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This means that if you or your kid is diagnosed with ADHD, there is a 50% chance of developing anxiety. Up to 30% of children and about 50% of adults suffering from ADHD may also have cases of anxiety disorder.
The anxiety disorder between the two groups of people could be a social phobia, generalized anxiety, or any other type of anxiety. This is according to anxiety and ADHD data.
Most people with ADHD have been found to suffer from anxiety as well.
Now the questions that should linger in your mind are as follows:
- Does having ADHD lead to cases of developing anxiety?
- How can you effectively diagnose the two conditions?
- How do you go about treating either ADHD or anxiety disorder?
- Do you have to deal with one problem at a time?
This guide will help you find the right answers to the questions above. It will also help you understand the connection between ADHD and anxiety disorders.
1. ADHD and Anxiety: An Overview
Too many people seem to be confused about ADHD and anxiety disorder. If you are one of them, rest assured that these are different conditions.
The differences are attributed to their:
- Diagnostic criteria
According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental health disorders, ADHD falls in the category of neurodevelopmental conditions.
On the other hand, anxiety disorder is in a separate category within the DSM and it includes conditions such as selective mutism, social phobia, and Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD).
Anxiety is referred to as the body’s natural response to different types of stress. If you have anxiety, you are likely to experience persistent feelings of fear, worry, and nervousness.
However, task-related anxiety is perfectly normal. But those who suffer from this disorder experience anxiety all or most of the time for a period of about six months.
Constant feelings of fear, nervousness, and worry can get out of proportion for those with anxiety disorders. Such feelings can negatively interfere with your daily life or relationships with other people.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
The types of anxiety disorders are:
1. Panic Disorder
If you are experiencing recurring panic attacks most of the time, just know you have a panic disorder.
Patients with panic disorder live in constant fear of the unknown or panic attacks given that anything can cause their anxious feelings, which may possibly lead to severe panic attacks.
2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This condition is characterized by exaggerated or excessive feats of worry in your daily life events. Most patients with GAD are always expecting a disaster to happen.
In most cases, they don’t stop worrying about things like:
- Family-related problems
3. Social Anxiety
More often than not, social anxiety comes about as a result of excessive fear of finding yourself among other people or in the middle of a social gathering.
Social anxiety will interfere with your:
- Communication with other people
- Meeting new people
- Attending social gatherings
This is a situation whereby you experience extreme anxiety or fear in response to specific things, activities, and situations.
Phobias are divided into several categories depending on what causes them.
Examples of these categories include:
- Acrophobia or fear of heights
- Claustrophobia or fear of confined spaces
5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Also known as OCD, this type of anxiety disorder is actually repeated irrational thoughts that can compel you into doing certain activities over and over again.
It may also involve the thought of feeling unsafe most of the time, making you check all locks on your doors again and again despite having been assured severally.
6. Separation Anxiety Disorder
This is an issue characterized by the fear of being separated from those people who matter a lot in life. It is a common disorder among children.
7. Illness Anxiety Disorder
Illness anxiety disorder is an excessive concern regarding a life-threatening disease that can be perceivable or real.
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8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The acronym for this disorder is PTSD and it is a form of anxiety disorder associated with a particular type of painful event in your life.
It may include the anxiety resulting from memories, flashbacks, and exposure to a situation that mimics the actual problem.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder can take a different shape from one individual to another. Also, these feelings differ depending on what causes them. For instance, some people can feel butterflies in their stomachs while others can experience racing hearts.
In extreme cases, the anxiety can become a nightmare, cause painful thoughts, and lead to panic attacks. Despite all these differences, symptoms related to anxiety are somehow similar.
These symptoms include:
- Feeling agitated
- Excessive worry
- Feeling restlessness
- Tiredness or excessive fatigue
- Difficulty paying attention
- Tension in the muscles
- Panic attacks
- Irrational fears
- Sleep problem
- Avoiding social situations
- Difficulty in staying asleep
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a condition that affects your ability to pay attention or control your behavior.
This disorder is prevalent among children and it continues into their teens or even adulthood. It is a lifelong condition although its symptoms change as the affected kids grow.
ADHD can interfere with relations, work, and daily functioning. Besides, ADHD is placed in the category of mental illnesses but it usually belongs to a group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Most neurodevelopmental or neurobehavioral disorders involve brain-related problems among the affected individuals.
Symptoms of ADHD
ADHD is a lifelong health condition that is mainly characterized by lack of concentration, and excessive movement (also known as hyperactivity). ADHD can be either inattentive or hyperactive or both depending on the symptoms.
Here are symptoms that will help you tell the inattentive ADHD type from the hyperactive ADHD type.
Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD type:
- Difficulty in concentrating and staying on one task
- Failure to pay particular attention to detail
- Being inattentive when spoken to
- Failure or negligence in completing chores or school work
- Being disorganized
- Reluctant to participate in tasks that may require continued mental focus
Symptoms of Hyperactive ADHD type:
- Being fidgety and restless
- Inability to stay quiet while playing
- Talking excessively
- Constantly interrupting others
- Easily frustrated
- Little concern about the danger
ADHD Versus ADD
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the use of the terms ADHD and ADD. ADD stands for attention deficit disorder and it is an outdated term that describes those suffering from ADHD.
Mostly, ADD was used in reference to patients battling with inattentiveness as far as ADHD is concerned.
Currently, ADD has been replaced by ADHD, even when the patient is not hyperactive. To be more precise, ADD is now officially referred to as ADHD inattentive type.
2. ADHD and Anxiety: Understanding Comorbidity in Both
Comorbidity is a terminology used commonly to describe two health conditions or diseases that can affect a person at the same time.
It is no longer uncommon for a patient to be diagnosed with more than one mental health disorder at once. In this regard, you are likely to be diagnosed with both ADHD and anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders and ADHD are some of the most common types of psychiatric disorders among patients with comorbidity. About 25% of people with comorbidity have been diagnosed with these conditions so far.
In most instances, anxiety disorder occurs independently, but in a few cases, it is caused by ADHD. To understand the whole concept behind these two comorbidity cases, you should have an idea about their essential factors.
Overlapping Signs of Anxiety Disorder and ADHD
It is normally hard to draw a line between anxiety disorder and ADHD. This is due to the fact that both conditions tend to share common symptoms.
When these conditions exist at the same time, it becomes extremely difficult to rule out one of them.
However, you should be on the lookout for the following overlapping signs:
- Being argumentative or easily irritable
- Sleep disturbances
- Failure to accomplish overdue tasks
- Sudden withdrawal for other people
- Wasting a lot of time doing non-productive tasks
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms That Mimic ADHD Symptoms
Children with anxiety disorder are likely to display symptoms that may look similar to those of ADHD. This is why you should be in a better position to identify symptoms that belong to both conditions.
Here are the common signs and symptoms that are considered overlapping among ADHD and anxiety disorder patients:
- Inattention Symptoms
They include anxious thoughts that are extremely overwhelming to the affected individuals. These symptoms can make the patient stay inattentive to different important tasks.
In ADHD patients, being inattentive is one of the dominant symptoms that you should take note of.
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- Disturbed Social/ Peer Relationship
Those with anxiety disorder experience some difficulties when it comes to making and maintaining social relationships.
This problem arises because of excessive fear of rejection or inability to regulate emotions. On the other hand, the ADHD patient is likely to face similar issues in social relationships due to low impulse control or poor social skills.
- The Slow Pace in the Workplace
Anxiety is one of the reasons a person can struggle to achieve perfection at work. This disorder affects the speed of an individual while performing certain tasks.
Similarly, individuals with ADHD may show less work rate because of poor organizational skills as well as reduced attention spans.
- Excessive Fidgeting
Anxiety causes those affected to:
- Move around frequently
- Tap their feet
- Bite the nails
- Tip chairs
When it comes to patients with ADHD, you will notice that they fidget a lot due to their low impulse control.
Differences Between ADHD and Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a type of disorder that involves a state of your mind, thinking, nervousness, worry, and fear. ADHD, however, is a disorder that is mainly characterized by lack of focus, hyperactivity, and lack of stability.
Despite having knowledge of the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety, a proper diagnosis by a medical professional is necessary to help draw a line between the two conditions
Below are important points that can help you get the existing differences between anxiety disorder and ADHD:
- Extreme cases of anxiety can make the patients experience some difficulties concentrating on the ongoing tasks. On the other hand, it is a common feature of ADHD.
- Someone with anxiety can sometimes display compulsive or perfectionist behavior that is typically non-existent among those with ADHD.
- With an anxiety disorder, the main cause of lack of focus is attributed to an individual’s state of mind. The affected person is usually occupied with anxiety and worrisome thoughts. On the contrary, ADHD patients have quiet and relaxed minds but they can quickly lose their focus due to a simple distraction.
For you to clearly distinguish between anxiety disorder and ADHD, you need to find answers to the following baseline questions:
- Does your child or you find yourself in a state of worrying most of the time? Does the worry persist for long despite what you do to let it go? Does this worry become a primary concern in your ability to perform your tasks? (Anxiety)
- Is there anything or an instance that makes your child or you feel scared? (Anxiety)
- Does your kid or you feel anxious every time you leave your residential place? (Anxiety)
- Do you have a family history of anxiety disorder? (Anxiety)
- How often do you experience difficulty paying attention to other people? Regardless of how many times you experience inattention when someone is speaking to you? (ADHD)
- How often do you procrastinate until the final hour? (ADHD)
- How often do you just leave your seat even if you are supposed to remain seated? (ADHD)
Despite the fact that anxiety disorder and ADHD are different mental health conditions, they still share some signs. Below is the table illustrating the comparison between ADHD and anxiety disorder:
|Lack of attention||✔||✔|
|Physical symptoms like stomach ache and headache||✔||✘|
|Insomnia or lack of sleep||✔||✔|
|Fear and worry without apparent causes||✔||✘|
|Fidgeting and making unnecessary movements||✔||✔|
|Reluctant to try new things||✔||✘|
|Trouble finishing tasks||✔||✔|
|Inability to follow laid down instructions||✘||✔|
|Difficulty in forming or being part of social relations||✔||✔|
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3. ADHD and Anxiety: Does One Lead to the Other?
Anxiety disorders are common among ADHD patients compared to the general population. As a matter of fact, childhood anxiety disorders are considered the second most co-existing condition alongside ADHD.
Statistics from the National Comorbidity survey show that about 47% of adults suffering from ADHD were diagnosed with one of the anxiety disorder types.
These statistics don’t necessarily mean that ADHD contributes to anxiety disorder most of the time. It only enhances your chances of getting anxiety disorder. Again, the statistics don’t make ADHD the main cause of anxiety.
Check out the factors that contribute to ADHD patient’s vulnerability to anxiety below:
1. The Link Between ADHD and Anxiety
ADHD patients have the burden of struggling with:
- Time management skills
- Organizational skills
Each one of these symptoms is a hindrance to their ability to complete simple or short or long-term tasks.
They also make it difficult for them to follow the usual routine in a more organized manner. As such, these symptoms lead to stress as well as anxiety since they make patients feel overwhelmed with events around them.
One of the major challenges that an ADHD patient faces is emotional regulation. This means those suffering from this mental health condition can easily be overwhelmed with their feelings.
Therefore, if you’re overwhelmed with anxiety due to a stressful event, you can easily get caught in the middle of a negative or anxious thinking pattern.
2. ADHD Symptoms that Increase the Likelihood of Anxiety
ADHD does not necessarily contribute to causing anxiety although it can lead to developing anxiety. This is because some symptoms tend to overlap in both anxiety disorder and ADHD.
Some of the symptoms that can increase the risk of developing anxiety include:
- Inability to Sustain Your Attention for Long
If you are suffering from ADHD, you are likely to experience some difficulties in sustaining attention. This mental health condition makes it difficult for you to ignore external stimuli like sound, sight, or other minor things that are happening around you.
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Failure to sustain attention prevents people with ADHD from staying focused or completing tasks assigned to them. Such cases can easily lead to generalized anxiety or any other associated anxiety problem.
- Unable to Complete Assigned Tasks on Time
ADHD can make it difficult for you to plan, organize and execute tasks as required. This is a common symptom that can easily lead to anxiety.
A person with ADHD is likely to take a lot of time to perform a task that a normal person takes a shorter time. Failure to complete the tasks can make you anxious which may eventually cause anxiety disorder.
- Difficulty in Maintaining Social Interactions
Patients with ADHD have a problem with social interactions.
They tend to have some:
- Difficulties in understanding the social norms and social cues
- Difficulty processing conversations
- Difficulty planning and executing social events
- Difficulty in recalling what others said due to a lack of paying attention
These struggles can contribute to social anxiety or phobia especially when they become too overwhelming to handle. In addition to that, someone with ADHD can become more sensitive to matters concerning relations in their lives.
In this sense, losing a close friend or rejection by a loved one can cause them to become anxious.
- Constant Fidgeting
One of the most common symptoms of ADHD or anxiety disorder is fidgeting. In some cases, constant fidgeting can cause anxiety.
For the ADHD hyperactive situation, your brain is likely to fail to send signals that are responsible to support or slow down your body when it is motionless.
As a result, you end up having some difficulties stopping or control your continuous fidgeting. In the long run, you may develop anxious thoughts and uneasiness when you are close to other people.
Anxiety and Stimulants
Medications that have stimulants as part of their ingredients are highly considered to be effective in treating ADHD. However, these medications can also aggravate anxiety.
The good news is that stimulants don’t really respond in a similar manner as to cause physical sensations of dry mouth or faster heartbeat.
These sensations normally subside a few days or weeks later once you take some medications. In such instances, you may visit a clinician for prescription of non-stimulants, if stimulants are not working well with you.
Another option that a clinician may provide you is the prescription of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs to reduce the effects of anxiety.
Can Untreated Case of ADHD Cause Anxiety?
Most likely yes. Just like any other type of health condition, ADHD is more likely to become problematic in case it is left untreated. In fact, untreated ADHD will worsen your symptoms in addition to creating a condition such as anxiety disorder.
Plus, untreated ADHD is known to cause many health problems throughout your life because patients usually experience short attention spans or instances of hyperactivity.
Such cases make it difficult for you to function normally in all aspects of life, thus exaggerating anxiety problems.
4. ADHD and Anxiety: Diagnosis
When it comes to diagnosing anxiety disorder and ADHD, everything needs to be done accurately. Bear in mind that these two conditions can also become comorbid disorders. As a result, these conditions can easily be misdiagnosed, which can create a lot of confusion.
If you have ADHD, you should go for screening at least once a year to rule out the possibilities of comorbid disorders that may develop from childhood to adolescence and even to adulthood.
Conversely, anxiety disorder needs to be evaluated at the earliest possible time to improve the quality of your life.
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You should first go for the diagnosis of your ADHD condition to start an early treatment before diagnosing any coexisting anxiety disorder. This is due to the fact that symptoms of irritability, restlessness and difficulty concentrating can occur in both cases. What is more, proper medical treatment can cause anxiety symptoms to decrease.
Researchers from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) have established that ADHD can be categorized into three groups, namely:
- Combined type
- Hyperactive-impulsive type
- Inattentive type
Each type displays its own unique symptoms as explained below:
- Inattentive Type or ADHD-I
The diagnosis is carried out when the patient shows about six or more symptoms related to inattention. The symptoms may range from struggling to perform specific tasks to having difficulty following instructions all the way to not listen attentively when spoken to.
- Hyperactivity-Impulsive Type (ADHD-H)
This is usually diagnosed when the patient has more than six symptoms. These symptoms can range from trouble staying still in one’s chair to frequent fidgeting and feelings of restlessness to talking excessively for about six months or more.
The combined type of ADHD (ADHD-C) has symptoms for both ADHD-H and ADHD-I which can last for more than six months.
DSM explains that the 5th Edition anxiety disorder consists of mental health problems that may share excessive fear, anxiety, or related behavioral disturbances.
For anxiety diagnosis, your health professional will dwell mainly on the presence of symptoms for a period of about six months.
Your anxiety diagnosis can vary considerably depending on the category of anxiety that you have. Validated screening tools are usually needed to perform a proper diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
Misdiagnosed or Undiagnosed Anxiety and ADHD
Chances of misdiagnosing anxiety disorder and ADHD are extremely high since the two comorbid conditions show almost similar symptoms.
Also, one of them can remain untreated. This is the case, especially whereby a kid with ADHD gets misdiagnosed with a social communication disorder such as Autism for struggling to make friends due to lack of confidence.
Similarly, a child who is always aggressive due to fight or flight response triggered by anxious situations may be diagnosed with ADHD whereby in reality that child is having an anxiety disorder.
ADHD and anxiety are usually problematic and can pose many challenges if left untreated for a very long time or misdiagnosed.
Screening and Diagnostic Tools
The most used tool for screening ADHD in children include:
- Childhood Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
- Conners Abbreviated Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ)
For adults with ADHD, the screening tools are:
- ADHD clinical diagnostic scale
- ADHD investigator rating scale
- ADHD self-report scale
- ADHD self-report screening scale-for DSM-5
Anxiety screening requires different types of diagnostic tests or tools. All these tools and tests are available for adults and children.
Some of the common examples of tests used are:
- Hamilton anxiety scale
- Zung self-rating scale
- Beck anxiety inventory
- Yales Brown obsessive-compulsive scale
In addition to those diagnostic tools and tests, a mental health professional can carry out physical examinations to find out if there is any effect or physical cause of anxiety disorder.
5. ADHD and Anxiety: Risk Factors for Comorbidity
The main purpose of risk factors is to help identify anything that increases the chances of developing a health condition. Apparently, it is quite possible for one to develop an anxiety disorder and ADHD at the same time. This is a common trend among children compared to adults.
Even though the risk factors are likely to contribute to the development and occurrence of anxiety or ADHD, knowing these risk factors can help you take necessary action at the right time.
Below are some of the common risk factors that come with comorbid anxiety and ADHD:
1. Your Family History
Genetics or family history can contribute to the cases of ADHD and anxiety disorder. This is one of the most critical risk factors that may lead to the development of various health conditions.
If one of your family members has ADHD or anxiety, there is a high probability of you getting both conditions at the same time.
However, your family history does not imply that you can automatically get ADHD and anxiety disorder. Still, there is a 50% chance of developing these conditions compared to those families without such cases.
According to epigenetics, your habits along with emotions are likely to impact your biology. This follows the fact that some genes responsible for ADHD and anxiety development can easily be transmitted to your next generation.
Co-occurring conditions such as ADHD and anxiety disorder can also be caused by demographics. But the onset age at which these conditions develop varies with the type of disorder.
Separation anxiety, social phobia, and specific phobia can develop in individuals aged below 15 years. On the contrary, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and agoraphobia may develop at the age of 21 to 34 years.
ADHD, however, can develop among kids. That is why it is considered a childhood disorder. Children with ADHD are at risk of developing anxiety disorders.
With gender, females are more likely to develop anxiety disorders than males. But ADHD is higher in males than females. This shows that women with ADHD can easily develop an anxiety disorder in comparison to men.
Traumas are bad experiences in life and can happen at any point in your life. When they happen, they can have long-lasting effects on you.
Worse still, they can affect you more if you have ADHD than when you are perfectly healthy. ADHD makes you emotionally unstable, thus causing any traumatic experience to strongly influence you.
Also, experiencing trauma while having ADHD can easily put you at risk of getting anxiety.
Such cases are prevalent among children who endured cases of abuse, neglected by their parents, or witnessed incidents of traumatic events. They are also at great risk of developing anxiety disorders.
Grown-ups with ADHD can as well develop anxiety disorder once they experience traumatic incidents. A common example of anxiety disorder type that can be caused by traumatic events is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
4. Environmental Factors
Environmental factors play a great role in the development of anxiety disorders and ADHD.
These factors may include:
- Work pressure
- Family issues
- Dangerous life situations
- Peer relationships among others
ADHD can also contribute to what is going on around you. For example, you may find yourself not being able to concentrate on your work or a kid failing to pay attention in class.
Such situations can make the affected individuals vulnerable to anxiety.
Other environmental factors include:
- Parental issues
- Peer violence
- Economic factors
Emotional dysregulation is highly emphasized when it comes to anxiety disorders. But in ADHD, a patient may experience emotional dysregulation and low temperament. Therefore, those affected may display the inability to regulate their emotional responses naturally because of certain events that can easily trigger a change in their moods.
Instability of response to any life events can easily increase the risks of developing anxiety disorders and ADHD at the same time.
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6. ADHD and Anxiety: Treatment
It can be a very challenging process to get the treatment for two conditions that you may be suffering from. The main challenge comes in where the treatment for one condition worsens the other. Again you may find it difficult to decide which disorder to treat first.
Both medications and therapeutic approaches can help treat anxiety disorder and ADHD. But due to overlapping symptoms of both conditions, you may find it a little challenging to choose the most appropriate therapeutic techniques for both.
Regardless of these challenges, there are still workable solutions for the treatment of anxiety and ADHD.
ADHD and Anxiety Disorder, Which One to Treat First?
In most cases, the treatment for co-occurring conditions like anxiety disorder and ADHD starts simultaneously. Health professionals focus their attention on one condition which they think might be responsible for causing symptoms of the other one.
Despite all that, treatment of anxiety disorder and ADHD depends on a few factors. To begin with, ADHD is a lifelong health condition, so your clinician should start by treating the anxiety disorder first. Once the anxiety disorder is contained, your clinician can start treating ADHD symptoms.
Another factor could be whether your anxiety disorder is primary or secondary. Primary anxiety disorder is not brought about by ADHD or other health conditions. Secondary anxiety, however, emerges due to another health condition like ADHD.
If you are diagnosed with primary anxiety disorder and ADHD at the same time, you may have both treated simultaneously.
In case you are diagnosed with secondary anxiety disorder and ADHD, then your doctor can start treatment of ADHD and it will automatically reduce your anxiety.
Medications for Anxiety Disorder and ADHD
Different kinds of drugs are used to treat anxiety and ADHD. Some of these medications may vary depending on your condition and symptoms.
Examples of commonly prescribed medications include:
Stimulants increase levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain. Norepinephrine is a form of chemical in your body that acts as a neurotransmitter and a stress hormone.
Dopamine is simply a neurotransmitter in your brain and it is associated with:
Stimulants are always useful in the treatment of ADHD because they boost concentration while reducing hyperactivity. However, stimulants are likely to increase anxiety symptoms. This is the reason why your doctor may refer you to a different group of medicine.
Examples of stimulants are:
Non-stimulants come in as an alternative to stimulants. They can also be administered as a combination to treat ADHD and anxiety. The best thing about this type of drug is that they have fewer side effects than stimulants.
Examples of non-stimulants:
They are not used as often as stimulants and non-stimulants in treating ADHD but are widely used to treat anxiety disorders. Antidepressants boost levels of norepinephrine and dopamine transmitters in your brain.
They can also help the treatment of ADHD by reducing depression symptoms that come with anxiety disorders. Not to mention their ability to increase attention spans.
Examples of antidepressants are:
Anxiety and ADHD medications are not the same in terms of functionality. This is why some patients or caregivers resort to natural remedies for ADHD and anxiety-like proper nutrition, workout/exercise, and supplements to help control the symptoms associated with anxiety and ADHD.
Common examples of supplements include:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an intervention process that helps you to change your way of thinking. It also influences your behavior positively.
