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14. Impairment of performance in ADHD


14. Impairment of performance in ADHD

The impaired performance in ADHD can be attributed to various causes. Due to disorganization and a lack of ability to structure work processes, there is a feeling of being overwhelmed, which leads to a lack of drive and self-deprecation. In addition, mood swings and the negative expectation of success hinder consistent work performance.

14.1. Impaired performance as an ADHD symptom

Other descriptions for the reduced performance in ADHD are “impaired in own effort” or “hindered in effort”.

Due to their own disorganization (see executive problems), an expectation has often already grown that their own efforts will not be (adequately) successful anyway. This hinders their own efforts. This leads to a lack of drive, switching off and refusal.12

  • Lack of ability to organize work processes causes a feeling of being overwhelmed (in adults)3 and increases self-devaluation
  • Mood swings prevent constant work performance (in adults),3 this increases self-devaluation
  • New projects are avoided because they would not be completed anyway (see also perfectionism)
  • Tendency to avoid mental exertion4

14.2. Impairment of performance as a symptom of stress

Performance is impaired under severe stress.56
There is an impediment to effort due to a lack of satisfaction from success or a lack of expectation of success (lack of drive, switching off, refusal).2
Easy exhaustion, lack of energy and daytime tiredness are typical symptoms of the approaching final state of burnout.7

The feeling of being overwhelmed is a well-known stress symptom.85

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