The signs to tell if your child has ADHD, like Love Island’s Jacques

AFTER Jacques O’Neill, 23, left the Love Island mansion, he opened up about how ADHD made him anxious.

Now three women, Claire O’Reilly and Vanessa Chalmers, share how their later life diagnoses finally helped them understand themselves better.

Jacques O'Neill left the Love Island mansion after ADHD made him anxious


Jacques O’Neill left the Love Island mansion after ADHD made him anxiousPhoto credit: Rex
Jacques left the Mallorca villa dramatically after another contestant attacked his partner Paige


Jacques left the Mallorca villa dramatically after another contestant attacked his partner PaigePhoto credit: ITV

WHEN you hear the phrase ADHD, what comes to mind?

If it’s a naughty kid who won’t sit still, chances are you’re not the only one thinking that.

“When people think of ADHD, they often think of children who are diagnosed,” Georgina Durrant, a special education tutor, tells Sun Health.

“But there are many adults whose ADHD wasn’t picked up in school who are now being diagnosed as they get older.

“In my experience, women and girls with ADHD are diagnosed even less frequently than boys.

“Boys often tick the boxes of traditional presentation, while girls can present inattentively, which may be easier to miss.”

Of the estimated 2.6 million Britons living with the condition, 1.8 million are adults, while 785,000 are children, according to charity ADHD UK.

It’s a cliché that was challenged on ITV2’s Love Island earlier this month when it was revealed that 23-year-old Jacques O’Neill is living with the condition.

And he’s not alone. Stars, Emma Watson, Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton have all been diagnosed.

Jacques left the Mallorca villa dramatically after love interest Adam Collard attacked his partner Paige.

The rugby player emotionally told Welsh paramedic Paige: “All I know is that in order for us to work we need to get back to myself and the only way I can get back to myself is to go home. “

The dramatic departure came after his family asked viewers to “be kind” after some branded his behavior as “rude and disrespectful” during an argument with Paige.

ADHD has been diagnosed in singer and rapper


ADHD has been diagnosed in singer and rapper Will.i.amPhoto credit: Getty
Harry Potter superstar Emma Watson has also been diagnosed


Harry Potter superstar Emma Watson has also been diagnosedPhoto credit: Getty

Jacques’ sister Karen, who ran his Instagram account while he was on the show, revealed that her brother was diagnosed when he was nine.

“This is by no means a get out clause for his actions, but to show that he can sometimes struggle fundamentally with his emotions,” she wrote alongside a screenshot for mental health website PsychCentral, explaining how ADHD sufferers can appear “rude.” .

The post states: “These behaviors can result from challenges involving self-control, executive functioning, and self-stimulating actions.

“Once you start looking at things from their perspective, you might see that it’s not so rude after all.”

feelings of anxiety

Rachel Vora, Psychotherapist and Founder of CYP Wellbeing adds, “ADHD is often misconstrued as a condition where someone is just very ‘energetic,’ but there are aspects that are more difficult to identify.

“One patient once defined his ADHD as ‘feeling constantly overwhelmed by thoughts,’ which highlights one of the psychological traits we don’t see often.”

Justin Timberlake, the singer and actor, has been diagnosed with ADHD


Justin Timberlake, the singer and actor, has been diagnosed with ADHDPhoto credit: Getty
Socialite and model Paris Hilton has also been diagnosed


Socialite and model Paris Hilton has also been diagnosedPhoto credit: Getty

After arriving back home, Jacques told The Sun in an exclusive interview: “Every little thing about the villa ended up bothering me and I just kind of got into a rut.

“I know the way I spoke to Paige was wrong. I tried to apologize and she kept asking why I did it.

“ADHD isn’t just about not being able to concentrate. It’s also about feeling quite anxious, being nervous a lot.”

Since leaving the villa, Jacques says he’s been inundated with messages of support, adding: “The number of grown men who have written to me saying I’m their inspiration is overwhelming.”

Awareness changed my life

ADHD was diagnosed for Sarah and Freya Sharp


ADHD was diagnosed for Sarah and Freya Sharp

WHEN Sarah Sharp was 11 years old, her mother’s teachers told her that if she didn’t change her attitude towards learning, she wouldn’t get anywhere.

