and hosts their short form news explainers. She regularly reports on issues affecting young people, women and mental health and her first book the year I've met my brain documents her experiences and Discovery's after being diagnosed with ADHD at 23. We talked about how Tiktok diagnosed her with ADHD, her viral video of her charms and what made her decide to write a book about her diagnosis journey. We also talked about some of the media backlash against the recent rise in ADHD diagnoses as well as about 1000 Other rapidfire topics because that's what we do on this podcast. Matilda also explains her theory of land brains versus ocean brains and I basically have zero chill throughout the interview and I just gush the whole time because I am such a huge fan of Matilda's work this conversation was an absolute gem. I loved it and I know you will to enjoy with Tilda Bhosle as I live and breathe. Thank you so much for joining By the way, after I told my 16 year old daughter, I was interviewing you at dinner tonight. And she actually like raised an eyebrow. She was like, I think it's like, the fifth time in her life. She has been mildly impressed with me. So thank you for that.
Matilda Boseley 5:12
I do everything for the approval of teenagers, I cannot tell you so that means so much.
Katy Weber 5:19
But she was actually the one who, you know, she sent me the video of yours from Tik Tok that went viral of the tags, which we will get into eventually. But I am just I don't mean to sound creepy, but I'm like a little bit obsessed with you. But one thing I do have to admit is I have not read your book yet. I'm sorry. I'm waiting for the audio book. I want you to read it to me. So when is that coming out? Yeah.
Matilda Boseley 5:41
So I think internationally, the ebook and the audio book should be out. And then I don't know, fingers crossed. The physical book kind of can't come to other countries soon enough. But yes, I was very like the audio book needs to be out and the day of because I couldn't possibly read a book.
Katy Weber 6:00
All right, well, I will, I will hopefully get my act together and have the link for the audio book in the show notes as well. And hopefully by the time this airs, I will have read the book because I've listened to so I'll tell you, I had a client of mine who sent me the episode of The Guardian podcast, the full story episode, and she was so and she knows who she is. She's out there. But she was like, you have to interview this woman. And I was like, Oh, yeah. Okay. And then I put two and two together that you were the TAT glade? Sorry, that sounds terrible. But I was like, Oh, I already follow her. And then I listened to the podcast episode interview you did with Ed Stott, on that's helpful. And that's where I went from like, oh, yeah, I'd like to interview Matilda Mosley to Oh, my God, I think I'm obsessed with Matilda. at Wellesley, I just think you're so brilliant. And so you put into words, so many incredible things. I actually wrote this down from the interview, because this was so incredible when you were talking about like, what is the loneliness, that we don't even realize how lonely we are until we get this diagnosis. And I was like, and then you start to realize that people are seeing you for the first time. And you said you were like, I felt like I was laying the tracks as the train was running. And you said I spent my life relying on other people's capacity to forgive me. And it was like, my heart just sank into my stomach when you said that it was just so poignant. And so thank you for all your way with words.
Matilda Boseley 7:33
Thank you so much. I think the capacity to forgive lon I genuinely did write on my laptop, while crying is one in the book that sort of chapters that are more, there's still a lot of me throughout, but much more sort of factual. And then there's kind of like interlude diary entries in between each. And one of them is literally just me having a breakdown about trying to write the book. I was like, I can get one self indulgent, meta thing where it because it was I just got to this point where it just felt like everything was falling apart all the time and constantly and it was Yeah, it really was that thing of like, oh my God, my entire social relationships are reliant on other people's good graces. It feels like sometimes and but yes, no, that I remember writing that, like, it's just fully bawling my eyes out at the time, which honestly, it's a lot of the book was written mindfully bawling my eyes out. I'm not gonna lie. Wow.
Katy Weber 8:31
Right. Yeah, you had said like, I am something we talked about a lot on this podcast, that feeling like we have the best of intentions, right? That deep down. We are bad people who desperately want to be good, as opposed to what we are, which is for the most part, phenomenal human beings who are always good. And just somehow people have decided that we're just fucking up all the time. But yeah, anyway. Okay, I want to backtrack a little bit and find out about your diagnosis. So you were diagnosed on tick tock, not on tick tock, live on Tiktok.
Matilda Boseley 9:08
Katy Weber 9:09
but you came to your understanding of of your own ADHD through tick tock videos. When was this? How old were you? And what were some of the things you found you were most relating to? Yeah,
Matilda Boseley 9:21
so it was it really was like I was been looking on tick tock for ages. The pandemic started and, I mean, in Melbourne, where I'm from, we had, I think, the world's longest lockdown, which, you know, and my Tiktok viewership just went up like crazy. And I remember it was good, like one or two videos, you know, just kind of like throughout the algorithm of people saying I think it was kto Soros the first one, I saw it on that like, oh, five, you know, signs of ADHD that you might not expect in in adult women. And I think you know, probably my My first thought was like, Oh, I don't women can have it. Well, women in general. And I remember watching him being kind of like, God, that sounds a lot like my anxiety, because I had had Generalized Anxiety diagnosis, which honestly, I think, possibly contributed to the thing because like, I went on antidepressants, and suddenly wasn't, you know, like that thing of, oh, if I'm not utterly terrified that this person will hate me forever and never talk to me again. If I don't reply, I'm not gonna reply, you know, so like, the glue of my life that was pure terror was starting to drop away a little bit with starting to dream anxiety. So things were already starting, I just moved out of home. And then clearly, I watched the video, there's, you know, probably watched it again, liked it saved it for later, just in case and, you know, clearly, somewhere in some computer server, the algorithm overlords were like, we got a, we got one, let's send a million of these videos, because she will stay on the app and watch them like, you know, that sort of dystopian like, capitalistic. Let's drag every advertising sand out of our eyeballs we can. And suddenly my for you page was, yeah, just progressively more and more filled with these videos to the point where it I think there was a resistance at first because I was like, it's feels too easy, right? Like, oh, here's this excuse, you know, just because this fits me utterly and perfectly and would explain everything, you know. But yeah, I think there was a resistance and eventually, yeah, it got too spooky. And, you know, spoke to my therapist who sent me back to my GP, you sent me to the psychiatrist. Um, I'm not sure what it's like in the in the US at the moment, but currently in Australia, because there has been this, which is really like new chapter of ADHD awareness that we're entering into waitlists and how ridiculous it can be 1314 months to see a psychiatrist because in Australia, they're the only people that can prescribe stimulant medications, for adults at least. And I was lucky I got in maybe four month wait. And yeah, eventually, by the end of the whole process, he sort of said, yeah, you have ADHD seems pretty clearly and it seems you've had it your whole life. And I just, like, burst into tears, because it was just like, at that point, my like, number one fear was like, Well, what if he says, No, you know, so, so happy. And I think he was like, Okay, can we talk about mitigation now? And I want to deal with this crying lady, as psychiatrists threatened to do, but yeah, so it was really a process of yeah, that weird thing of like, Oh, cool. So I missed it. And my teachers mister to my parents missed it. And my therapist missed it. And my daughter's Mr. All these years and, and tick tock figured it out in a couple of weeks. Well, I
