Busy Philipps Details Being Diagnosed With ADHD Alongside Daughter Birdie

Busy Philipps received an ADHD diagnosis after she took her now 15-year-old daughter, Birdie, to an ADHD evaluation.

“My older daughter was having some issues in school and we took her to be evaluated. And literally in the evaluation, my ex-husband, Marc [Silverstein], we were looking at each other because everything the doctor was asking Birdie and talking about, I was like, ‘But that’s me. That’s what I have,’” Philipps, 44, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, May 1.

Before she received her diagnosis, Philipps felt like “there was something wrong” with her.

“And then to find out that, oh, no, no, wait, I have ADHD. There are ways to deal with it, there are medications. It has changed my life,” she said.

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Philipps detailed some of the symptoms she faced before going on medication.

Busy Philipps Details Being Diagnosed With ADHD Alongside Daughter Birdie 488

Busy Philipps, Birdie Silverstein.
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

“I had a really difficult time completing tasks. I had a lot of big ideas and not a lot of follow through. I often found myself behind on calls or double booked for things, canceling on people. It makes you feel bad because you feel like you’re messing up,” she shared. “I would forget or I would mix up times for play dates. I would mess up the kids’ schedule and my schedule. And the fact is, as women, as moms, as parents, … we must keep a million things straight.”

The actress, who shares Birdie and daughter Cricket, 10, with Silverstein, 52, admitted that her struggles “affected my self-esteem” because she felt “like I wasn’t as on top of it as the other people that were around me.”

Things began to turn around for Philipps after she received her diagnosis.

“It’s no coincidence really that these last several years of my career have been the best and most productive. And I’ve been doing so many more things that I’ve wanted to do for so long, but sort of was lacking the resources and the ability and even just the awareness,” she said.

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Philipps shared that the medication she is on, a non-stimulant called Qelbree, has “really helped” her.

“My executive function skills have improved so greatly, and I’m also so much more aware and able to prioritize,” she said. “I think that’s a big piece of it too, that when everything feels sort of mixed up, it’s hard to know how to prioritize things in your brain.”

Philipps is sharing her story in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and Women’s Health Month. She noted that it’s “common” for women to not receive ADHD diagnoses until later in life.

“It sort of presents a little bit differently [in women]. I wasn’t a kid that was running around all the time. I was very much more internalized chaos,” she said. “So, I think that’s why … as we talk about it more, you’re seeing more diagnoses, because women especially are like, ‘Wait a minute. Hold up. That’s me.’”

While Philipps got diagnosed around the same time as Birdie, she noted that she “wouldn’t say [ADHD] has been a thing that has bonded” the pair together.

“She is a different person and her own experience is her own experience,” Philipps explained. “My daughter is so funny. I mean, they both are, but Birdie’s always like, ‘Ugh, you make everything about you.’ And I mean, to be fair, I did a little bit make her ADHD diagnosis about me, because I was like, ‘But I have it too!’”

Philipps added that Birdie is doing “really well” after being diagnosed with epilepsy following a December 2023 seizure.

“She’s on a medication, she’s under a doctor’s care and so far, so good,” she said. “She’s been managing it really well.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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