Sarah, 36, says: “Throughout elementary school, my reports said the same thing – I wasn’t paying attention, I talked too much, my work was rushed and my handwriting was atrocious.

After spending her twenties job hopping, she enrolled in college at age 30 and was diagnosed with dyslexia.

But it wasn’t until her then 14-year-old daughter Freya was diagnosed with ADHD in lockdown that Sarah “put two and two together”.

Reading Freya’s school report brought the Eastbourne mother of four to tears.

“It was a real aha moment,” she says. “It felt like her entire report was talking about me.

It said, ‘Freya is very disorganized and has a short attention span.’ It really hit home.

In all areas of my life, whether trying to organize laundry or completing work tasks, I just get distracted.”

I finally felt like I could give my life meaning.

Sarah Sharp

Sarah, managing director of TicTock Therapy (, which supports people with tics and Tourette’s syndrome, adds: “Freya’s school report says she can start tasks but leave them half done.

“That was another moment of realization. I have hundreds of projects but many remain unfinished.

“Freya talked about not being able to sit still, being restless and often talkative. Sometimes she can’t stop talking.”

“That’s a big deal for me – I can accelerate from calm to 100mph in seconds.

“When I was younger, my dad commented that I never stopped talking and asked me to sit still because I fidgeted so much.”

Sarah said:


Sarah said: “Everything has changed since the diagnosis”

Sarah with Freya sought help – and two months after reading Freya’s report she was diagnosed with ADHD of the combined type in August.

“I finally felt like I could give my life meaning,” she says.

Harrison, 15, and Hayden, 11 – two of Sarah’s other three children – have also been diagnosed with ADHD.

Sarah’s youngest daughter Mya, four, is awaiting a diagnosis.
Sarah is now taking medication to control her symptoms.

“I struggled emotionally and was often overwhelmed by the smallest of things, leading to me having a breakdown – I burst into tears.

“Everything has changed since the diagnosis. I understand myself better and am open about my ADHD.

“Medications have changed my life. I’m still struggling, but I can get some rest in my chaotic mind.”

How do you tell if you have ADHD as an adult?


WHILE you can only diagnose ADHD from a doctor, it doesn’t hurt to be armed with some knowledge to start this conversation with your GP.

Experts assume that the disease does not only develop in adulthood, but that you will live with it since childhood.

However, the way symptoms may present can change as people age.

The NHS notes: “For example, hyperactivity in adults tends to decrease, while inattention tends to persist as the pressures of adult life increase.

“Adult symptoms also tend to be much more subtle than childhood symptoms.”

The NHS lists the following list of symptoms of ADHD in adults:

  • Carelessness and lack of attention to detail
  • Always start new tasks before completing old ones
  • Lack of organizational skills
  • Inability to focus or prioritize
  • Constantly losing or misplacing things
  • forgetfulness
  • restlessness and nervousness
  • Difficulty staying calm and speaking out of turn
  • Blurt out answers and interrupt others often
  • Mood swings, irritability and a quick temper
  • inability to deal with stress
  • Extreme impatience
  • Taking risks in activities, often without regard to personal safety or the safety of others – for example, dangerous driving.

And if your child shows signs…


THE symptoms in children are better defined and usually appear before a child turns six years old.

The key is when they appear in more than one social setting — home and school, for example.

Signs can be broken down into two categories: inattention — think difficulty concentrating and focusing — and hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The main signs of inattention include:

  • Short attention span and easily distracted
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Appearing forgetful or losing things
  • Cannot stick to tasks that are boring or time consuming
  • Cannot listen to or follow instructions
  • Constantly changing task or activity
  • Difficulty organizing tasks

The main signs of hyperactivity are:

  • Inability to sit still, especially in a quiet, still environment
  • Constantly fidgeting
  • Cannot focus on tasks
  • Excessive physical exercise
  • Excessive Talking
  • Unable to wait their turn
  • Act without thinking
  • interrupt conversations
  • Little or no sense of danger

If you notice any of these signs in your child, you should contact your GP to discuss the possibility that it could be ADHD. The signs to tell if your child has ADHD, like Love Island’s Jacques

Sarah Y. Kim

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