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ADHD Girls – Masking Is Exhausting

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Entrepreneurship | 0 comments

ADHD Girls are ace at masking!

Do you agree? 

Lets start with what it even means?  It’s one that professionals talk about a lot.  It’s one that means lots of girls don’t get the support that they need or a diagnosis until much later than boys.  It’s the one that means we are stealth – going unnoticed and undetected (eeee that sounds quite exciting doesn’t it) like a little ninja! 

Masking is being able to adapt to your surroundings and being able to adopt the socially acceptable norms in terms of behaviour dependant upon your circumstances.  Masking is like being the Oscar worthy actress.  Sub-consciously you are able to be a chameleon and blend into the social background that you find yourself in.  

Does it mean you’re a fake? 

Absolutely NOT. 

It’s a survival strategy, a management tool to allow you to get through situation where you don’t know how you should behaviour or what you should be doing.  You may have mirrored these behaviours from your friends and peers, you may have learned the behaviours from parents or teachers – wherever they come from it’s your brain making you do the things that it thinks are normal in the situation you are in.  

It can be confusing and exhausting though! 

You may well spend a lot of your time feel hyper-vigilant when you are in social situations.  You will need to concentrate more, you may feel levels of anxiety that you might get found out, you might feel like an imposter, you may feel scared that something might come up that will knock your legs away from you and you won’t know how to deal with it.  

You may say or do things that make you cringe and instead of the fitting in that your sub-conscious seeks it may make you stand out even more. 

You may even get to the stage where you have no idea who you actually are without the masks, what you do actually like if it wasn’t influenced by others and how to navigate any situation. 

As a paradox to it all you actually don’t feel seen or heard or accepted or safe, but you find it so hard to give people the opportunity to met the real you, in fact who even is that? 

It’s mighty hard but de-masking is so empowering.  When girls with ADHD come to the Unstoppable Girls groups (whether online or in person) we see them flourish.  It’s a safe space, to be yourself, without the fear of judgement, without people thinking you’re weird (although chances are you’re more worried about people thinking you’re weird than people actually thinking your weird), you’re seen, you’re understood, you are who you really are.  You can have The Greatest Showman power moment of This Is Me!! All of this builds your confidence, builds your self esteem, allows you to navigate your ADHD and quell your anxiety. 


AND as a little bonus, you always have that mask to fall back on should you need it (but only every now and then). 


Let’s get talking!

We’d love to hear what you have to say. All our articles are based on the day to day experiences of our unstoppable young women … so the more voices, the better!

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