Many high achievers who experience ADD/ADHD assume that many tasks are “just harder” for them and, thus, resolve to “work harder” to succeed. While they often achieve their goals, they do so with a great deal of struggle, stress, and frustration. The high achiever with ADD/ADHD has most likely been experiencing it’s symptoms since childhood, but developed coping mechanisms to “deal” overtime. Because they do the typical high achiever thing of “fake it till you make it” and don’t share their challenges with others, their ADD/ADHD symptoms usually go unrecognized and, thus, unaddressed, and they struggle indefinitely without applying the skills that can help set them up for success with less struggle, stress, and frustration.
Executive functioning (i.e. verbal and non-verbal working memory, self-regulation skills, motivation, and planning, etc.) are suspected to be impaired by ADD/ADHD, making detail-oriented, deadline driven, competitive work – the type of work that many high achievers are drawn to – exceptionally challenging.
The assumption that medication is the only way to treat ADD/ADHD often deters high achievers because they dislike the idea of relying on medication to succeed. While medication is helpful for many, it is NOT the only effective method of improving ADD/ADHD symptoms. Psychotherapy alone, when tailored to adults experiencing ADD/ADHD, is also successful in improving ADD/ADHD symptoms, and an excellent choice for those wishing to explore non-pharmaceutical treatment.