Katy Weber 12:50
feel there's like there's this paradox between feeling like before I was diagnosed, feeling like the things that I'm struggling with, everybody struggles with, right, like, there was a sense of, I just assumed a lot of the things that are kind of typical traits of ADHD were, especially the internalized stuff, right? Like, I just figured this was a universal experience. Most of the time, I didn't realize that this was not what everybody I mean, I thought that my husband was some strange, like, yeah, I just thought he was a white male who had lots and lots of competence. And so he didn't struggle with feeling inadequate all the time. But I didn't attribute it to like being a neurotypical. Or there was something universal about the fact that I was just chronically terrible, right? Like you had said, like, I was just a bad person will
Matilda Boseley 13:37
like it's that thing of like, all ADHD symptoms are like, universal experiences to a degree and you know, that it's about like, the intensity and the frequency of it. And so yeah, it's kind of like, oh, well, everyone has trouble doing this. Everyone forgets appointments, everyone like loses their keys, like this isn't. But then when you realize, like, No, this is constant, and it's affecting my life. And yeah, like I really feel that have, I think, you know, in terms of that feeling, like a bad person pretending to be good, because like, I think I was genuinely like 23 the first time like, post diagnosis, the first time that it like occurred to me that like, being, you know, lazy or thoughtless or selfish, or, you know, all these other words that we put on ourselves, that they weren't things that people could choose to do like that when if someone was if I was being lazy, that there's people are lazy, like, I think it's often very often not on purpose, but you know, that there's people who are choosing to not get the things done or not wanting to do it and things like that. And I kind of just thought, Oh, well, you're kind of born with like a certain amount of like selfishness and thoughtlessness and, and laziness and you know, hopelessness and it's just your fault. If that's like just tough luck if you were born like that, and then you just have to be pretending to be good. Like I thought I was just kind of born bad. And it was just like, unfortunate. And I got to just work really hard not to, you know, because I had no idea that like, you know, when other people aren't texting people happy birthday, it's not coming out of just like pure having forgot or when, because they've forgotten it. It's about Oh, you didn't write it in your diary or something like that, like, yeah, because it's like, I would try so hard to be able to do it. And I just couldn't. But we're taught that there's intent behind that, like, there's so moralized all the aspects of ADHD. And I think that's what was the hardest thing to get around is like letting go of my own moral judgment of myself.
Katy Weber 15:48
Absolutely. Like you were saying, like, there was this sense that what I'm doing, it seems to be coming across, like, I don't care about the person, right? Like, I forgot to text them back, or I'm late, or all of these things that happen where we feel like we're a bad friend or a bad person, and then you search a question while I'm doing these things. So therefore, I must not care. It's like our behaviors dictate how we think about other people, even though they are completely incongruent, right? Like, we really do have the best intentions. But I think we start to doubt ourselves, and we start to think, well, maybe I am a terrible person, maybe I am thoughtless, maybe I'm lazy, maybe I'm careless. we internalize all of that into to a degree that we start, like our self esteem is has gone, you know, in the toilet, by the time most of us get this diagnosis, or you know, or were diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and then use the anxiety like you said, as a motivator.
Matilda Boseley 16:43
Yeah, completely. And also, I mean, I don't know, this is, again, just making like, now, I'm just going off on a tangent, but I feel like if there's ever a place to do it, it's an ADHD podcast, but but like I do, I think so much about the way the symptoms of ADHD are moralized. And I do wonder if like, that's such a big part of the stigma around it of like, it feels kind of rough to see someone be like, Oh, I've done I'm doing these, you know, like, someone without ADHD, looking at someone with ADHD being like, that annoyed me in that way, what they did, and I was hurt by that, because I assumed it's intentional, because for me, it would be an all of this and then seeing like, oh, I they have ADHD, and it feels like that sort of like almost like a moral excuse as well. And I do wonder whether, whether that kind of really increases the annoyance that people have when, you know, the whole discussion of all everyone has ADHD these days, whether it is that thing of these things are so associated with like, who's a good person or not, in a way that's really pointless and really arbitrary, because like, most people would be doing the best they possibly can. All the time. And we all fall short to a certain degree. It's just with ADHD. It's obviously it's more throughout and I yeah, just it's made me honestly question the entire, like, what idea of what we've built on like respectable society, honestly.
Katy Weber 18:14
Right? Well, I find it fascinating too, that a lot of that, like eye rolling that is coming from this, this massive, like, Oh, everybody has ADHD, you're all just pill seekers. And, like, I feel like a lot of that moral high ground that you're talking about is coming, especially from the UK media. It's not happening as much in North America. And I think you're right, I think there is a like, the UK especially has, its, you know, their, their colonialists there. There's a real order of things as a properness, right, you need to like there's a such an emphasis on knowing your place. And so there is like a moral high ground there. Like you don't have a right to feel good about yourself. I'm gonna say if you feel good about yourself, so it's like, fascinating to me that it seems like it is much more concentrated in the UK. I but I know like how are you finding being in the Australian media? How do you are you finding it's, it's at least a little better or just as bad or more more agnostic? As with
Matilda Boseley 19:17
most things in Australia, somewhere between the UK and the US? Like, I think culturally that says a lot. It's often that and I think look, there's there's there's been some great media coverage on it. And and I think it helps that this awesome women in media with ADHD, and there's been some great coverage, but there is definitely a lot of look at this quirky little trend. It seems like everyone has it. And it's like, I would like it if there was a bit more of a breakdown of ADHD is twice as common as having read half, if not more. It's actually not that weird that you know, 10 different people with ADHD. That's just how maths works. I know we've seen Seems like a lot. It is just how maths works. And like I think, you know, there's there's a lot of talk about, well, this like this, you know, kind of treating it like the trend. Whereas I think it's more like, no, there's been a cosmic shift, the entire world changed overnight. And we accidentally invented an app. That is a perfect ADHD information dissemination machine because it's short videos with constant gratification. And those two things happened. And yet the world of ADHD has changed. And you know, there is just always going to be the moral kind of a moral panic at those inflection points, but I had something to say about this. I so yeah, it's treated a bit sort of like a trend. And yes, it's mostly annoyance coming from all of these people. Oh, my goodness, excuses and whatnot, and everyone has it. I also like, I really think it's got a lot to do with the fact that it's a lot of women finding out and like, we hate things to do with women, right? Like, you know, there's a reason we like dismiss like, boy bands and bands that young women like like, anytime a young women are getting into it, and he's like, Oh, it's just a trend is this trendy thing, and everyone wants to be the same. And I think I do think there's a really gendered element to it, which is a shame, because there's so many men are also finding out about their identities in this way. But I really do think the fact that it, it has been such a kind of revolution for women specifically, that increases the way it's traded, and the kind of feeling of frivolousness that is sometimes imbued into some of the coverage.
