Psychology of ADD: Perfectionism — ADD Tip o the day 263

So we with ADD or ADHD tend to a big dose of shame, and often we coped by trying to be perfect.   “I’ll show them; they’ll see I am worth something.”  and “If I do it perfectly, then nobody can criticize me.”  Eventually we become our own worst critic.

This is all self defeating – we won’t do it perfectly, so the shame increases.  Perfectionism makes the task extra difficult and guarantees failure,  so we procrastinate.  We get tied up in trivial details because everything has to be just right, so we don’t  finish at all, or it takes an unreasonable amount of time.  We think that driving ourself with shaming and criticism helps us keep going and our standards high, but it really is sabotaging.

Be aware of the perfectionism. .  Encourage and applaud yourself for what you’ve done instead of being critical.  Treat yourself the way you would want a teacher to treat your child.  Refute The Critic.  Plan out the task ahead so you don’t get trapped in side issues and irrelevancies.  GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH!


perfectionism tips clik here

good comments clik here     (did you notice that this is not perfect?  I decided to just leave it, it works anyway)

and shame clik here                                                        add, adhd, living with add, living with adhd, coping with add, coping with adhd, how to live with add, help for add

more tips clik here

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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3 Responses to Psychology of ADD: Perfectionism — ADD Tip o the day 263

  1. Pingback: ADD and ADHD Blog — THIS IS IT ! ADD Tip o the Day 500 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. Betsy Davenport, PhD says:

    It is also possible to get stuck on a detail, losing the larger picture. Which is very ADD. For years teachers described my daughter as perfectionistic, when she was most definitely not. What she was, was unable to stop working on something, and she didn’t know when enough WAS enough. Her brain would not let go, unhook. She knew this and it made her suffer, and the only thing that helped was medication adjustment.


    • and this is part of the hyper focus, which can be an asset, except when we cant let go and shift gears when we need to. and self criticism only makes everything worse. but regret does not seem destructive -“it wouldve been nice if i hadnt made that mistake. I need to make a strategy to prevent it next time” vs “what an idiot i am, i’m hopeless”. thank you for the distinction and the comment.


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