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Do I Have Adhd Or Anxiety

Is Feeling Overwhelmed A Symptom Of Adhd

Anxiety vs. ADHD – The Difference – How You Can Tell

When you have ADHD, many things can cause you to feel overwhelmed.

In fact, you might feel like youre constantly behind and playing catch-up.

You might run around all day long and yet not get much done

The good news is that you can do something a lot of things to help you navigate and reduce your overwhelm..

What Is Add Behavior

Attention Deficit Disorder is one of the three subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is no longer an acceptable acronym . Today it is referred to as ADHD predominantly inattentive type. While it has many overlapping symptoms, ADHD predominantly inattentive type lacks the hyperactivity piece but includes distractibility, impulsivity, trouble focusing , and executive functioning challenges, meaning you have trouble planning, following instructions, and being organized.

The Link Between Adhd And Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are conditions that are often seen in people with ADHD. About 50% of adults and up to 30% of children with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder.

The symptoms of ADHD and anxiety can sometimes often overlap. Some of the symptoms they have in common include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble completing work and meeting deadlines
  • Restlessness
  • Distraction

A person with ADHD who misses a work deadline or forgets to prepare for an exam can become stressed and worried. Even the fear of failing to do an important task may cause anxiety.

If these feelings and situations continue, which they do for many people with ADHD, they can contribute to an anxiety disorder.

ADHD is often treated with medications that can have a stimulating effect. This may contribute to symptoms of anxiety. For example, one of the common side effects of Adderall a drug frequently prescribed to treat ADHDis anxiety.

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Differences Between Adhd And Anxiety

Given their similarities and sometimes overlapping symptoms, it can be tough to see the differences between ADHD and anxiety. But there are some key differences:

  • Anxiety is mainly characterized by nervousness, fear, and worry.
  • ADHD is mainly defined by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Someone with an anxiety disorder will find it difficult to concentrate during certain situations that cause them to feel anxious. However, someone with ADHD will find it difficult to concentrate most or all of the time.

Try It: List Evaluation

How To Tell If You Have Adhd Or Autism

Hold on to that planner, app, or just scraps of daily to-do lists. After youve collected a dozen, sit down and look at them together.

What patterns emerge? Do you always skip certain tasks? Ask yourself why. They might need to be broken down into approachable chunks. They might involve inconvenient or unpleasant aspects that you avoid.

Now youre facing specific roadblocks instead of an unclear inability to finish activities. That makes it easier to brainstorm solutions.

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What Can I Do Today

If you have a diagnosis of ADHD and think you might also be depressedor your child has ADHD and you suspect depression talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Its possible that the medication being used to treat the ADHD is causing these symptoms and can be changed or adjusted. Its also possible that the depression is not caused by medication and needs additional treatment. Listen to your mind, body, and emotions, and dont be afraid to take notes. With the right support and attention, the grip of depression can loosen and allow you to live an engaging and healthy life.

How To Tell The Difference

Although there are many things in common, there are some differences between the two conditions. Anxiety is primarily a disorder of nervousness, worry, and fear, while ADHD is characterized by a lack of attention and focus. People with anxiety can also display compulsive or perfectionist behaviors, which arent typically seen in those with ADHD.

Someone with an anxiety disorder will find it difficult to concentrate during certain situations that cause them to feel anxious. However, someone with ADHD will find it difficult to concentrate most or all of the time.

Although friends and family may recognize the symptoms of anxiety, ADHD, or both, a health professional should carry out a full evaluation before a diagnosis is made.

Also Check: How To Overcome Fear And Anxiety

I Thought Adhd Was Only In Kids How Many Adults Have Adhd

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is primarily diagnosed in children ages 417 but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.4% of adults aged 18-44 have ADHD. ADHD is a neurological disorder present from birth and has a strong genetic component. If your symptoms are being caused by ADHD, they may have been present but not noticed in childhood. Many parents of children with ADHD are diagnosed when their child starts to struggle at school and are referred to a specialist.

Caring For A Child With Adhd

ADHD And Anxiety: Do You Have Both? And What To Do About IT!

If you are caring for a child with ADHD, below are some tips that can help.

