Failing at Normal: An ADHD Success Story | Jessica McCabe | TEDxBratislava

Published 2017-10-09
Jessica McCabe tell us the story of her life. Once a gifted child with bright future, who later lives a life of a constant failures, because one thing - her ADHD diagnosis. Until one thing changed everything and she realized, that she is not alone. Her Youtube channel HowtoADHD is dedicated to help not only people with ADHD, but also their parents, partners a teachers and to remind them, that they are not alone.
Jessica McCabe nám rozpráva príbeh svojho života. Kedysi nadané dieťa so žiarivou budúcnosťou, ktoré neskôr žije život plný neustálych neúspechov, len kvôli jednej veci - jej ADHD diagnóze. Až do momentu kedy sa všetko zmení a ona si uvedomí, že v tom nie je sama. Jej YouTube kanál HowtoADHD je venovaný pomoci a usmerňovaniu nielen ľudí s ADHD ale takisto aj ich rodičom, partnerom a učiteľom a takisto aj odkazu, že v tom nie sú nikdy samí. Jessica is the author of popular YouTube series How to ADHD focused on educating and supporting ADHD brains around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

All Comments (21)
  • Liberty Haas
    When she said, “I worked harder than anyone I knew...So, my failure was clearly my fault.” I felt that.
  • K L Mac
    If a person can feel this frustrated and down on themselves WITH an early diagnosis, imagine how those who HAVEN'T been diagnosed feel!
  • Katarzyna Kukla
    I'm just crying all the pain, missunderstanding, self-blame and loneliness out. With a huge relief. Of being seen, heard and accepted. And a hope for a better day, life and love. Thank you!
  • Paige Caudle
    I have ADHD and I’ve been told my whole life that I am lazy, that maybe if I exercised more, or socialized more I would be more successful. These things were told to me by people who did not have ADHD. This disorder is so easy to gaslight, so it feels amazing to see others with this and say to those people who thought you weren’t enough, you’re wrong, it’s not me, I have ADHD!!!!!
  • Laura Nemogá
    "Welcome to the tribe" were probably those words of inclusion that many of us and probably herself hadn't heard, and saying them herself was so overwhelming, I know I'm not the only one crying when I heard them too. Also, I loved how pure it was when she asked for her partner to come on stage with her hand to get a comforting, loving, proud hug <3
  • B V
    My sweet beautiful 10 year old boy, who each morning gets back up on his horse and faces the world with his ADHD is my hero. His compassion for others, his love for animals and his amazing soul is a gift. The personal challenges he faces at his age are way beyond what I am able to comprehend or reconcile. The other day he was sad because of a tough day he had at school, yet when he got home he went down the block to visit a child in our neighbourhood who is severely disabled because he wants this boy to feel friendship and love. I tell him everyday that I'm proud of him and that he's going to do amazing things that will help make the world a better place. I love you Nik and I'll be here for you for as long as I live.
  • Moira M
    Shout out to all the gifted ADHDers that everyone thinks are so put to together, yet feel like they are falling apart. You are not alone.
  • Blair Waldorf
    Hard to believe this was her first Ted talk! she was so articulate & so professional delivering her presentation. Broke my heart when she cried! 😭 Thank you
  • Rainwood Grace
    Thank you Jessica and TEDx. I'm 79 and I can see why my life has been a disaster. I just hope I can get a little bit of it right moving on.
  • Aditya Yadav
    I cried so many times during this video, it is so relatable it was like my inner self is expressing it's true feelings.
  • WeirdoFam^^
    I don’t think I’ve heard anyone explain ADHD so clearly. The struggles are so real, and how relatable this video has been made me tear up. Thank you
  • Leo Casuga
    I am 40 years old, and last week I was officially diagnosed with ADHD. After a lifetime of stuggle and "not living up to my potential", I finally have hope that I can live a successful and happy life. Thank you for your courage, sharing your journey and giving us brains someone we can finally relate to by providing ADHD awareness on such a huge global platform.
  • Cody Levant
    Does anyone else with ADHD feel like it's hard to manage school because you have so much interest and passion with so many other things to the point where you're completely obsessed and you can't do both at once.
  • Kywen Mook
    I've watched this video so many times. I'm Asian and mental health awareness is still pretty stigmatised within the society.
