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ADHD and Anxiety
November 28, 2014
By: Staci Lee Schnell, M.S.,C.S., LMFT
Genetic research suggests ADHD and Anxiety may share similar genetic makeup. Approximately 30% of people with ADHD have an Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety can exacerbate ADHD since it often takes one out of the present moment. By causing a dwelling on something in the past or anticipating a potential threat in the future, anxiety makes it difficult to organize information in a productive manner and can lead to a lack of environmental awareness.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects an individual’s ability to concentrate, and may result in behavioral problems, such as:
• lack of attention
• lack of impulse control
• fidgeting and trouble sitting still
• difficulty organizing and completing tasks
Anxiety disorder is a form of mental illness that causes people to have intense, excessive and persistent worry and a fear about everyday situations. It interferes with daily activities such as one’s ability to work, study, or enjoy relationships.
Treating ADHD and Anxiety
It is important to understand and treat both ADHD and Anxiety simultaneously. As ADHD symptoms such as an inability to focus, disorganization, and restlessness are treated, anxiety reduces. As the anxiety levels come down, the ADHD symptoms are lessened.
A combination of Psychotherapy and Medications can be highly effective for those who struggle with both ADHD and Anxiety. Most will benefit from behavioral, psychological, educational, and coaching interventions.