I'm a Celebrity: Sam Thompson opens up about late ADHD diagnosis as professor calls for an end to "stigma"

He told campmates he wished he had been diagnosed earlier in life.
Sam Thompson on ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!Sam Thompson on ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Sam Thompson on ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

I'm a Celebrity viewers watched Sam Thompson bravely open up about his ADHD diagnosis on the show last week.

Sam was only diagnosed with the condition in May 2023 while making a TV show - and admits he wishes he had known about it earlier. Viewers of the reality TV show have seen his boundless energy throughout the course of this series, which he has told his campmates can cause problems in his day-to-day life.

"When the low bits happen it goes low," he said.

"But then the highs are really high. My girlfriend Zara is so steady and it’s so good for me. My timekeeping is terrible. I get quite selfish, not just with her [my girlfriend], with everyone, my mates or whatever. My listening to Zara… I’m just finding myself staring off at something completely different.

"You sort of feel like you’re a bit of a k*** sometimes."

Professor Debora Elijah, a cognitive neuropsychologist based in London, said Sam is not alone in struggling with his diagnosis at times. It comes amid an upsurge in ADHD diagnoses among UK adults.

"Late diagnosis of ADHD can have distinct psychological and social implications, although also a relief as there is clarity in the reasons why the individual may have been suffering with difficulties," she said.

"On the other hand, they may have feelings of regret as the issues were not addressed earlier in life. There are various factors which contribute to the increase in ADHD diagnoses. There is significant awareness and as knowledge of ADHD grows, more individuals seek out an assessment to receive a diagnosis.

"Another factor is there is a shift in the stigma associated with ADHD, making people more comfortable to approach professionals for help - having a diagnosis of ADHD can increase self-awareness by understanding the root causes of some challenges."

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