After years of mental health struggles and being misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety, Tanya Bardsley was finally diagnosed with ADHD in 2021, just days before her 40th birthday.
In an exclusive chat with OK! Tanya said in a bid to help regulate symptoms, which included erratic emotions, forgetfulness and anxiety, doctors offered her ADHD medication.
She said: "When I was on the first one, I felt really happy and content but I just didn’t speak. I sat smiling, and that’s not me. I wasn’t myself. It took my personality away.
“With the second round of medication, I was erratic and my family were concerned. Then the third one you could actually see my boob implant wobbling with how fast my heart was going,” she shares.
Eventually, after trial and error, Tanya discovered that in her particular case, medication didn't work for her.
She says, “I was on a photo shoot and was being erratic. I just felt so out of control and dizzy. I remember just falling to the floor and then I had a seizure.
"The girls on the shoot quickly rang Phil, my mum and an ambulance. The thought of leaving my kids with no mum was scary.”
Tanya, who is mum to Gabriella, 21 and also shares Rocco, 14, Renz, 10, and Ralphi, seven, with Phil, admits that’s when she began to “spiral” and “had a complete breakdown".
In our exclusive chat, Tanya also detailed how she then reached breaking point after “self-medicating and abusing alcohol” towards the end of 2022.
She said: "I was on a hamster wheel of death – I’d drink, feel anxious and have suicidal thoughts,” Tanya, 42, reveals while explaining how this terrifying spiral led her to check into rehab.
The mum-of-four now strives to raise awareness for those who have slipped under the radar when it comes to getting an ADHD diagnosis and support.
Tanya recently visited the House of Commons with Tatton MP Esther McVey, who had urged Parliament to look at the severe delay in the diagnosis of ADHD. Their aim is to reduce the waiting list for a diagnosis and make the public – especially women – aware of the disorder.
Tanya said: “I’m passionate about getting people diagnosed quicker even if they don’t wish to take medication. It’s so important to get the help you need – whether it’s meeting people just like you, or chatting to a GP, or visiting a support group like AA, we need to raise awareness."
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