ADHD and Anxiety

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ADHD and Anxiety – Let’s Break It Down


Is it anxiety? Is it ADHD? Is it ADHD and anxiety? Do I just need more sleep? What the (*^&^*& is wrong with me!!!??? 


How many of you have been there, felt that? ADHD and anxiety can comingle and make it pretty tricky to figure out if what you are feeling is because of one or the other – or something else entirely.  While ADHD and anxiety are separate conditions – for many folks they come as a buy-one-get-one-free packing. Estimates show about half of adults who have ADHD also have some type of anxiety disorder. Having both ADHD and anxiety can create a cycle of anxiety that paralyzes you.


Having anxiety along with ADHD may make some of your ADHD symptoms worse – for me it worsens my ability to focus, but for you it may be something else.  But while anxiety can exacerbate some ADHD symptoms, it’s important to note that anxiety comes with it’s own challenges.  Some of those include trouble sleeping, feeling tense and worried often, constant worry or feeling on edge.  For some people anxiety is a feeling that happens some times and then goes away. For others, it is a disorder and becomes a chronic strain on your life and relationships.


So how do we figure it out?

Feel What Your Body Tells You

Try to tune into your body and listen to what it says. Does your stomach hurt the way it can when you get anxious? Does your body feel restless? How about tense? Try to track how you feel when you know you are experiencing ADHD or anxiety symptoms and then compare when you are unsure.

Talk It Out

Try asking yourself a few questions like – am I worrying about something that makes sense? Am I feeling worried and anxious because I have a deadline or for no reason? Sometimes you may be anxious because you are overwhelmed by your ADHD. If you have separate anxiety, your worries won’t only be related to your ADHD symptoms or perceived deficits. 

Reach Out For Help

If you are struggling to sort it out, or feel like anxiety is taking over your life, there are many options available. You don’t have to do it alone. Some options you can seek out are therapy, medications, or coaching. It can be helpful to have a support system of friends or loved ones who helps you work through it. There are psychotherapy groups and religious based groups and all sorts of guides to help manage symptoms of both ADHD and anxiety. You may have to experiment a little to find what works for you – but there are resources available. 

“Come back later in July and I’ll be discussing tips for managing your anxiety once you have it sorted out!”


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