Katy Weber 21:40
I'm curious to know your point of view on this, on this course correction, because I do feel like it's a course correction in terms of the massive increase in diagnoses over the last couple of years. And I remember, John Oliver, had talked about it, it was actually in reference to the increase in trans youth but he had, he had likened it to the increase in left handedness when elementary school teachers stopped forcing kids to be right handed. And there so there were like, there was this spike in left handedness in children. And, you know, everybody at the time was like, Oh, everybody thinks they're left handed. Now, when really left handedness is 10% of the population was like, Well, no, it's not that suddenly these people were left handed. It's that nobody's forcing them to not be left handed. And so he was using it. And he was using it in reference to the increase in trans youth. But it was, you know, I like to think about it in terms of the increase in diagnoses, which is like, No, it's not, you know, these are women. This is of course, crush, and these are women who are discovering what their ADHD looked like their whole life and how it affected them. And they're finally finally getting this diagnosis. That said, there is always this part of me that's like, are we sure this is ADHD? I've literally been diagnosed by two medical professionals at this point, and I'm still like, plagued with that doubt of not of just like, are we talking about something else here? Is it something else? Is it the pandemic? Is it the, you know, tick tock, and our phones or like, all of these other things? Is it the trauma of the world that we live in right now? Like, there's always that question of me feeling like, am I the pied piper, telling people that this is a DD ADHD when it's not? Do you ever feel like that?
Matilda Boseley 23:20
Yes. Oh, my God. Thank you for saying that. Because I've been feeling like that. Because I so I have, I'm like, am I the problem now with this book? Because also, it's like, it's a lot of people who come to me and say, like, I'm discovering this about myself. So in my mind, everyone in the world currently has it. Because everyone who's talking to me and messaging me, I'm doing it because that's what they relate to. So once again, like I'm getting bamboozled by the maths of it all, and I'm like, oh, it's everywhere. And I think it doesn't help that like, I feel like people get diagnosed in clusters a little bit. You know, one friend does. And then you're like, Oh, my God, all my friends have ADHD, apparently. And it's like, no, I'm pretty sure the neurotypical ones just fell off along the way. I think these it's a process of elimination, and I ended up with a neurodivergent friend group. I think the more generous way to say that it was like we attract each other. I'm like, it's maybe it might be because we just repel others. We're the only ones left at the party. And it's the best party. Truly. And I wrote a chapter in the book genuinely, that's like, am I faking it? Like because that plagued me so much, and it was terrified throughout like the first six months of writing it that I'm like, what if I'm writing this book, and they just gonna tell me it's wrong? And like, I don't actually have it. And I think, you know, because I was someone who had started a career like I was already a journalist when I was diagnosed, you know, had started a career I had got through school and did well at school. And I think, for me, at least a huge amount of this, like, am I faking it? Is it wrong? Is it bad is because? Well, first of all, beforehand, you know, like, I would you know, I forget the cup of tea and then I wouldn't Text this person and I do this and then I'd be a bit flustered and they get really into the new law of the June series. And all of those things are totally unrelated. So never think about them in a row. And then you learn you have ADHD, and you're like, I forgot that cup of tea on that ADHD, and then I did this, and that's ADHD. And, and so suddenly, it's like, My whole day is consumed with ADHD. And it's like, well, no, it was before you just never thought to connect those things. So you didn't, you weren't, you weren't your pattern recognition wasn't going up. So I think so. Because I was like, has my ADHD got worse because I got diagnosed. And it's like, no, but then also, like, it was the way I restructured my life and like my self esteem and the way I thought about myself and going through my history and reexamining all those moments, where I was, like, telling myself, I was bad and hopeless, and all of this and I think it was hard for me to accept that, you know, the, it was so deeply rooted of like, No, you need to keep yourself accountable. You need to be taking accountability for this and, and doing this and it almost felt like accepting like, oh, no, I have ADHD was like, the easy way out, in a way like I was making excuses myself and like still so like, even. And I, you know, I still sometimes worry about that, like, years into my diagnosis that kind of really insipid, like, self esteem issues still, like comes up and it makes me like, doubt myself, even though you know, even though every aspect of my life and treatment and everything is confirmed that like, you got it, Dave, don't worry. But you know, it really is that aspect of like, accepting that I might be an all right person. This is difficult. And that comes with accepting ADHD. Oof. Yeah. Oh,
Katy Weber 26:47
well said. No. Were you already okay? Because I was a newspaper journalist for years. And now it all makes sense to me because I'm like, oh, journalism is like the perfect job for people with ADHD. Would you say there's a lot of like, everybody in journalism probably has ADHD, especially deadline oriented journalism, right, like, but so I'm curious. Were you working for The Guardian already when you were diagnosed? And were you were you making your short The Tick Tock videos were you like working as their tick tock person.
