ADHD is not an anxiety disorder. However, an anxiety disorder may occur in children or adults with ADHD. In addition to that, if both anxiety and ADHD symptoms are observed in adults or children, anxiety can be a factor that strengthens ADHD symptoms.
ADHD can cause strong feelings of sadness, loneliness, and a lack of interest in life activities. People with ADHD may be more likely than others to develop depression and anxiety.
One reason why it is important to seek treatment for ADHD is that treatment may help to reduce the risk of complications, such as depression. If you’ve been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may also have another mental health disorder. Sometimes symptoms of other conditions can be masked by the symptoms of ADHD. It’s estimated that over 60 percent of people with ADHD have a comorbid, or coexisting, condition.
Anxiety is one state that is often seen in people with ADHD. About 50 percent of adults and up to 30 percent of children with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Keep reading to learn more about the link between these two disorders.
Equality and difference
If you have ADHD, it can be challenging to identify the indications of anxiety. ADHD is a continuous form that often starts in childhood and can continue into adulthood. It can affect your strength to focus and may result in behavioral problems, such as:
- lack of concentration
- lack of pressure control
- fidgeting and trouble relaxing still
- difficulty organizing and finishing duties.
The signs of ADHD are slightly different from symptoms of anxiety. ADHD symptoms primarily involve issues with focus and absorption. Anxiety symptoms, on the other hand, involve problems with nervousness and fear.
Things you have to do when suffering from both disorders
To zero in on the best way to treat ADHD and anxiety, your doctor will likely look at which condition affects you the most. Your treatment for ADHD may ease your anxiety, so you may only need to take ADHD medication.
How can ADHD medication affects your Anxiety
The most common drugs that doctors suggest for ADHD are stimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamines. Even if you have anxiety, these meds may work well for your ADHD.
Anxiety is a common side effect of stimulants. Your doctor won’t know how a medication will affect you until you take it, but it’s possible stimulants may make your anxiety symptoms worse.
If that’s the case for you, your doctor may suggest other medicines, such as the non-stimulant drug atomoxetine (Strattera).
Your doctor may also recommend antidepressants like:
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
High blood pressure drugs like clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay) and guanfacine (Tenex, Intuniv) may also help.
When you get treatment for ADHD, it can:
- Cut your stress
- Improve your attention so you manage tasks better
- Give you mental power to handle anxiety symptoms more easily
- If your anxiety is a separate situation and not a symptom of ADHD, you may need to treat both disorders at the same time
Some treatments can work for both ADHD and anxiety, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Relaxation methods and meditation
- Prescription medications
The danger for your child
Many children diagnosed with ADHD struggle with working memory, time-management skills, and organizational skills. This can make it difficult to follow daily routines and complete short- and long-term tasks. It can also result in chronic stress.
Children with ADHD also struggle with emotional regulation. ADHD often causes kids to become flooded with emotions, positive or negative, which can be difficult to manage at the moment. If a child is flooded with feelings of anxiety, for example, that child might struggle to make sense of his thoughts and become caught in a cycle of negative and anxious thinking.
Anxiety symptoms can mimic ADHD symptoms
Misdiagnosis can and does occur when it comes to children with ADHD and/or anxiety. The best course of action to ensure an accurate diagnosis is a thorough evaluation by a neuropsychologist.
Anxiety looks a lot like ADHD for many children, so it’s important to have your child evaluated to determine the best course of treatment.
The following are just a few of the many ways in which symptoms of ADHD and anxiety overlap:
Inattention: An anxious child might check out and tune into his worries. To the teacher or parent, this looks like inattention. For an ADHD child, inattention is a symptom of the disorder.
Poor peer relationships: A child with social anxiety will struggle to make and maintain friendships due to fears about rejection or difficulty regulating emotional thoughts while engaged with peers. A child with ADHD is likely to have low impulse control and poor social skills, which makes it difficult to sustain friendships.
Slow work habits: Anxious children can struggle with perfectionism, making it difficult to complete in-class and homework assignments. An ADHD child struggles with the workload due to poor organizational skills and reduced attention span.
Constant movement: Anxious children tend to move around a lot (foot tapping, tipping chair) and ask constant questions in an attempt to manage anxious energy. ADHD kids fidget because of low impulse control.
While there are symptoms that overlap, it’s important to note that anxious children display more perfectionist behaviors and worry about socializing with others, while ADHD kids struggle with impulse control and organization.
A complete neuropsychological evaluation, including at least one classroom evaluation, will help determine whether a child’s behaviors are rooted in ADHD, anxiety, or some combination of the two.
ADHD disease has become very common among school-going children and also a challenge for parents to fight it. If the child is taken care of properly, then it becomes easy to win this battle. Below are some points are written with the help of which you can get the child out of this disease.
- Build a schedule for children’s every work like, playing, eating, reading, sleeping, etc.
- Fix a place for every item of their need so that they do not have trouble finding anything.
- In some children, problems increase due to handwriting, seek advice from a doctor, and get permission to work from a computer in school.
- Always behave positively and try to solve their mistakes with love.
Anxiety and ADHD are conditions that can generate serious learning difficulties according to their symptoms. To prevent the negative effects of these disorders, to boost attention, and to overcome stress, fun scientific brain games, Attention Exercises would be beneficial.