ADHD & Anxiety: Understanding the Connection

ADHD & Anxiety: Understanding the Connection

Anxiety and ADHD can both drastically affect all areas of your life, including your relationships, education, and professional advancement. Moreover, research shows that having ADHD significantly increases your risk of having anxiety as well. If you’re struggling with both of these conditions in Glendale, CA, Dr. Taji Huang can help you take back your life.

What Is ADHD?

ADHD is an extremely common neurodevelopmental condition that begins in childhood and continues throughout your life, although the way the symptoms manifest themselves may change as you age. Psychologists currently recognize three main types of ADHD:

  • Inattentive Type (Formerly Known As ADD)
  • Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
  • Combined Type

Signs You May Have ADHD

  • You often feel restlessness, are constantly “on the go,” have a hard time unwinding, or can’t seem to relax.
  • You have a hard time falling asleep because your mind is so active.
  • You rush through tasks, impulsively buy things, or find it hard not to interrupt people.
  • You hate waiting in lines, so you avoid going to stores when they’re busy.
  • You feel really uncomfortable and fidgety if you have to sit still for too long, or you were a hyperactive child.
  • You forget important information and deadlines easily.
  • You can’t multitask.
  • You find it difficult to stay organized or manage your time.
  • You have a hard time staying focused.
  • You sometimes hyperfocus on certain things.
  • You get frustrated or bored easily, feel depressed, or have frequent mood swings.
  • You are much more easily hurt or embarrassed by rejection and criticism than other people.
  • People sometimes accuse you of being “lazy” and “careless” even though you tried really hard.
  • These symptoms have been around since you were little.

ADHD & Anxiety Are Linked

Anxiety disorders are actually the most commonly diagnosed co-occurring conditions for people with ADHD. Anxiety can also be a common side effect of prescription ADHD medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin.

Moreover, many individuals with ADHD are constantly worried and stressed about their performance at work or school, since ADHD makes it so much harder to stay organized and meet deadlines. This can create a vicious cycle where the ADHD symptoms can make you more anxious, and then anxiety makes it even harder to focus.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

  • Often Feeling Nervous, Worried, Or Tense
  • Constantly Overthinking Things
  • Restlessness, Irritability, & Feeling “On Edge”
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Nausea & Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Numbness, Tingling, Or Pins & Needles
  • Trembling & Shaking
  • Muscle Tension
  • Throat Or Chest Tightness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chills
  • Hot Flashes
  • Chest Pain
  • Panic Attacks

Request ADHD Accommodations

If you’ve been officially diagnosed with ADHD and your symptoms make it hard to function at school or work, you are entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For instance, if you’re a student, you may be able to request extra time on exams and assignments, note-taking assistance, or permission to take tests in a quiet room by getting in touch with your school’s disability resources office. If you’re an employee, you might also be able to request a quiet workspace, extra breaks, permission to use noise-canceling headphones, and fewer interruptions from coworkers.

ADHD & Social Anxiety Disorder

Many people with ADHD were frequently shamed, bullied, and rejected as children because they were wrongly perceived as “lazy” or “rude” by adults and “different” by their peers. This puts them at a much greater risk of developing social anxiety disorder because they retain the fear that others will continue to reject and judge them in the future. Moreover, some people with ADHD experience a symptom called rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD), which makes criticism even more painful than it is for neurotypical people, which further exacerbates social anxiety.

Professional Anxiety Psychologist In Glendale

If you’re suffering from social anxiety or another type of anxiety disorder related to your ADHD, professional counseling can help tremendously. Dr. Taji Huang is a licensed psychologist and anxiety therapist with extensive experience treating many types of anxiety. Contact her Glendale office today to book an appointment.

Share this post