What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental condition that is characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. The disorder is chronic and affects children, adolescents, and adults. The signs and symptoms of ADHD vary from person to person. They also change over time as a person with ADHD ages. For example, a person may have trouble paying attention and staying focused as a child, but may have more problems controlling impulses as an adult. People with ADHD have trouble with organization, planning ahead, and sticking with tasks. This may lead to problems with school, work, and friendships. Some people with ADHD also have trouble controlling their emotions and may be easily frustrated. They may also be impulsive and have difficulty waiting for their turn or finishing their food at meals.
Those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often prone to developing additional mental health conditions, such as anxiety. In fact, one study found that individuals with ADHD are ten times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than those without it. Those with ADHD usually struggle to control their impulses and focus intently on one subject for long periods of time; this can hinder their ability to cope with other mental disorders. If you have been recently diagnosed with both conditions, it’s quite common to feel like your world has been turned upside-down. Finding the right support from family, friends, and professionals is key when living with both ADHD and anxiety. The good news is that there are treatment options available for both conditions that will help you manage them effectively throughout your lifetime. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about living with both conditions simultaneously.
– Diagnosis: The diagnosis of ADHD is typically made when a child is between the ages of 3 and 18. For adults, the diagnosis of hyperactivity and attention issues may go unrecognized. It is thought that up to 40% of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults. A person must display 6 out of 9 symptoms to be diagnosed with ADHD. – Symptoms: The symptoms of ADHD are broken down into two categories: inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity. Inattention is characterized by the inability to focus, difficulty staying on task, and forgetfulness. Hyperactivity is characterized by restlessness, fidgeting, and an excessive need for movement. Impulsivity is characterized by making decisions rashly, interrupting others, and having trouble waiting one’s turn.
Anxiety disorders represent a large category of mental health disorders that include general feelings of nervousness and unease, as well as feelings of specific panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting almost one-third of all adults at some point in their lifetime. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety disorders share many of the same characteristics; however, each type is defined by its own set of symptoms. For example, people with GAD typically worry excessively about everyday things and may have trouble controlling their worry. Those with social anxiety disorder may worry about embarrassing themselves in social situations and may feel anxious and uncomfortable around other people. People with specific phobias may have an intense and uncontrollable fear of a certain thing or situation. Those with OCD may have unwanted and recurring thoughts that make them feel anxious, as well as perform certain rituals in an effort to lessen their anxiety.
How Is ADHD And Anxiety Treated?
First and foremost, individuals with both conditions should be treated for the ADHD first before tackling the anxiety. Stimulant medication, such as Ritalin, are often used to treat ADHD in adults as well as children. These have shown to reduce symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRI’s (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), and tricyclic antidepressants are common medications used to treat anxiety disorders. If you’re living with both conditions, chances are that you’re also dealing with other mental disorders and/or substance use disorders. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a mental health professional who will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
How To Manage ADHD And Anxiety
– Get educated: The first step to managing both ADHD and anxiety is to get informed about each condition. Read up on the different types of treatments for ADHD and anxiety. You’ll also want to educate yourself on how these two conditions are related to one another. You can also seek out support groups and forums with others who live with both conditions. This will help you get a better understanding of how each condition presents itself, how to cope with them, and how they interact with each other. – Create a treatment plan: In addition to learning more about the two conditions, take some time to create a treatment plan for yourself. This will include the treatments that work best for your condition, as well as a schedule to follow. This will help you stay organized and on track with your treatment plan. – Practice self-care: Living with both conditions can be extremely taxing on a person’s mental and emotional health. Therefore, it’s crucial to practice self-care in order to combat anxiety and stress. Some ways to practice self-care are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, getting in some physical activity, and finding a hobby that brings you joy. When you’re living with mental illnesses, it’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and forget about taking care of yourself.
Those with ADHD are at a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders. The two disorders are related and can be treated in a similar fashion. Those who have both conditions should pursue treatment for the ADHD before attempting to manage the anxiety. It is important to educate yourself about each condition, create a treatment plan for each, and practice self-care to manage both of these conditions successfully. Keep in mind that there are many successful treatments available for both ADHD and anxiety. With the right support and treatment, it’s possible to live a fully functional life with both conditions.
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