Miss America Emma Broyles On Being Diagnosed With ADHD As An Adult – Exclusive

Most people who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are diagnosed in childhood, according to WebMD. This means getting diagnosed as an adult can be an isolating and disorienting experience. Miss America Emma Broyles has become intimately acquainted with the process and all of its intricacies, as she was diagnosed when she was 19.

In an interview with Health Digest Broyles explained that teenage girls and boys may display symptoms differently. "For these young women, oftentimes they'll be looking straight at the teacher and it looks like they're engaged," she said. "But in reality, everything's going in one ear and out the other. And then there's a whole different world going on behind their eyes." 

Upon learning of her own diagnosis, she said that her life changed. Broyles had always been a good student but had to work incredibly hard to earn similar grades to her classmates. That changed after being diagnosed. "All of a sudden I got straight A's with close to 100% and classes and school were just a breeze for me," she said. "And I couldn't believe that I went that long without getting diagnosed and treatment."

Setting yourself up for success is important

Emma Broyles said that a common thread among many people with ADHD is that they have a sense of "time blindness." However, Broyles has picked up some tips and tricks that allow her to thrive. By setting timers for five-minute intervals, she is able to stay present as she prepares for her day. Instead of running late and underestimating her timing, the alarms help her to stay on task.

Broyles has been open about how her ADHD and her dermatillomania, a skin-picking condition related to OCD, fuel each other and are inherently linked. She explains that she will sometimes get caught up in a picking session, as she calls them, and then the time blindness takes over. "I could probably do it for hours on end without even realizing," she explained. "All of a sudden I look and two hours have passed and my face is all bloody."

Instead of allowing these conditions to rule her life, she works with them. She says that she often skims subReddits for insight about what has worked for other people with the same conditions. 

Putting her diagnosis into perspective

Emma Broyles says that she understands how difficult it can be to accept an ADHD diagnosis, especially as an adult. Her candid explanation revealed how difficult it can be to come to terms with accepting a new label about yourself. However, she believes that receiving her diagnosis changed her life for the better and hopes to inspire others to accept it in the same way.

Receiving a treatment plan is one of the first steps towards being able to thrive. She said, "Whether it be medication, whether it be behavioral therapy, it's going to make things a lot easier for you in a lot of ways."

Instead of focusing on the presumed negatives and societal labels, Broyles also tries to stay positive. "There are a lot of great things that come with ADHD, like the ability to hyperfocus on something," she explained. "So don't let it drag you down. Use it to your advantage."