“My Brain Is All Over the Place”: Big Brother’s Tilly On the Reality of Having Adult ADHD

Instagram / @tillywhitfield

In a recent Instagram post, Big Brother Australia contestant Tilly Whitfield spoke about wanting to break down stigmas around adult ADHD.

Speaking to POPSUGAR Australia, Tilly opened up about what it meant for her to be able to show the nation what adult ADHD looks like for her, and the impact it’s had on viewers.

“I had to struggle with that my whole life,” Tilly said, noting that her diagnosis at 17 should’ve come earlier in life. “People don’t want to get diagnosed when they’re older, it’s something that’s associated with children,” she explained.

The reality star went on to say that her appearance on the show was as much about showing the reality of ADHD as it was was competing for the win.

“It’s just encouraging people to go get tested,” Tilly said, adding that she’d “be a millionaire” if she had a dollar for every DM she’d received from someone telling her they’d been diagnosed after seeing her on the show.

“I have won the show in doing that,” she shared. “Every single day there is a message saying ‘Thank you, today I went and got diagnosed’. I’m so proud of that and I’m so proud of those people.”

Calling it “amazing” to read messages from people who have been recently diagnosed, Tilly mused: “Maybe now with medication they’ll be able to pass their exam, they’ll be able to stay in the job they were struggling in. If I can change one person’s life, I’ve literally won the show, you know?”

Talking about the misconceptions of ADHD, Tilly said that she didn’t think many people understood “the OCD that comes with it”.

“Obviously that’s not everyone but it is a symptom of it,” she explained, adding that there are “mental health issues that come with it”.

“My brain is all over the place,” she shared. “I look like a fun and happy person, but inside, I am thinking of every single scenario, I’m replaying everything over and over in my head, all day, every day.

“It’s actually so much harder than anyone would actually expect,” she said. “Like when I got evicted, I sat there and thought of every. Single. Thing that I did wrong.”

Still, Tilly shared that she found a way to manage her symptoms by taking life with “a grain of salt”.

“I’ve learned to take the piss out of myself and that’s just what I continue doing everyday,” she said. “I’ve learned to make everything into a joke because if you don’t bloody laugh you’ll cry, you know?

Big Brother Australia continues on Monday at 7.30pm on Channel 7 and 7 Mate.

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