  • Provide structure try to ensure that rules and instructions are clear, brief and, where possible, presented in charts and lists.
  • Maintain a good relationship this will assist with their self-esteem and help them to be more cooperative.
  • Become a keen observer notice those things that will help in managing behaviours and put in place strategies to manage the situation.
  • Provide praise and positive reinforcement this is important for all children, but particularly for children with ADHD.

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Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety

  • Feeling on edge
  • Racing thoughts

In addition to these symptoms, a recent study from Harvard Medical School , found an association in adults between an over-activated amygdala and an increased risk of cardiovascular events like a heart attack or a myocardial infarction.

Studies have shown that a dysregulated amygdala can negatively impact the brains ability to moderate the fear response system, leaving the individual in an increased state of fight or flight. They can be in an abnormal state of heightened psychophysiological arousal that sustains their anxiety.

Learning Issues And Processing Problems

Similar to a person with ADHD, someone with a learning disability may struggle with issues of attention and have difficulty processing, organizing, remembering and learning information.Learning disabilities in reading, written language, and mathematics can all interfere with academic functioning, as can speech and language impairments and auditory and visual processing disorders.

ADHD and specific learning disorders often occur together, but they are separate conditions.

A child who is gifted academically and is not challenged within the classroom may even display behaviors that are similar to ADHD as he or she becomes bored with the curriculumbecoming inattentive, and/or impatient and disruptive. Along these same lines, a poor educational fit, or a classroom with a pervasive negative climate, a non-stimulating, un-motivating curriculum, or ineffective classroom management, all can lead to behaviors that look like but may be unrelated to, ADHD.

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Symptoms Of Chronic Anxiety

If you have difficulty managing the everyday demands of life, are chronically late, forgetful, have trouble meeting deadlines and obligations, become overwhelmed with finances, tune out in conversations, speak or act impulsively, lack tact in social situationsthen certainly this can bring about feelings of chronic anxiety.

You may worry about keeping track of it all. You may worry about what will go wrong next. When will the next “let down” occur? What will I say next to embarrass myself or someone else? You may dread that next time when you are rushing to an important appointment that you will surely be late to again.

Sometimes adults with ADHD also worry in a different way. It can be so difficult to manage daily activities that you may find yourself experiencing anxiety in a pressured way as you try to organize yourself.

Do these concerns sound familiar? “I must remember to turn in the contract by Feb. 1” “The report has to be finished by Monday” and “I cannot forget to pick up the kids early from school Friday because they have a dentist appointment.”

In these situations, your mind may get fixated on worry. For some people, this is a helpful way to organize and remember. For others, this self-imposed pressure becomes even more debilitating. With such enormous worry and burden hanging over your head, you may find that you shut down even more. Some people even experience a sense of paralysis that prevents them from moving forward at all.

Regulate Emotions Behaviors & The Mindset

Do I have ADHD?

To effectively manage your anxiety, begin by using your feelings and behaviors as information. Anxiety or an otherwise troubling feeling can signal the question, Whats this discomfort telling me? Good follow-up questions include:

  • What am I feeling?
  • Is the problem really a problem? If so, how can it be managed?
  • Whats the best, worst, and most likely outcome of the issue?

Pursue this disentanglement exercise through writing. Making notes on your phone or computer is fine, but there is something more therapeutic and engaging about using pen and paper to write out stressors and worries. Either way, moving the issue out of your head and seeing it take shape as text can help you clearly see whats in your control, and whats not. The exercise is also one of exposure coming face-to-face with the problem.

Heres the exercise in action: Suppose you find yourself self-medicating through alcohol or binge eating during quarantine. How can you manage these urges?

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Getting Help For Anxiety Or Adhd

Although anxiety and ADHD are common in our society, they are not always well understood at all. If you are struggling to determine whether you have anxiety or ADHD, its time to get professional help. There are certain types of therapy that will be helpful.

We are fortunate to live in time when there a effective non drug treatments for both ADHD and anxiety.

If you would like to know more about the difference between ADHD and anxiety, Id be happy to provide the support you need either through ADHD counseling or anxiety treatment.

Diagnosing Adhd In Adults

ADHD often lasts into adulthood. To diagnose ADHD in adults and adolescents age 17 years or older, only 5 symptoms are needed instead of the 6 needed for younger children. Symptoms might look different at older ages. For example, in adults, hyperactivity may appear as extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.

