31-year-old Christian, based in New York City, got laid off in late 2022. But this didn’t come as a surprise to him; he was aware that he had lagged behind on his management consulting projects. Christian says it wasn’t that he was deliberately slacking off at work; rather, his ADHD got in the way.

Global data from 2020 estimates the rate of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at 2.58%. Many people with ADHD face difficulties at work that can hinder success. Some people have trouble keeping appointments or maintaining a messy workspace, for example. Others are usually on time and tidy as a pin, yet they can’t help but jump in on conversations. Because of the norms surrounding behavior and procedures, its consequences can be particularly severe at work, where managers may accuse individuals with ADHD of being sluggish, disinterested, or incompetent. Their job stability, career prospects, professional connections, and even their self-esteem are all impacted by this. One of the unfavorable side effects that might cause people with ADHD to experience bad emotional states is self-judgment. There is still a lot of stigma around ADHD, which can lead people to believe that it is only a problem for kids. Instead, many workers resort to “masking” as a form of compensation, suppressing many of their natural inclinations in order to blend in with their coworkers.

Due to the rise in ADHD diagnoses over the past ten years, more people are now able to ask their employers for assistance. Some managers may also be more forthcoming, especially when they encounter illnesses in their own families.