Matilda Boseley 27:17
The Tetons came slightly afterwards, but yeah, for if I make short news explainer videos about the news on tick tock, I started I got diagnosed before I even started doing that it was I was already at The Guardian. And yes, definitely, like looking back, I'm like, Oh, wow, why was I drawn to this career of daily deadlines where I get to dive into an entirely new topic every day and just fill out my own curiosity and then get external gratification and acknowledgement of it. At the end of each day, you know, like, what is it about this career that's drawing me in and, and genuinely, I didn't put two and two together for ages that the way I did news tiktoks had anything to do with ADHD, but genuinely Yeah, I think I started it shortly afterwards, but I hadn't put it together which was that I think I wanted news, the way that I would like it, you know what I mean? Like, I kind of wished that I mean, the the big thing about tick tock as I say ticked off it's on other stuff like Instagrams up but like generally speaking, the thing that I think is unbelievably powerful that tick tock like as a news sharing platform is that there isn't that click barrier, you know, you don't have to even click on the headlines let alone like type in www dot the guardian.com which young people don't consume news that way they don't specifically turn on the TV you know, if you have a it's a bit about bringing news to young people in the places they are, but for me as well, it's like I would love to learn about this thing but it would never occur to me to like maybe or maybe it might occur to me to go search it but then to actually have the time to do it and then sit down and do it and then read the full article like that was often difficult for me when I didn't have to do it strictly for work and then yeah, just having something like okay, just like he's he's one of these you know, and get getting to the core of it and explaining it in like a short punchy way and having different visuals and like I was creating news when I sort of first pitched the idea and started making them it was yeah creating news in a way that would like each the little each in my own brain and think Ah, man I have a little bit and clearly it resonated with people which was which was great and I do think like he was sort of an accident that yeah, it's one of those ways where you know when you have that discussion about Oh, should we use the word disorder is disability the exactly the right way to describe it and use that like not I mean, like definitely is a disability but like, Is that all it is? Like, is there other elements to and I do have to kind of look and like no, I think I very much am where I am today specifically because my brain worked like that. And, and as well, I think I have spent a lot of my life taking the sort of big nebulous ideas that are in my head and finding a way to actually communicate that down and simplify it down and and speak with people like I think, you know, I think there's a reason a lot of neurodivergent people end up going into sort of communication type careers is because that's the way that we've been masking for a long time is is by finding those specific ways to communicate that way. Yeah,
Katy Weber 30:33
great point. Well, and I think even with tick tock itself as a platform, I always joke, you know, the people are saying that tick tock is convincing people that they have ADHD and I'm like, the only people who are on tick tock are neurodivergent people, because we're like moths to a flame, like it was made for us. So yeah, we're all finding each other. We're all communicating with each other. But it's not convincing people, you know, that they have ADHD. But I'm curious about in terms of the the, your viral video and the tags was that what's the timeline there was that that was after your diagnosis, but before the book, right? Like, was that something you started doing before your diagnosis, and you were like, I'm just gonna share this.
Matilda Boseley 31:17
No, that was mid book, actually. And I was, I was making Tiktok videos, of my documenting my book process very much as a way to avoid writing the book, I took some time off work to do to write it. And this was, this is on my, my, I also have a personal tic tock page on where I mostly talk about ADHD. And, and yeah, so I'd seen the children's used very much as a method for chores. Like, you know, you sort of, for people who don't know, it's sort of you have like, stretchy bracelets with little tags on them. And it's got all the, you know, the your lounge room, you've got all the things that you might need to do on a weekly basis, like vacuum this and tidy the kitchen cabinet, or, you know, tidy the TV cabinet, and you have the kitchen ones and, and then you kind of the idea is like you pull a few out by random, and it takes away the need to decide what chores need to be done. And because it's kind of on your wrist, you want the gratification of putting it in the in the jar. And also it's like annoying, so you can't forget that that's what you're meant to be doing. So it's kind of there's a lot of different elements of the ADHD like struggle that that it corrects for. And I ended up more and more, I started using them and making them again, just as a bit of like a hyper fixation. Like, I'm going to do this and write out a little spreadsheet with all my chores, and I get to buy stuff and not feel guilty. So I did that. And then more and more I ended up just using it for my own morning routine, which is what this video was about that ended up going stupidly big. Because I think I find myself kind of like accidentally slipping into liminal space a lot during the morning, just sort of like staring at a wall, or like on, you know, on my phone by accident with like half a shoe on. And so yeah, the way they chose us got like, make my bed and get dressed and like put on deodorant and brush your teeth and, you know, eat breakfast and take my meds and dried it to do lists. And it just sort of structures my morning in a way. And yeah, I sort of made it. It was like part two of like a bigger video of like my vlog of just like writing the book for the day. I didn't even sort of think about it. But yeah, people found it really interesting. And then it got really big. And then I got freaked out and didn't do it again for a year, because I got overwhelmed by it in the classic way that you do, some people like to capitalize on virality and I run from it.
Katy Weber 33:41
Well, first of all, thank you for reminding me that they're called short charms, and I promise I will stop calling you the tag lady. No, I was calling them tag does
Matilda Boseley 33:49
Katy Weber 33:52
But you know, I think it was really what was so what's so great about it is the understanding the need that like things have to be annoying, right? Like we can have checklists, and then they become invisible, we can have sticky notes and then they can become invisible immediately. You know, I have so many spreadsheets and I forget about them. Right and so there was something I think just brilliant about finding this foolproof way of being constantly irritated by the chores that are coming up that you have to do them. Like you get us
Matilda Boseley 34:24
Yeah, I mean it's like an extension of like sometimes I you know, like if I'm notorious, you know, like putting leftovers at the work fridge and never taken them home. Just the worst person but you know, like I will now if I do that and like I put my bag all the way across the office then I have to go get my bag and having to go walk to get my bag will remind me oh, I've got the fridge and you know I've been doing that just kind of like suddenly in my own life for ages I've now you know need to put the bins out so I'll just put a candle in the middle of the floor so I have to step over the candle constantly not lit
Katy Weber 34:56
Matilda Boseley 35:00
Maybe that was my that was me speaking to my own demons that, you know, like, we'll put something in the middle of foster that your constant Yeah, you're annoyed like the power of annoyance is so vague with ADHD like just to have something that you like want to get rid of. So then you have to do the do the thing that you're saying you're going to do in order to get rid of that annoyance, like, yeah, that that is everything
Katy Weber 35:20
well, and it also goes back to the idea of having the best intentions, right, which is like, I remember when I was getting diagnosed, explaining to my GP, how, like, I was like, I don't lose things. And then I would go into this long diatribe about the elaborate systems that I had for not losing my keys, or you know, I never lose my glasses, because I literally have 12 pairs, one in every room, and one in my car, like, you know, all of the work that goes into having to just remember things and show up, and then never making the connection as to like, Hmm, I wonder why I'm exhausted all the time. Like, you know, so it's like, there was so much of that feeling of like, we just never, we were never allowed to pay attention to all the work that we were putting in to just showing up. And I think that's where it feels, once you start to make that connection in your own life and see, like you said, see the evidence of ADHD from the moment you wake up until you go to bed at night that how much you are working. It just it is it's just feels so validating, like somebody's come along and just like, take the weight off for a few minutes. And you're like, oh, you know, like, Oh, thank you. Thank you for understanding
Matilda Boseley 36:37
completely Can I admit, an embarrassing version of that? Which is that I used to think I used to think I was just like so deep a party because I'm like, I don't even want to be like in the Met. I want to be sitting outside having deep conversations with people. And it's like, no, you just didn't like loud music Matilda. I was like, I'm actually an intellectual, like, not where you had sensory overload? Well, I
Katy Weber 37:01
think it's also Yeah, it's definitely sensory overload. But I definitely think like, we do not like small talk. I mean, we just immediately get to the trauma, or we immediately get to the like, existential dilemma. And so it's true, like when you you'll find us at parties, like everybody else is dancing and having fun. And we're the ones who are sitting on a couch in the back of the room. Talking about the meaning of life. Definitely. But yeah, I think there's there's the sensory stuff, too, in terms of just when too many people are in the room talking, it becomes just way too much. But I think in general, I would much prefer one on one conversations, right? And is that because of sensory stuff? Or is that just the way in which we communicate? Right? It's just so fast paced, and we're connecting dots all the time. And we don't stay on the same topic for more than 30 seconds, and we lose our train of thought, like, I feel like the way that we have a conversation with each other is so different from how you communicate with other people.