    For a very very long time, I always felt that I didn't fit in with anyone. At work, at school. I didn't feel normal because I thought I was weird. I KNEW I was different but it wasn't the kind of different where you shine brilliantly amongst people. I felt like the opposite. That one light that is dimmer than the others. Everyone I know is doing well, living, happily and triumphantly climbing in life while there's me who feels like I'm going down the ladder instead of up.
    I want to be like those people too, disciplined, focused and diligent. I am chaotic, messy, my temper has toned down a lot in the recent years thankfully, I call myself the queen of procrastination etc.
    I'm smart, I look happy, no one would've known.
    I'm very blur, like I would think that I'm a very busy person but if you asked me what I was busy doing, the things I could list could be done in just a little while. I do not know why and how I took the entire day to do so. In my brain, I know these things are very quick to be resolved. I know the end goal but the journey in application is like a 0.5x speed.
    I am stressed all the time but the amounts of stress doesn't translate into results of perceivable effort. It's depressing, I'm trying to cope but it's just so difficult to be focused.
    I hope I get my diagnosis soon because I want to get my life back on track as soon as possible.
  • Lyn Fischer
    Thank you. I am 65 and you have just told my story. When I was a child, no one had heard of ADHD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 50’s. It’s been a struggle. Being constantly told at school that I have such wonderful ability if only I would apply myself. Leaving school early because I couldn’t cope. Starting my own business after my children married. Always being late. Not wanting to but ALWAYS late. If I am about to be early, I find something to do like hang out the washing, then I’m late. My husband gets furious when I’m working and he says ‘how much longer’. I tell him ‘about 1/2 an hour and it turns into two hours. I cried listening to your story. Thank you.
  • jlr108
    I just got my diagnosis today - ADHD inattentive presentation. I'm 60 years old (turned 60 yesterday). 60 years of thinking I was a screw up. I don't really understand what ADHD is yet or how having a diagnosis will change my life, but I do think it's a step in the right direction and I hope it will lead to positive change for me.
  • sewasew simachew
    I am 33 years old from Ethiopia. I dropped out of Medical school 3rd year. I had suspicions but never sure I had ADHD. But yesterday I came across this YouTube video that explained in detail what symptoms can be identified as ADHD. It was like the expert was describing my entire life experience. Tears filled my eyes while listening. ADHD cost me med school, it cost me my life. I have been miserable throughout high school and college. I used to be an extraordinary kid at school, and truly believed I had a bright future. My life has been nothing but pain and struggle. And for the first time in my life I have found out what crippled my mind rendering me unable to learn, focus, recall short term memory, start or complete a task, keep track of time and avoid procrastination. I have no word to explain how i’m feeling right now.
  • Don Nguyen
    24, newly graduated, unemployed, no prospects, recently diagnosed with ADHD.

    I cried watching this talk. All the shame and embarrassment I had to endure just to seem normal as well as having to hide all of my effort... I just learned to suffer quietly. I thought that was the normal way of living in society.

    Now to find out that not only was I not alone, but that there are people who have found a way forward? I finally feel like things can change and that I can change.

    Thank you so much for this talk. It's exactly what I needed to start taking steps again
  • baimynrd
    only people with adhd will truly understand why shes crying so often. This was such an amazing video, thank you.
  • Brittany Sanchez
    This made me tear up, I feel this so much and feel that I fail at work everyday. I’ve never been more depressed and feeling alone then I recently have. I’m 31 and your story is so much like mine, I’m just now starting to research and understand why am I the way I am?! Realizing now that I’ve been fired from more than 15 jobs, and am single due to ADHD and not understanding myself and now starting to realize it has effected every part of my life and didn’t even realize it had to do with my ADHD till recently. Thank you for speaking your truth and making me feel not alone for a minute.