When ADHD and Anxiety Occur at the Same Time

Living with ADHD is stressful. Thoughts related to procrastination, disorganization, forgetfulness and frustration over failed intentions abound-“Did I lock the front door??”; “What time is that appointment again? I forgot to write it down!”; “I’m going to be late for work! I never allow myself enough time in the morning!” These thoughts represent an internal state of panic and worry, that many living with ADHD recognize as their own.

In fact, up to 30 percent of individuals with ADHD struggle with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Actually, most people experience anxiety in their lifetime. Anxiety and fear are not in themselves bad. They are appropriate responses to certain situations. We may feel nervous before giving a speech at a friend’s wedding reception. A parent may worry about their teenager driving alone for the first time. These are examples of temporary anxiety that is brief in duration, gets better with time and does not interfere with the activities of daily living. For those living with anxiety related to ADHD symptoms, clinical attention is warranted when their anxiety is chronic, frequent, and impacts their quality of life.

The following symptoms warrant further clinical attention by a trained mental health professional: persistent worry; avoidant behavior; sleep difficulties; physical symptoms (heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, muscle tension, dizziness); and difficulty with transitions. With proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment, a better, calmer quality of life is possible.  If you or a loved one may be experiencing anxiety, contact us to make an appointment for an initial consultation.