Matilda Boseley 37:56
Yeah, I guess so. I haven't even really, totally thought about it. Yeah, I think there definitely is that element of jumping in and then and going off on a million tangents. And it's interesting to now that you know, sort of friends I've had for a long time knowing that we both got the got the touch of the, the ADHD and our brains, you know, the way that like, you just have to circle back to topics like an hour later, because there's been 20,000 tangents and you know, we're just speaking to people who like don't mind being interrupted a bit. You know, there's that thing of that, you know, the, again, the moralizing? Interrupting I'm like, this is I just this is how I mean like it to the degree everyone talks through that but like, the one way told me just like talking over each other and having three different conversations at once that all sort of join in and you know, that like sort of meme and that joke about oh, you having one conversation on Facebook and another conversation like on Instagram chat and another one over text. I'm like that, but like it's all one conversation in person, like just different threads going through? Yeah, for sure.
Katy Weber 38:58
Though, I'm curious, what prompted you to write the book, because you're making it you're making the short form videos, you're making tic tock videos you're writing? At what point were you like, you know what I need now to also put on my plate as a book.
Matilda Boseley 39:11
Yeah, God, when you put it like that I had written, I have a bit of a bad habit of just announcing big things in my life via my international news publication I work for, like it was like, and here's and here's this full article about how I'm bisexual that I like haven't even told most of my family. But I wanted to write an op ed for Bi Visibility days, so I'll just put that out to the world. And then I did the same thing with ADHD, which I like pitched this story being like, I think we should do a story about how people are finding out that they have ADHD like on tick tock, and then I've like pitched it as a news story. And then they like, Yeah, cool. How are you gonna get case studies? I'm like, I think I got one and then I'm like, rubbing like, by the way, it's me and it's an op ed. Sorry. Oh, and that was how I told my work. So when people like, oh, like, how do I go about telling my work? I'm like, I can't help you. I did it in the possibly the worst way. And then so I wrote the I wrote that piece for The Guardian talking about that. And then, yeah, Penguin, my publisher ended up a little while afterwards, I'm kind of I was around in the kind of like journalism space. And then they reached out and sort of said, Have you considered writing this longer form? And was yet again, just like a grade before? I thought, through the consequences, thank God, because I thought through the consequences, I never would have done it. Yeah, and I'd always wanted to be an author, like since I was a teenager and stuff like that, like that was, that was kind of always like the dream that then I let go of a little bit. And then I was wanting to do journalism. I mean, also, there was so much other stuff about journalism that really drew me to it. But, you know, in a way that that was, and then to have that opportunity to like, be doing both of those things at once, which, yeah, it was fantastic. And then was then torturous, and all for the next 18 months of actually doing it. But I'm glad that I did it. Now it's done. Which is yeah, that was that thing of I spoke to someone they're like, Yeah, you need to do it. It'll be like the worst possible thing you've ever done. And you'll hate it every single day. And it will be the best thing you've ever achieved in your life. And I was like, yeah, that's been pretty, pretty on the ball. Yeah. Oh,
Katy Weber 41:26
yeah. That's a great way of saying it, I think it but it really speaks to that idea that you were saying before about, like, hyper focusing on a topic, learning as much as you can about the topic, so that you then have to turn around and explain it to the layperson, right, and I think this is perfect, which is really, you know, the an amazing primer for somebody who's going through all of those, that emotional rollercoaster, and having to really kind of, you know, force yourself to learn all the things and explain it to other people in such a way that, like, you know, I don't mean to dump on all the clinicians that I've interviewed, but here we go. I'm like, one of the questions I always ask, when I get like a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, or a therapist, I'm like, Okay, what even is ADHD? Right? Like, where I'm like, what are we talking about here? Are we talking about a certain type of brain, and it's a brain that we're, you know, that we're born with. And so we have ADHD throughout our life. And sometimes, we have troubling traits, you know, in school, or in a boring job, or, you know, things that are looked at as terrible character flaws. But other times, we credit our adhd with amazing things. And so really, it's the brain that we're talking about. But a lot of, I feel like a lot of clinicians use, you know, medicalize it and talk about ADHD only in terms of the disorder and the negative traits, right? And so that's why I'm always like, trying to get back to this like, okay, what are we even talking about when we talk about ADHD? Is it just the disorder that you are thinking about it, and that it's somehow like, can be cured, or at least mitigated by medication? And I felt like your description of ADHD was so perfectly exactly the answer I was looking for. So I'm gonna make you do it again, even though I'm sure you've done it many times. But like, what, when somebody asks you the question, What even is ADHD? What do you say? Yeah,
Matilda Boseley 43:19
