The Connection Between ADHD and Anxiety

Both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Anxiety are common problems in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over six million children have developed ADHD at some point or another, while anxiety likewise affects numerous people. What you may not be aware of is that many individuals simultaneously live with both conditions.

Comparing Symptoms

According to some research, nearly a third of children with ADHD also struggle with anxiety; for adults, this figure stands at 50 percent. Those diagnosed with ADHD typically experience hyperactivity, fidgeting and lack of impulse control. They often struggle with impulse control and are unable to sit still for prolonged periods of time.

In comparison, people living with anxiety disorders have chronic, long-lasting problems with anxiety. Even in benign, harmless situations, such individuals suddenly find themselves becoming distressed and frightened.

While ADHD and anxiety certainly share similarities, they are differences between the two that can be spotted with a watchful eye. People with anxiety, for instance, might have issues with concentration only in certain situations that bring about nervous feelings. In comparison, ADHD sufferers are often unable to concentrate throughout most of the day, no matter what situation they find themselves in.

Even after years of study, medical researchers still do not know what causes ADHD. Some possible culprits include genetics and environmental toxins. Those born prematurely might also be at greater risk of this disorder. These very same factors could also be partially responsible for chronic anxiety issues.

Treatment Options

There is no silver bullet for treating either anxiety or ADHD. Making matters more complicated is that anxiety symptoms can be made worse by some ADHD medications. A medical practitioner might address this quandary by attempting to treat the more serious condition, while offering ways to alleviate the other mental issue. Some possible treatments include cognitive and behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and meditations. Prescription medications might also be recommended to remedy persistent symptoms.

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