Dr Jessica Eccles features in new documentary on ADHD

5 May 2023

Dr Jessica Eccles, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), features in a new documentary on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The documentary follows Made in Chelsea star Sam Thomson as he is tested for ADHD and try to discover more about the condition in the hope of understanding how it impacts personal relationships and how ADHD is managed.

Dr Eccles was filmed for the documentary last year, for which she explored the possibility of an ADHD diagnosis with Sam. For the neurodevelopmental assessment Jessica looked at Sam’s history, his childhood, his school reports and sought collateral information. Jessica is a consultant psychiatrist in the East Sussex Neurodevelopmental Service and is trained in the specialist assessment of neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, autism and Tourette syndrome.   

Jessica said: “It was a privilege to be asked to feature in the documentary as part of the neurodevelopmental assessment on Sam. There are at least an estimated 2.6million people in the UK who have ADHD, a recognised form of neurodivergence, but it still carries a stigma. It’s brilliant that Sam is shining a spotlight on ADHD and his challenges and strengths and through this documentary.”

Talking about the documentary, Sam said: “This documentary is the most vulnerable I’ve felt in front of the camera, as I wanted to be totally open about how I react to people in situations, and whether these could be linked to ADHD. 

“It has been an incredible and, at times, scary experience, but by exploring what’s been going on inside my head, I hope people can see that we should be more understanding before judging others. I also want to encourage people to learn more about themselves and be proud of everything that makes them unique.”

Caroline Davies, Director of Programmes at South Shore, the company who have produced the documentary for E4, said: “As awareness of ADHD rockets on social media we’re really proud to be exploring the subject with Sam; whilst also giving the E4 audience a new perspective on his life in London.”

Jessica’s fee for the documentary has been donated to neurodiversity research.

The documentary is called Sam Thompson: Is This ADHD? and will be broadcast on E4 on Monday 8 May at 9pm.


The Neurodivergent Brain-Body Research Clinic

This clinic takes place within our neurodivergent clinical service to provide and evaluate evidence-informed targeted interventions to improve both physical and mental health for neurodivergent people in Sussex.

The research is conducted by clinic leads and their collaborators: Dr Jessica Eccles, Professor Hugo Critchley and Rebecca Simmons. 

Find out more about the Neurodivergent Brain-body Clinic link.