that is the thing. And when I started writing the book, I was like, expecting so many, like, more clear answers. And, you know, it took me like a month to come to terms with the fact that I'm like, I don't we don't actually know how many people are diagnosed, you know, and things like that. Like, there's so many like, things that you think is so basic, that there's no answer to. And one of them was, yeah, like, what is ADHD just from a chemical and a functional point of view? And it is that something in certain areas of the brain, which tend to be ones that run off the neurotransmitter dopamine aren't working great. And, you know, I think we have like the shorthand of like, Oh, we've got not enough dopamine in our brains, which is like useful shorthand. It's not actually we don't actually know if that's the case. But there's, you know, it might be that there's not enough dopamine, it might be that our brains suck it back too fast. It might be that there's something else all entirely going wrong and just happen to be adding, you know, dopamine reuptake inhibitors, which is what stimulants are just like happened to fix it as well, like, Help Help account for it, but basically, yeah, like, not entirely, but you know, the two big pathways of the brain that are affected are the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward system, sort of, basically being able to remember, you know, when you're a caveman and you have to go collect the berries, but it's like raining outside, the ability to be like, remember how good the berries tasted last time. And that ability, like okay, let's push through that not great at it. Obviously, in the real world. It's like remember how nice it will feel to get a better paying job even though you have to sit here for three hours doing a boring resume, and you know, not having that kind of constant like mode of little bursts of motivation throughout. And then the other The element being the prefrontal cortex where your brain sort of organizes itself and the like whiteboard in the front of the brain where you're doing little bits of math and clearing one type of thinking and starting in a different type of thinking and picking out all the different elements of a task and putting them in order and keeping everything in time, which, like all of those tend to run off the neurotransmitter dopamine and norepinephrine. And something is a bit shonky. There, it's going a bit wrong and a bit shonky going a bit wrong. Again, that's sort of through the like, medical aesthetic view. But you know, that's essentially what the condition is on a genetic level. But it is weird to be like, we don't actually fully know what the capacity is. And I think, sorry, if this is this is most rambley answer. But when you were talking about like, what is it like? Is it a condition? Is it a disorder? Why do we only define it by the elements that are bad? It is like that thing I think about so much, which is that okay, we started talking about ADHD, when widespread education, like universal education became a thing. Previously, the kids who didn't want to learn that stay on the farm, you know, they wouldn't, but when we start sending every kid to school, okay, there's this notice, there's this issue that's causing, it's causing problems. Okay, there's an issue. So let's define it. And because it started have that element of, there's this problem going on, some kids are struggling, that's how it was defined to begin with. And then because like, just to a certain degree, like doctors and scientists, and everyone wants to help people like they wanting their work and their research to be making a difference. And the way you help people is by isolating and understanding and studying problems, like you're not, you don't need to, like document the assets. And you know, when you're trying to help a child, it's not about oh, well, what about this, like, really broad imaginative style and like the way in which they kind of like pick up on like, these different things? And oh, actually, sometimes this like focus has you because No, it's about like, this kid is struggling, like, let's help them out. And I think, which is that we have thing of that, because the medical system is like empathy based, we end up disregarding a lot of the stuff that isn't a negative, and it isn't a problem. And because like, that's how it's defined, and it's come through, and it really is that like, okay, the 17, or the 14, or whatever it is dot points of the symptoms of ADHD that we have in the DSM five now inherently have to be about the condition and the fact that the condition has to be a disorder, it needs to significantly negatively impact your life in order for you to even have it like and so we have this weird condition where it's like, I could get so good at like ADHD tactics and life hacks and systems, that having ADHD would stop negatively impacting my life. And then from a diagnostic point of view, I would no longer habits, you know, you can get so good at living your life with your condition that you would suddenly, medically speaking not be neurodivergent anymore, you know, not that in the early versions of medical term, but like, you wouldn't have this condition. And it's, it's, and the more and more I dove into the ADHD world, the more I realized it's like, Yep, so much of ADHD is a disability, so much of it is a disorder, and it impacts my life, and it's negative. And there's negative things that come out of it in terms of car accidents, and addiction and all this stuff that I never want to be like, That's a gift, it's actually a gift. I just wonder whether we're kind of only looking at a third of the picture, we're only looking at the negative stuff, we're not looking at the neutral and even the positive stuff. And it came really hard because it came time to write the chapter I wanted to write about the positive elements of it. And there's just no science behind it, because no one studies it. Because, again, like, it's not culturally how we think about it. And also, people want to be helping, you know, and I think it's a real shame because like, I do think there is like such this element of needing to acknowledge it as a disorder, but also, it's so easy to get trapped in like this is it's only bad and it's only negative and I wish I didn't have it. And I don't think that that's really fair, either for us to only be fed those negatives and feel like it's just hopeless. Anyway, so that's what ADHD is.
Katy Weber 49:28
This people is why I'm obsessed with Matilda Beausoleil, I love I love your brain. But it's true. I mean, we'd haven't even gotten into the gendered reaction in terms of like, you gave a very generous view of the medical community. So that was very nice of you. But I think that, you know, we haven't even started to talk about why boys get support and girls are told to get their shit together. But I am curious, and I'm gonna put you on the spot here because you brought up this question when you were talking about the deficits and The positives and you know, and I'm certainly not the last person who would ever call ADHD a superpower. But I do feel like like you said, there are a lot of ways that you can learn through psycho education to live a better life with ADHD. And to not feel like it is the albatross that's following you around. But what would you say to somebody because I get this a lot from from listeners who are like, all you ever have our guests who seem to have their life figured out. And they all they do is talk about how great ADHD is, and they've done all these wonderful things and won all these awards. Like where are the people who are really struggling? And so I'm curious, like, What is your answer to people who, who feel who people who are genuinely, really feeling like ADHD has ruin their life?
