ADHD and perfectionism

By Tara Drinks

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.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Thomas E. Brown, PhD is a clinical psychologist and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.