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If The Symptoms Are From Adhd Whats Driving Them

An ever-increasing body of research has found that there are widespread structural and functional, electrical and neurochemical differences in the brains of children with ADHD. Researchers arent exactly sure what causes these changes, but theres a lot of research happening in the area to get us closer to the answers.

The changes are particularly in the areas of executive functioning and sensorimotor processing .

The frontal cortex and other parts of the brain are smaller in children with ADHD. Size makes no difference at all when it comes to intelligence, and many kids with ADHD will have above average IQs. What it does affect is behaviour. An ADHD brain is powerful, intelligent, and very capable, but its not able to filter the noise from the relevant information coming in. A brain with ADHD is like a beautiful, high-powered, high performing sports car, but without any brakes.

Many people seem to grow out of ADHD, and there seems to be a good reason for this. Research suggests that with ADHD, the brain is delayed in some areas by about three years. It still develops in a normal pattern, but some areas will take a little longer. Eventually, the functioning in these areas catches up, which is when the symptoms of ADHD seem to lessen or disappear.

How Treat Adhd And Anxiety

How to know if you have ADHD | ADHDsurprise | ADHD Resources & Support

Some treatments that have been shown to effectively treat both ADHD and anxiety are cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and prescription medicine. Many people find that their anxiety is brought under control with the help of meditation and deep breathing exercises.

Always consult your doctor before taking medication for either ADHD or anxiety.

If you have anxiety and wish to explore hypnosis services in Rochester, NY and subconscious mind healing techniques, you can book a free consultation with our certified hypnotist at Blossom Hypnosis.

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Where Can I Turn If I Feel Alone In My Diagnosis Of Adhd

Adults with ADHD may gain social support and better coping skills by talking with family, friends, and colleagues about their diagnosis. If the people in your life are aware of your diagnosis, they will better understand your behavior. Psychotherapy for families and couples can help relationship problems and teach everyone involved about ADHD. There are also support groups for adults with ADHD.

For Her Its Like Being Mentally Emotionally And Physically Disorganized

but only treating the secondary depression and anxiety. Treatment never touches the inner chaos.

When she actually finds out she has ADHD and she experiences good treatment, theres an excitement! Thats often eclipsed by a sad frustration at how long she lived her life in the internal storm and what she could have accomplished had she found out sooner.

Read Also: Why Do People Have Anxiety

How Do You Treat Both Adhd And Anxiety

Both ADHD and anxiety are treated through medication and/or psychosocial therapy. Often, treatment that focuses on one condition actually improves symptoms in both, though that depends on the individual. Still, clinicians always attempt to treat the most severe condition first.

Stimulant medications used to treat ADHD generally do not worsen anxiety symptoms, and non-stimulants are considered second-line pharmacological treatments for comorbid ADHD and anxiety. A combination of medicine and therapy, however, has been found to be most beneficial for individuals with ADHD and anxiety.4

General feelings of anxiety can also be quelled through healthy coping mechanisms.

What Are The Differences Between Adhd And Anxiety

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Despite some overlap in symptoms, there are some differences between anxiety disorder vs. ADHD. The major difference comes down to one underlying difference.

  • Do you have difficulty focusing because you have apprehensive and fearful thoughts? Anxiety disorders result in the potential to be easily distracted because your mind is full of worrisome, anxious thoughts.
  • Or, do you have difficulty focusing because youre easily distracted ?ADHD can result in the potential to be easily distracted, even when youre calm. Of course, keep in mind that anxiety can result from an inability to focus, because that can lead to further stress about knowing that youre falling behind on a task, assignment, or job. Anxiety that is separate from ADHD is often either more generalized, where you may feel fearful/nervous on a regular basis, or more specific, where you feel fearful/nervous in certain situations , Ertel said.

There are a few questions that can help determine if what youre experiencing is ADD/ADHD or anxiety:

  • Are you an excessive worrier?
  • Do certain things make you really fearful just by thinking about them?
  • Are you anxious about having to go somewhere or do something?
  • Are you overly shy?
  • Is there any family history of anxiety?
  • Do you become irritated if you have to leave home?

Typically, a professional medical evaluation is the only way to truly know if youre experiencing ADHD or anxiety.

ADHD is a mental health condition characterized by three main things:

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