Anxiety And ADHD

Anxiety and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two distinct mental health conditions that can coexist and interact, leading to unique challenges for individuals affected by both. Anxiety is a prevalent emotional disorder characterized by excessive worrying, fear, and apprehension. ADHD, on the other hand, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

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This article will explore the connection between anxiety and ADHD, the symptoms experienced by those with both conditions and how they can impact individuals' lives.

The Intersection of Anxiety And ADHD

Comorbidity of Anxiety And ADHD

Research indicates that individuals with ADHD are more likely to experience anxiety disorders than those without ADHD. The coexistence of these conditions, known as comorbidity, is quite common.

Shared Symptoms

Anxiety and ADHD share overlapping symptoms, such as restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. This similarity can make distinguishing between the two conditions challenging.

Anxiety as a Secondary Effect

ADHD-related challenges, such as academic or work difficulties, can trigger anxiety in individuals. The stress and frustration stemming from these challenges may contribute to developing anxiety symptoms.

Symptoms of ADHD And Anxiety

Inattention And Worry

Individuals with both ADHD and anxiety may experience racing thoughts and excessive worrying, which can interfere with their ability to concentrate on tasks.

Restlessness And Hyperactivity

Restlessness and hyperactivity are common in both ADHD and anxiety. This combination can lead to increased agitation and difficulty staying still.

Impulsivity And Panic Attacks

Panic attacks, characterized by intense fear and symptoms like rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath, can be triggered by impulsive behaviors commonly associated with ADHD.

Excessive Worrying And Time Anxiety

Those with both conditions may excessively worry about time management, leading to time anxiety and feeling overwhelmed by daily responsibilities.

Managing ADHD-Related Anxiety

Comprehensive Assessment

A qualified healthcare professional can help to diagnose and differentiate between anxiety and ADHD symptoms accurately.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can effectively treat anxiety and ADHD by helping individuals identify negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies.


For some individuals, medication may be prescribed to manage ADHD and reduce anxiety symptoms. Stimulant-based medicines used to treat ADHD may also help alleviate anxiety.

Time Management Strategies

Implementing time management techniques can help individuals with ADHD reduce feelings of overwhelm and better manage their daily responsibilities.

Lifestyle Modifications

Engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques, and maintaining a healthy diet can contribute to managing anxiety and ADHD symptoms.


The coexistence of anxiety and ADHD can significantly impact an individual's emotional well-being and daily functioning. Distinguishing between the overlapping symptoms of both conditions is essential for appropriate treatment.

Managing anxiety related to ADHD involves a comprehensive approach, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. With the proper support and interventions, individuals affected by both anxiety and ADHD can develop mechanisms to improve their life and effectively navigate the challenges they may face.

Seeking professional evaluation and support is crucial for developing a personalized treatment plan that addresses the unique needs of those with anxiety and ADHD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anxiety Be a Symptom of ADHD?

Yes, anxiety can be a symptom of ADHD. Individuals with ADHD may experience excessive worrying and restlessness, common anxiety-related symptoms.

Are Panic Attacks Common With ADHD?

Panic attacks can occur in individuals with ADHD, particularly when impulsive behaviors or stress trigger intense fear and physical symptoms.

Do Children With ADHD Suffer From Anxiety?

Yes, children with ADHD can experience anxiety. The challenges they face in school and daily life may contribute to feelings of anxiety and worry.

What Does Anxiety Look Like in a Child With ADHD?

Anxiety in a child with ADHD may manifest as excessive worrying, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms like a rapid heartbeat.

How Can I Help My Child With ADHD Anxiety?

Supporting your child with ADHD anxiety involves: