Teletherapy in 39+ States: AZ, AR, AL, CO, CNMI, CT, DE, DC, GA, FL, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NH, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY, & WV.

ADHD in the Gifted/High Achievers

  • Shauna Pollard, Ph.D., a practicing psychologist providing online therapy to clients in various parts of the United States, explains that for high achievers, ADHD can look like: losing things, having trouble socially or having a lack of focus. Because of this, recognizing ADHD in high-achieving and high-functioning individuals can actually prove harder than it seems.
  • “ADHD also tends to be underdiagnosed in women,” Pollard adds. “The girls might be more likely to be inattentive or their hyperactivity might be talking. They talk a lot so they might get in trouble for that but no one will think about it as ADHD.”
  • “If people only see the high achievement, they may not pick up on the ADHD,” says Pollard. “Because people are high achievers, they’ve found ways to just thrive and so that can look like coming up with strategies or workarounds for the things that the ADHD causes.”

These strategies or workarounds can look like hiding or masking challenges. For example, Pollard highlights how high-achieving adults may stay late at night working or put in maximum effort to focus and stay on top of things.

  • Others may not recognize their ADHD until even later in life. Pollard gives the example of someone in the military who, after switching careers, finds it difficult to thrive outside of a structured environment. Without the support they’re used to, high-achieving individuals may find themselves working harder to succeed and accomplish their goals.

Read the full article in ADHD Online