When Matilda Boseley was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), she started using bracelets to help her stay on track.
Each morning, she settles in with physical reminders of her chores in the form of keychain bracelets, also known as chore charms, each with a tag to remind her of a particular chore, like making her bed or picking up medication.
While Matilda says the rattle the tags create when on her wrist annoys her, the sound also motivates her to take them off.
“But I’m not allowed to take them off until I do,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“It externalizes my mental to-do list, and then I get a little satisfaction reward every time I do one.”
Part of ADHD is managing your mind by going off on tangents.
“Keeping on task, especially when it’s a fairly mundane task…can be very difficult,” she says.
“I don’t have the ability to remember something exists if I can’t see it.”
Matilda says these chore charms are a tool she had seen on the video-based social media app TikTok and is now making them work for her.
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Condition signaled by the algorithm
The 25-year-old journalist is one of a growing number of Australians who realized they might have ADHD after watching videos on TikTok.
It wasn’t until months after she started using the app that Matilda said she thought she should seek a diagnosis.
“I guess I must have seen a video of signs of ADHD in adult women and was clearly tied to it,” she says.
The app’s algorithm quickly adapted and soon it was seeing ADHD-related videos almost exclusively.
“Every video was just talking to me, so I was like, ‘Oh no, I have to go talk to someone about this,'” she says.
Not just lazy
Matilda says her diagnosis has given her the language she needs to explain why she finds some things difficult.
She remembers being asked why she couldn’t make the effort to clean up after herself in the family kitchen.
The only word she had to describe herself was “lazy”.
“The reason why I couldn’t do it and everyone else could do it was obviously I’m just being lazy or selfish,” Matilda says.
“Everyone manages to think of people that way, and I don’t.
“[Getting diagnosed] is probably the most fundamentally upsetting thing that’s happened to me in a long time.”