top of page

ADHD Masking


What Is ADHD Masking?

ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) masking is when somebody with ADHD displays in a way that makes each other appear to be not living with the disorder. It's also called impression management.  Russell Barkley, a psychologist, came up with the term. He said that about one-third of people with ADHD have it.

"Camouflaging" is another word for what masking ADHD does. This is when a person with ADHD tries to hide their symptoms by copying the behaviors of people who don't have it. Some people with ADHD may try to hide their symptoms to fit in socially, avoid being judged, or feel more accepted.

Types of ADHD masking include hiding hyperactivity with calmness, sitting still at a desk without fidgeting, or answering questions in class even though your mind may be all over the place. Masking can also mean putting too much attention on a teacher, task, or activity to keep from being distracted or acting on impulse.


History and Prevalence of ADHD Masking

Still, not much is known about masking ADHD, and it has not been studied in depth. Barkley said this is because ADHD masking is a hard idea for people who don't have ADHD to understand, so they might not believe it.

Also, people with ADHD symptom may be embarrassed to say they are "faking" it, and doctors don't always ask their patients if they think that might be the case. In other words, it may be more common than we think for ADHD to be hidden.


Can High Intelligence “Mask” ADHD Symptoms?

A person who is skilled at an assigned task may be able to compensate for the effects of their ADHD more easily than others. For example, someone's lack of attention might not be noticed if they do well on tests, or their hyperactivity might not be noticed if they can finish the tasks they are given. In these cases, a person is more likely to be diagnosed with adult-onset ADHD, even though symptoms could have been present since childhood.


Do Females With ADHD Mask More Than Males?

Researchers have found that men are up to 16 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with ADHD. This difference could be caused by many things. The signs of ADHD in women may not be as clear or obvious as they are in men. Most of the time, girls have more symptoms of inattention than boys do of hyperactivity. This makes their behavior less disruptive or noticeable.


Which ADHD Symptoms & Behaviors Do People Try to Mask?

Each person has their own way of masking. A person could want to hide all of their symptoms or just the ones they think are bad. In short, how a person hides will depend on where they are, what they are doing, and what they like.

People with ADHD might mask behaviors and symptoms like:

  • Making careless mistakes

  • Difficulty concentrating or being inattentive

  • Not listening to others

  • Easy to lose things

  • Being forgetful

  • Fidgeting

  • Excessively talking and/or obstructing others

  • Struggling to relax, relax a bit or being hyperactive



How to Deal with ADHD Masking ?

If you wear a mask for a long time, it can hurt both your physical and mental health. Trying out these different ways noted below to deal with ADHD symptoms can help you handle them better without losing your sense of self.


  • Look at Your Patterns: The first step toward a life without masking is to look at how your ADHD symptoms and ways of dealing with them are affecting you. Figure out the situations, places, and things that make you start masking. This process might be hard, but it will be worth it in the end.

  • Consider Getting a ADHD Diagnosis & Support: Self-reflection can sometimes show you that your ADHD affects your life more than you thought. If this is the case, you might want to talk to your doctor for ADHD treatment to find out what's wrong and what treatments are available. After the ADHD testing undergoing therapy and medicine can help you deal with and manage your symptoms better.

  • Know Where the Stereotype Comes From: The stigma that society has about mental health may make you see some ADHD symptoms in a bad way. Therapy can help you get past this bias and learn more about who you are. Celebrating neurodiversity can help you fully accept who you are and live a happy life as your real self.

  • Celebrate the Good Things About ADHD disorder: ADHD symptoms can be a problem in some situations, but you should never assume of your diagnosis as a setback. Find the people, places, and situations that let your ADHD shine, like when you come up with new ideas. There, you can be who you really are and not try to hide it.

  • Sort unhealthy masks from healthy ones: Masking your ADHD can be a healthy and helpful way to deal with it sometimes. For example, it can be helpful to use masking to help you focus on projects or deadlines. But in other situations, putting on a mask to hide who you are can make you feel ashamed. Explore other ways to deal with your problems so you don't start to feel bad about yourself.

  • Develop the ability to control your emotions: It can be hard to learn how to control your emotions, but doing so will help you deal with your impulsivity better. A big part of controlling ADHD is learning how to keep calm and think about what to say, do, and react in tough situations.

  • Thoughts on the End: Masking ADHD may seem like a good idea, but it can quickly turn into a problem that lasts for a long time. Working with a therapist can help you deal with feelings that are preserving you from being yourself if you are having trouble dealing with your ADHD symptoms. Getting ADHD cure from a professional could be the best way to deal with your ADHD in a healthy way both now and in the future.



101 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page