ADHD and perfectionism

By Tara Drinks

Expert reviewed by Thomas E. Brown, PhD

At a glance

  • It’s not uncommon for people with ADHD to be perfectionists.

  • They can get very anxious about small details and “get stuck.”

  • Perfectionism can be overwhelming, but there are ways to help.

People with ADHD aren’t often thought of as perfectionists. On the surface, it might seem like they race through tasks and ignore details without worrying about the consequences. Still, some people with ADHD can be perfectionists.

Perfectionism isn’t just about trying to do a good job. It’s about getting stuck in ways that make it harder to get things done in a reasonable amount of time. It’s also about being too anxious about small details.

The need to be perfect can be overwhelming. It can cause challenges at home, at school, and even on the job. 

For women and girls with ADHD, perfectionism can be very common. Learn more on this episode of the ADHD Aha! podcast.

Dive deeper

About the author

About the author

Tara Drinks is an editor at Understood.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Thomas E. Brown, PhD is a clinical psychologist and director of the Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders.


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