Besides being widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, CBT can also be effective for ADHD treatment. This treatment option plays a significant role in helping you change your thinking abilities.
CBT also identifies your distorted thought process and works on them.
Possible ways that your thinking can be distorted are:
- All or Nothing
This is a situation where you see things as either good or bad. In case something on your side doesn’t look good, you will think you are a failure.
When you overthink a single problem for some time while ignoring the positive part of your personality, then you are overgeneralizing.
- Mind Reading
It is an assumption that other people are thinking about what you have done or about you in general.
- Fortune Telling
This is the time that you perceive/assume things or situations will turn out negatively or badly.
Tendency to blame yourself for something while downplaying other people’s responsibility.
7. ADHD and Anxiety: Managing Both Conditions
It is never easy to cope with anxiety and ADHD at the same time. It’s even a challenge to those caregivers or parents that are handling someone with ADHD and anxiety disorders.
As such, you need to know a few helpful and practical tips that can help you take control of these two health conditions.
The most important step toward containing ADHD and anxiety is timely diagnosis followed by treatment.
This step can even work better for you if you combine it with essential tips explained below:
1. Never Panic
In most cases, people panic when diagnosed with two health conditions simultaneously. This can make them nervous and afraid to the point of trying out new things and unproven treatment options in the hope of overcoming their problem.
In your case, you don’t have to be in a state of panic if you are diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD. Doing so can quickly exaggerate your symptoms and worsen your situation.
Make sure to stick to the recommended treatment process by your physician.
2. Never Stress Yourself or Feel Lonely
If you are diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder today, you should not get stressed up or feel lonely. Just share your problem with your loved ones, including friends. Sharing your problem reduces the burden and worry in your mind.
So, when you take this step they will most likely help to find a quick solution to manage your ADHD and anxiety conditions.
3. Insomnia Mitigation with Anxiety and ADHD
Insomnia is one of the unanimous things that come along with anxiety disorder and ADHD.
You can find yourself staying awake all night long due to anxious thoughts. And this can be very stressful on your side, causing you to become less active or attentive during the day.
Below are crucial tips that you can apply to help you handle insomnia better:
- Avoid caffeinated drinks when going to bed
- Avoid day-time naps
- Avoid digital screens such as TVs, phones, etc in the evening
- Take a nice relaxing shower or bath
- Be punctual to go to bed throughout
- Make your sleeping areas as comfortable as possible
- Take regular exercises
- Apply some practice relaxation techniques prior to bedtime
4. Create a Structure
You should try to set a workable structured routine to help you manage your ADHD and anxiety disorders. Make sure to establish rituals for bedtime, work, meals, exercises, and even relaxation. A good structure will make things a little bit easy on your side.
The structure should apply to your various activities and eating habits. This is the case especially with your diet since a good diet has a natural effect on your wellbeing as well as physical activities.
Furthermore, try to take a healthy diet that will enable you to manage your ADHD and anxiety problems.
Anxiety can have a profound effect on your appetite by causing you to eat excessively, eat less or stop eating altogether. Try as much as possible to have a well-balanced diet that is free of oily foods, junk foods, or caffeinated drinks to stay healthy.
5. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help with anxiety disorder alone, especially if they are performed daily. This option works best for you in many different ways.
First, relaxation techniques lower stress levels while reducing stress symptoms. They also enable you to enjoy a happy life.
Here are examples of relaxation techniques that you can use to manage your anxiety disorder:
- Autogenic Relaxation
Involves imagination of peaceful settings to keep you relaxed.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Suitable for relaxing stressed or tensed muscles.
This relaxation technique allows you to form mental images that take your visual journey to a more peaceful and calming situation.
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Due to their similar symptoms, ADHD and anxiety disorders can come together as a package deal.
Having said that, you need to constantly go for screening if you are diagnosed with ADHD to establish if you have comorbid conditions for cases such as anxiety disorder.
This is attributed to the fact that ADHD can lead to the development of anxiety. So, look for a quick and timely solution to make your life comfortable.