Matilda Boseley 50:50
Yeah. And like, the really awful, horrible answer to where all the people who are really struggling is like, in prison, a lot of genuinely, in Australia, at least, it's about 25% of the prison population would meet that meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Yeah, it's like an 800% over representation. And I think about this a lot. And I also think about it, I think there's also a real racial element to this as well, where we, you know, you do see the people who are starting to be like, Look, I was successful this game, and it's like, yeah, because I was given the benefit of the doubt a lot, you know, and my rice had a lot to do with that, you know, I think I spoke to one professor was talking about that they there's kind of two paths, you can go down. And this didn't quite happen to me, because I wasn't diagnosed as a child. But, you know, there's this path of, okay, this kids struggling, like, Let's get them help, let's get them diagnosed, let's get them the support services, or there's, this kid is struggling, and they're just like, they don't want to learn and they're awful. And let's expel them. And then they get fired from their job. And then you end up in the criminal justice system. And, sadly, race plays a huge part in what road we decided to send kids down. And you know, I talked about it so much, which is, and as well, when we talk about gender, like ADHD, amplifies social injustice, to a huge degree. And even if that doesn't happen, and you sort of you go through, maybe you're not diagnosed, maybe you do get support services, that doesn't really happen. But like, then you can't fully keep a job. And then there's your late too many times, and you get fired. And then he goes, like, there's really serious consequences to ADHD. And I think that is part of something I think about a lot and something that I, you know, now being in this space and talking about like, as an adult diagnosed person who has a voice and had a voice, within the public eye to a certain degree and a platform before even being diagnosed. Like, I don't think it's really my space to be like, here's all the absolutely amazing, like, I do think that we need to talk about some of the great things because I don't think nihilism is like the way forward. But as well, like, I'm very aware that like I'm a privileged person with this condition, and I got lucky. And like, there's so many sliding door moments where I could have gone down a totally different path. And even like being incredibly privileged, incredibly lucky, I also don't have my life together, you know what I mean? Like, I'm overwhelmed, constantly and feel so tired. Like, there's that element of here about people like wearing glasses for the first time, and like seeing all the leaves and the trees and like, they were there all along, you know, I feel like that's what I'm going to wake up when I like, finally feel refreshed, like, Oh, this is what live it, you know, and it's so difficult, even with everything going for me. And I want to make sure that it's not only viewed as like, this part of I don't know, I guess what I'm trying to say is like, I'm just aware that like, by being a person who has the capacity to talk about ADHD, I'm already not in the same boat as a lot of people with the condition. And I do think that there is that element of like, I found it and here's my diagnosis, and now everything's better. And it's like, well, no, I in the book, I have a chapter just talking about all like, the different there's a few chapters, but like talking about like all the different things you have to do to make symptoms better and like the horrific horrible news that that's like eating well, and exercising and sleeping enough and go into therapy, like fucking devastated when I heard that. But as well as you know, like all the life hacks, I'm gonna have like my little charms and I'm gonna have my like, tick off things. I'm gonna have it stack and all this and then I was like, Oh, well, I can't do it for myself, but I'll do it for science. And I'll become like the ultimate ADHD person and see how like, good my life could be. And I failed immediately. I couldn't do it. And I felt so awful about that for a long time. And then I realized like, no, that's so much better to write and put in the book and talk about it. I failed this, but he's this little incremental improvement and I couldn't remember to do my skincare routine each day. But like, I do kind of put on sunscreen 50% of the time now and, you know, Oh, I haven't taken vitamins, but I've remembered my antidepressants, you know, and things like that. And like the little, I guess, the little improvements, but also just like, ADHD, comes a lot with like, failing, and like being willful. And and I want to, I realized that that was important to put in the book, too, that like, you can't just expect to have your life together all the time. And yeah, like I still, like the last few weeks have been overwhelming and huge. And I can't answer any emails, and it's a problem. And I haven't been replying to texts from people and stuff like that. So I think when you when you're like wanting to help people and be like, He is the light at the end of the tunnel, like, I think it's also important to acknowledge, like, no one really has this shit together. In terms of that, but I've gotten so many different places with this answer, basically, I don't have my shit together. Also, social injustice means that a lot of people with ADHD don't even get the opportunity to,
Katy Weber 56:04
you know, talking about privilege and being lucky said, being in a place where you can talk about this and not feel like it's going to ruin your life, to be honest about some of these traits. I think, you know, even just advocating on the behalf of that of D stigmatizing it to a degree where we can start looking at these traits in children, and not punishing them, and sending them to the principal off Principal's office or doing whatever is going to send them on this pipeline of you know, like you said, this pipeline of being truant or dropping out of school or ending up in jail. But like looking at these children, as like, what help do they need, nobody is no child is being disruptive or disobedient, for the sake of being bad, right? Going back to this whole idea of like, there is no inherent badness in children. And so when children are doing things that are disruptive in a classroom, they need help, they need support, they don't need to be punished. And so if we can talk about these traits more openly, and put a you know, a diagnosis, for lack of a better word to what these traits are, we can start to change this view that that people are just being jerks. You know, the same way that like if a kid bullies, when my kid comes home and says, Oh, this, this kid was bullying me, the first thing we talk about is, well, somebody's bullying him. So somebody was mean to him first. And so let's kind of think about the systemic issues around bullying. And then my kids roll their eyes and wander off. But my point is like, can we look at this, you know, in a larger framework of what support do kids need? And I think right now, only white boys are getting that support.
Matilda Boseley 57:46
Yeah, completely. And it was. It was interesting on that topic. I spoke currently in Australia, the Senate is the federal senate is doing an inquiry into ADHD support services. We'll see if anything comes of it. I'm not, you know, I've maybe tend to be a bit nihilistic, but I spoke to the inquiry as a lived experience witness. And it was interesting, because it's sort of the senators asked questions afterwards. And one of the people on the committee that was saying that they had previously had a group that I'm not a total fan of, of psychiatrists that are a bit sort of anti diagnosis, fringe opinions, basically. And they were saying that, yeah, what's your response to those? So saying that a diagnosis for a child could be a burden and a sort of weight and weigh them down? And I kind of was like, yes. If the structures punish kids for that, like, if we have a system where it's viewed as, oh, here's this dark omen of everything to come. And here's, yeah, the albatross that we following you around, and here's all the ways that you're going to be worse. Yeah, that can be a burden. But that's not the fault of the diagnosis. If we have his condition, your brain works a bit of a different way. You know, like, I think we talk a lot in the adult space about like, is it a gift, we have to acknowledge the disability for kids, we don't need to do that as much we can talk about, like, you just have a different type of brain. And this is the way it's gonna learn and hear all the positive, amazing things that can come out of this. And I'm saying what's going to be more detrimental, having, you know, even just a teacher be able to know that they need to just come by and just double check that they were, they understood what was being said, or maybe they just need to explain a little bit again, or the teacher who's constantly going, you know, maybe there's no diagnosis, and they think they're about getting confused. What was that just saying, you know, what, what was I? What was that just saying repeat about and embarrassing, which happened to me so many times, what was what were they just saying? That like public humiliation we put a lot of kids through because we assume that they're just not paying attention. When actually it's like kids who are really struggling. What's more of the burden here? What's going to have the worst effect on self esteem. And I think, I'm not sure if you come across ask this. But I think there's been a bit of a divide, I think between people who are diagnosed in adulthood. And I think very specifically the boys who were diagnosed maybe 15 years ago when they were kids. And it was treated in that bad way. It was the albatross. It was this like, dark thing. And they're quite reluctant now to talk about, oh, no, we'll hear the good thing. No, it can only be a disability, like, stop talking about neurodivergent stop talking about this. Like, don't fool yourself into thinking this could be good. And I do think that it definitely there is the capacity for people to grow up and feel like that. But that is not the fault of diagnosis that's so bizarre to be like, Oh, you, you might be bullied. If you've got like a knee brace on. So just keep having your knee fall apart, you know, like, like, you just keep injuring your knee instead, you know what I mean? Like, it's not the knees fault. I think about that so much in terms of, we do need that compassion and that treatment. But suggesting that like labeling a kid is inherently bad when it's culture around labeling them is just ridiculous. And I think that's such a ridiculous talking point when people talk about, oh, you're just going to put kids in a box? I'm like, No, you were making the box. The diagnosis isn't?
