TW/CW: This episode includes brief discussion of suicidal ideation.
Dani Donovan is a purpose-driven designer who creates cathartic ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) illustrations and a community of validation and solidarity for adults living with ADHD. Her first infographic, “ADHD Storytelling,” went viral within hours and amassed over 100 million views. Her work has been reposted by celebrities like Mindy Kaling and featured in publications like the BBC. In a few short months, Dani’s relatable comics and her #NeurodiverseSquad hashtag helped her quickly become a prominent voice in the online mental health community. Her comics, jokes, Twitter threads, and TikTok videos aim to help those with ADHD understand themselves, feel a sense of belonging, and better explain their invisible struggle to loved ones. Dani’s influence has helped hundreds of people seek diagnosis and treatment for ADHD. She recently left her full-time job to create ADHD content full-time; you can support her work at patreon.com/danidonovan or view comics (and her online shop!) at ADHDDD.com.
Tune in as Dani shares:
- that she also lives with bipolar II and undiagnosed EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)
- why “annoying” is a trigger word for her
- that she was initially diagnosed with depression; then subsequently dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder), anxiety, and panic disorders
- how her ADHD presented very differently from the way it did among boys her age, which made her fall under the radar of diagnosis until she was in college
- how ADHD affects her daily executive functions and impulsivity
- how her behavior doesn’t always align with her expectations, and leads to a cycle of guilt and shame
- how avoidance plays into ADHD symptom manifestation, and can become debilitating
- how ADHD and OCD can occur concurrently
- how her ADHD impacts continuity of care within the medical system
- “ADHD tax” — when those living with ADHD end up paying more than others because the system is stacked against their success
- why forming new habits is tremendously difficult for those living with ADHD
- how her art allows her to communicate her experience with purpose
- how her work has changed lives — and why that gives her ongoing purpose
- why social media has been such a rich resource for her
- her advice for living with ADHD and neurodiversity
Transcript coming soon!
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