It can be tough trying to fit in when you have ADHD. Trying to fit in without seeking help or therapy is called ADHD masking. This may include suppressing symptoms, trying to hide your ADHD in public settings, or denying the real effect ADHD has on your life.

ADHD masking is about conforming to neurotypical standards to avoid the shame and stigma that continue to plague the condition, in a sense. It may start off as a useful coping strategy but, over time, it often becomes tough to maintain, prevents people from sharing who they really are, and proves a much less effective tool in social or work situations.

Consequences of Not Treating ADHD

ADHD masking, as we know, may delay or sabotage diagnosis, especially in girls and women. Internalized conditions, including anxiety or depression, might develop as a consequence of undiagnosed, untreated, and hidden ADHD. It also interferes with a person’s ability to accept the brain they have, take pride in their strengths, and do more of what works.

Low Self-Esteem

ADHD masking is often tied to feelings of inadequacy. Many individuals who mask are the same ones who magnify their challenges and dismiss their victories. One reader’s experience with going above and beyond in the workplace to mask ADHD captures this tension:

It’s all too common for these unrealistic expectations to join with low self-worth and create imposter syndrome in individuals with ADHD. This not only increases daily levels of anxiety but also prevents individuals from enjoying their successes because they attribute them to good luck rather than their hard-earned efforts.

Dangerous Perfectionism

Masking is also linked to perfectionistic behaviors. Overly sensitive to their own perceived faults, people who mask may also be hyper-aware of those traits in others and even develop an intolerance for them. Perfectionism, combined with imposter syndrome, can also intensify rejection sensitivity dysphoria.

If something isn’t perfect, then it can be seen as another failure, adding to a sense of personal worthlessness. Sometimes people can project their need for perfection onto others, judging them harshly for mistakes.

Find Help for ADHD Treatment

If you think you may have untreated ADHD that is affecting your life, talk to a medical professional. Therapy can help you break out of negative thinking patterns, explore issues of deficiency that lead to masking, and improve your ability to be authentic with others.

Learning to share your genuine self with others can take some time, but it’s a worthwhile process that can improve the quality of your work, your social interactions, and your relationships.

Neurofeedback Training at NHA

Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback may be helpful for training your mind, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. 

This easy, noninvasive training can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth Associates today and find out how we can help you.

Original article published by ADDitude Mag.

Tags: , , , ,

What Our Clients Are Saying

Julia W

Teachers made huge comments on his math skills and behavior. I also saw this at home with understanding of what I said to him registering more with him. I saw this in his eyes: recognition. Fewer outbursts of anger.

Anita M

I am extremely happy with my son’s outcomes and feel very fortunate to have encountered Dr. Bonesteel early in my child’s life. This method has dramatically changed his ability to focus and take initiative. I feel confident that my son’s life has been dramatically enhanced. I can’t express my appreciation fully in words.

Mary B

Dr. Bonesteel has masterfully, compassionately, and extremely kindly helped me navigate through a history of childhood and marital abuse, a child with twenty years of struggle with life-threatening physical and emotional illness, extended family discord, and disharmony with my child with severe depression. I am blessed to have found Neurohealth Associates.


Overall, excellent experience. Very happy with Dr B and staff is wonderful. We feel like we have our family life back!


I am very thankful this technology was available for my training. I was extremely satisfied with all aspects of my training protocols.




with the latest news and information regarding neurofeedback and brain health.