Erin O’Connor, 43, reveals she’s been diagnosed with ADHD

Erin O’Connor has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the age of 43.

Although most cases of ADHD are diagnosed when children are six to 12 years old, the supermodel said she still welcomed getting the diagnosis later in life as it’s helped her understand aspects of her personality.  

ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour, and those with the condition can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse. 


‘Now I understand my personality’: Erin O’Connor, 43, has revealed she’s been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 43 – despite most people getting diagnosed in childhood 

She told Stella magazine: ‘I’ve discovered that I’m ADHD, which is new. In retrospect, it’s very helpful to be able to piece it together and understand certain things in my personality and growing up. I’m actually currently resitting my Maths GCSE.

Erin added that it means a great deal to understand how her brain functions and stores information, Erin said she can now become a more straightforward learner.


Although she is still modelling, Erin – who shares sons Albert, seven, and Eddie, two, with partner Stephen Gibson – is more selective of the jobs she takes on these days because she doesn’t find posing for pictures particularly ‘stimulating’ anymore.

She admitted she’s not overly invested in being the recipient of someone else’s creativity either, referring to the photographers and fashion directors who orchestrate shoots.

Delighted: The model, 43, has welcomed the news she has the neurodevelopmental disorder because it has aided her in understanding herself better

Despite this, the catwalk beauty is enjoying working in an era when models of her age and older are just as in demand, as ever as she always knew hers could be a short career.

Calling modelling a ‘fleeting’ industry, she admitted it’s difficult to plan for the future, which is something she’s always been aware of.

‘You don’t drop off a cliff after the age of 25, you continue to grow, and have a better understanding of who you are and how you want to express yourself so actually, what’s strange is that it wasn’t happening before,’ she said.

Successful: The catwalk beauty is enjoying working during a time when models of her age and older are just as in demand, as ever as she always knew hers could be a short career (pictured in 1999) 

Erin was previously diagnosed with PTSD in addition, as a result of the criticism she faced over her slender figure.

The West Midlands native revealed that people’s opinions of her size had a devastating impact on her mental health at the height of her career in the 90s.

As reported by the Daily Mail’s Sebastian Shakespeare column, she said: ‘I did a lot of crying and soul‑searching because I was publicly used as a means of getting news and shocking headlines.’

‘After years of being subjected to daily opinions on my body, it was quite traumatic. I definitely suffered.

‘I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after holding a very public, politicised space,’ she concluded. 


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural condition defined by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

It affects around five per cent of children in the US. Some 3.6 per cent of boys and 0.85 per cent of girls suffer in the UK. 

Symptoms typically appear at an early age and become more noticeable as a child grows. These can also include:

  • Constant fidgeting 
  • Poor concentration
  • Excessive movement or talking
  • Acting without thinking
  • Little or no sense of danger 
  • Careless mistakes
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Difficulty organising tasks
  • Inability to listen or carry out instructions 

Most cases are diagnosed between six and 12 years old. Adults can also suffer, but there is less research into this.

ADHD’s exact cause is unclear but is thought to involve genetic mutations that affect a person’s brain function and structure.

Premature babies and those with epilepsy or brain damage are more at risk. 

ADHD is also linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia, Tourette’s and epilepsy.  

There is no cure. 

A combination of medication and therapy is usually recommended to relieve symptoms and make day-to-day life easier. 

Source: NHS Choices 


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  • Erin O’Connor: ‘I’ve discovered I have ADHD… in retrospect it’s helpful to understand my personality’