What is High-Functioning ADHD? (+5 Habits for ADHD)

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

The current blogpost will be explaining what High-Functioning ADHD is. We will also be checking out the different signs & symptoms of High-Functioning ADHD and finally be taking a look at the treatments available for this condition.

What is High-Functioning ADHD?

High-Functioning ADHD is basically ADHD in which the person has found ways to cope with the condition or even use their ADHD symptoms to be ‘successful’ in the eyes of others. High-Functioning ADHD is not exactly a formal diagnosis but a commonly used term.

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD are often mislabeled by those close to them who might not find the symptoms of ADHD at all, but might instead see a very productive and socially proactive person.

Many times, those who have the condition may not understand its presence since they are able to keep up their daily schedules and probably do with much more on their plate. It is not until major trauma sets in that a sudden realization of such a condition is understood by the person.

Symptoms of High-Functioning ADHD

As mentioned earlier, High-Functioning ADHD is not a separate condition. The person may simply exhibit the symptoms of ADHD but they have just naturally managed to find ways to cope with it and work around it. The various symptoms of High-Functioning ADHD are:

Too much procrastination

While many people assume that those with High-Functioning ADHD are productive all day, it is wrong for them to do so. This condition makes the person often procrastinate a lot since they are mostly always in the planning phase of their project.

Problems in sleep

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD mostly always have problems in sleep. This is because of their high energy levels which makes it difficult for them to relax. Due to this, they may find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep for the right period of time.

Problems in multi-tasking

Another important sign of High-Functioning ADHD is that the person may have problems in multi-tasking. While it may seem like those with High-Functioning ADHD may be great for multi-tasking since they have tons of energy, they are poor in time-management.

This may make them unlikely to complete multiple projects at the same time. This can affect their performance at work. This can also get them frazzled or anxious about taking on big projects even at home.

Sudden changes in mood

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD may also experience sudden changes in mood. They may go from major elation to severe distress in no time at all. This can play havoc with their relationships with loved ones.

Jumping from goal to goal

Another symptom of High-Functioning ADHD is that the person often jumps from goal to goal. Therefore, they may have a string of career choices and also may switch jobs and relationships often.

Poor self-esteem

While on the outside it can seem as if those with High-Functioning ADHD have it all figured out, they actually suffer from poor self-esteem. This is mainly because of their frequent problems with work and relationships which can affect their identities.

Problems in maintaining conversation

This symptom is common to those who have ADHD and even High-Functioning ADHD. However, people with High-Functioning ADHD may mask this well and can instead be found to keep switching from topic to topic or asking lots of questions in a conversation.

Problems in sitting still

This is a pretty common symptom of anyone who has ADHD, even High-Functioning ADHD. They can be seen getting up from their seat every now and then, unless the activity is something which is very interesting for them.

Problems in maintaining focus

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD may also have problems in maintaining focus and concentration for a long time. But they may simply cope with this by getting a job which requires a lot more energy or simply doing multiple things at once.

Treatments for High-Functioning ADHD

Just like ADHD, High-Functioning ADHD also shares many of the same treatments. Some of the modes of treatment that can work wonders for those who are dealing with High-Functioning ADHD have been discussed in the following section.

Medications for ADHD

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD are mostly prescribed with the same medications as those who have ADHD. The medications for this condition can include antidepressants, stimulants as well as non-stimulants.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is another great type of therapy which can work wonders for anyone who has been diagnosed with ADHD or High-Functioning ADHD. In CBT, the person will be taught cognitive strategies and techniques to work around the condition.

Support Groups

Joining a support group can also definitely help those who have High-Functioning ADHD. Through support groups, the person can understand more about their condition while also getting to know useful cognitive strategies and techniques which others might use.

Positive Habits

Those who have High-Functioning ADHD have obviously found ways or habits to work around the symptoms of their condition. Some great positive habits that can help those who have this condition navigate their daily schedules and activities have been shared as follows.

By following a certain routine

The best way to ensure the highest productivity throughout the day for someone who has High-Functioning ADHD is to simply create a proper routine. The routine can also be printed out as a weekly schedule so that nothing goes amiss.

By organizing everything at home and work

By taking some time out of the week for proper organization, there will be less clutter at home and in work spaces. Better organization can also lead to lesser procrastination and help in proper time management.

Organizing work spaces can also be a great distraction activity if someone is finding themselves procrastinating too much. It can be some sort of a prep-work before the actual work is started.

By using planners

Planners and journals can really come in handy for someone with High-Functioning ADHD. Other than just writing down a schedule, the activity of journaling itself can be a great venting experience for the person to express their daily thoughts and feelings.

Planners can also help since they are physically present and are handy to carry around. In these planners, the person can fill out not only the projects they need to complete, but even the people they need to meet and any talking points if necessary.

By making checklists

Another way to increase productivity is to simply create a checklist of to-do’s and tick things off as you go. The checklist can also include activities of very high priority at the top, while trickling down to those of lower priority at the bottom.

Some people also manage to create a blended mélange of both high-priority and low-priority tasks in the checklist to keep the interest levels up. This can also decrease the time for procrastination and increase productivity.

By using smart tools and reminders

Smart tools in smart phones and devices can also be of great help for someone who has High-Functioning ADHD. Smart tools like planners and calendars can automatically remind someone of a certain task which is due so that they start working.

Smart tools not only help in organization but also in payment of bills and other daily chores, such as grocery shopping. These tools can really come in handy for those who find their fridge empty as they procrastinated too much about going shopping for groceries.

Conclusion

The current blogpost has explained what High-Functioning ADHD is. We have also checked out the different signs & symptoms of High-Functioning ADHD and finally taken a look at the treatments available for this condition.

If you like this blogpost, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychiatry-and-sleep/202110/high-functioning-adhd-is-often-subtle-still-mountain
https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/features/high-functioning-adhd-adults#
https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/signs-and-symptoms-of-adult-adhd
https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.12887