The Link Between ADHD And Anxiety

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety are two mental health disorders that commonly occur together. 50% of adults and 30% of children having ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder, as per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

This fact also makes sense due to the nature of both these conditions. The very nature of anxiety is being scared of uncertainty. And ADHD in itself generates uncertainty. This is mainly due to the challenges it creates at every step of the way in people’s lives. People with ADHD have trouble planning and organizing tasks, managing time, and following daily routines. Struggling with regular tasks daily can be overwhelming and extremely stressful. And this stress can eventually lead to anxiety. 

On that note, let’s dive deeper into the connection between these two conditions and what it means to have them together. 

ADHD and anxiety

ADHD And Anxiety

Adults with ADHD might have worsening anxiety due to their symptoms. In ADHD, the brain struggles to synthesize dopamine and serotonin effectively. This means that the levels of these neurotransmitters are sometimes too high or too low, which causes constant mood fluctuations.

If one has ADHD, it gets increasingly difficult to understand and spot anxiety due to the overlap of symptoms between the two conditions. 

ADHD is a condition that affects a person since early childhood and may cause symptoms like:

  • lack of impulse control,
  • hyperactivity,
  • lack of attention,
  • fidgeting,
  • difficulty in organizing and completing tasks, etc.

On the other hand, an anxiety disorder is much more than just feeling anxious. It is a serious and often severe mental disorder. It makes you stressed, causes sleep problems, and intense fear and stress. Having an anxiety disorder means having symptoms so severe that they affect the general functioning of an individual. 

There is a subtle difference between the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety. While the symptoms of ADHD are more concerned with concentration and focus, that of anxiety involves feelings of intense fear and nervousness.

What does it mean to have both Anxiety And ADHD?

As of now, doctors have found no obvious causes behind the occurrence of anxiety and ADHD in one individual. Genetics might be responsible for the conditions and might also cause comorbidity. 

That being said, anxiety is often not a consistent problem with ADHD. However, it can occur in short-term and long-term episodes at different times. Here are some signs of anxiety in kids and adults with ADHD to help you understand the conditions better and seek timely help.

Symptoms in kids :

  • Being irritable and argumentative.
  • Withdrawing from social situations.
  • Having an intense fear of seemingly normal conditions.
  • Constantly worrying about something bad happening. 

Symptoms in adults:

  • Having frequent anger outbursts
  • Difficulty in handling criticism
  • Sleep problems
  • Being fidgety
  • Avoiding social situations

Read more: Top Anger Management Classes Explained.


It is now clear that symptoms of ADHD, like restlessness, inattention, etc., can overlap with that of anxiety. However, both conditions need separate treatments. Your doctor might suggest the following treatment options:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy,
  • meditation,
  • relaxation techniques, and
  • medications.

Read more: The Perfect Mental Health Playlist – 5 Songs For Reducing Anxiety


Anxiety and ADHD are tough and severe conditions to deal with for any person. They need proper professional help and understanding to overcome their issues and feel better. There is a need for awareness and empathy among people to help such individuals find a safer and more understanding environment.

However, there is no substitute for proper professional help. Getting therapy might help you deal with your symptoms better. Finding therapy has become even more accessible and easy with the advent of online therapy platforms. To learn more about affordable online therapy platforms, click here.

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