Katy Weber 1:01:15
Ah, I feel like I could talk to you for three hours. Thank you for staying with me later. I do have my one last question, which is if you could rename ADHD to something less problematic? Would you call it something else? Or do you like problematic?
Matilda Boseley 1:01:31
Yeah, that that element of like, every letter of the ADHD acronym is bad and wrong. So I thought about this a lot. Again, I've written about it. It's not it's not quite renaming ADHD, because like what I was talking about, about how, like, you've got the disorder, and the diagnostic criteria, and then everything else. So when I say disorder, it's sort of strictly when I'm talking about like, the DSM five, and then you have like the rest of the condition, which is, and I do wonder whether even more than renaming ADHD itself, whether we need to let ADHD or be whatever the word is, be for the specific disorder bit and have another word for everything else. So like, you have this type of brain, and it is affecting your life negatively. And you then also have the disorder that is associated with that type of brain, sometimes ADHD. And because essentially, ADHD, it's a legal term that's meant to decide who gets access to stimulants, and sometimes extra support services, if you're lucky, like, it's only ever been designed to be that and that's why it is defined the way it is. And so what I talked about, about if we wanted a bigger term and a larger thing that ADHD is sort of one section of is I talked about, like having a land brain or an ocean, Brian, I'm sorry, this answer is way longer than you really expected it to go. I love it. Yes, if you're neurotypical, generally speaking, getting things done kind of like walking on land, like you're going mostly a straight line, there's gonna be obstacles, there's gonna be hills, you can usually see them coming. At the end of the day, it's not always going to be like, easy to run, but probably your speed is going to be based on your energy and how much you were deciding how fast you were deciding to go. What it feels like, at least for me a lot more. And I think for a lot of people with ADHD is that like, I'm in a little boat, in the ocean. And if you're never taught to sail, you were just being swept along like sometimes you're being swept by the tide so fast and you get there like you're speeding, breakneck speed. Sometimes it's so choppy, you cannot get anywhere. And then if you've again, never been taught to sail you've never been taught, you're gonna be like rowing against these giant waves, exhausting yourself constantly. But like getting nowhere. And what I think about is like, if I'm taught to sell then I can like work with the tides. I know when the waters too choppy, we just got to give up on this one. And sometimes it's still going to take long time and be arduous and be awful. Sometimes you're gonna get there like, even quicker than the people going on land. And I talked about that. The metaphor goes on way too long in the book, don't worry. And so maybe like that's having the ADHD type brain and then the ADHD disorder itself is like you're feeling a bit seasick at the time, which I just like as a cute metaphor. And then I was like, Okay, well, ocean brain maybe feels a bit hippie dippie thing would work in schools, maybe not, but then I found that there's a Latin word, sorry, no, the Greek word for like, in the open ocean, which is pelagic. And I just also like it that it's got an icy so that we can say like, you know, it has autism has autistic, then we could like pelagic ism, and pelagic. And so that is my long convoluted answer for if I could introduce another word, it wouldn't be specifically replacing the condition name, but it would be I guess, for broadly speaking like the neuro type of having ADHD so like, there's all these different pelagic people and everyone can like access the support services, whether they're diagnosed or not. And then you have this specific term that's legalistically for whether you get access to the stimulants or not whether you need them. And I just think, I don't know, I think it would be better way, I think it'd be a better system.
Katy Weber 1:05:12
I like it. Although I can see I can see all the UK media rolling their eyes already be like, everybody thinks that pelagic.
Matilda Boseley 1:05:20
They did roll their eyes, I published it as an extract in The Guardian. And it was a huge amount of actually, it was really positive response. There were a few and there was a few people being like, imagine trying to identify as your disorder. I was like, Oh, wow, this the straight white men don't understand the need for kind of community within oppression. It's weird. I don't understand why identity and community out of like hardship, why wouldn't they possibly have a perspective on why that might be important?
Katy Weber 1:05:50
Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for spending this time with me. I just think you're the bee's knees. And thank you so much for everything you do for this community. Congratulations on the book. And I wish you all the all the success and I can't wait to see what comes next. No pressure.
Matilda Boseley 1:06:12
So, so much. It's been a lovely chat. It's been awesome. It's had such a good time. Thank you.
Katy Weber 1:06:24
There you have it. Thank you for listening. And I really hope you enjoyed this episode of the women and ADHD podcast. If you'd like to find out more about me and my coaching programs, head over to women and adhd.com If you're a woman who was diagnosed with ADHD and you'd like to apply to be a guest on this podcast, visit women and adhd.com/podcast guest and you can find that link in the episode show notes. Also, you know, we ADHD ears crave feedback. And I would really appreciate hearing from you the listener, please take a moment to leave me a review on Apple podcasts or audible. And if that feels like too much, and I totally get it. Please just take a few seconds right now to give me a five star rating or share this episode on your own social media to help reach more women who maybe have yet to discover and lean into this gift of nerd of urgency. And they may be struggling and they don't even know why. I'll see you next week when I interview another amazing woman who discovered she's not lazy or crazy or broken. But she has ADHD and she's now on the path to understanding her neurodivergent mind and finally using this gift to her advantage. Take care till then