Anxiety in adults with ADHD

Many adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also struggle with the anxiety that affects their lives. Sometimes this anxiety is caused by symptoms of ADHD.

Symptoms of chronic anxiety

If you encounter difficulties in dealing with daily life, often being late, forgetful, having difficulty meeting deadlines and obligations, financially overwhelmed, dislike talking, speaking or impulsive actions, lacking tact in social situations-then this will definitely bring about Feeling of chronic anxiety.

You may be worried about tracking all this. You may be worried about what will happen next. When will the next “disappointment” happen? What will I say next to embarrass myself or others? Next time you are in a hurry to go to an important date that you are sure to be late again, you may be scared.

Sometimes adults with ADHD also worry in different ways. Managing daily activities can be so difficult that when you try to organize yourself, you may find yourself feeling anxious in a stressful way.

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Do these concerns sound familiar? “I must remember to hand in the contract before February 1st”; “The report must be completed by Monday”; “I can’t forget to pick up the children from school early on Friday, because they have a dentist appointment.”

In these situations, your mind may focus on worry. For some people, this is a way to help organize and remember. For others, this self-imposed pressure becomes even weaker. With such a huge worry and burden hanging on your head, you may find yourself more autistic. Some people may even feel numb and cannot move forward at all.

ADHD and anxiety

In addition to the aforementioned anxiety symptoms associated with ADHD, studies have indeed found a strong association between ADHD and anxiety. Approximately 40% to 60% of adults with ADHD also suffer from anxiety.

Anxiety disorders can manifest in a variety of physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptom patterns. The common characteristics of these diseases are excessive anxiety, worry, tension and fear. This is usually accompanied by feelings of irritability, “excitement” or constant tension, inattention (or a blank mind), sleep disturbance, muscle tension, irritability, fatigue and overwhelming.

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Because of these damage symptoms, it is difficult to relax and fully participate in life. The person quickly began to avoid situations where negative results might occur. If that person can face these situations, he or she may only be able to prepare by spending too much time and energy. Anxiety can lead to delays in behavior or decision-making, and the need to repeatedly seek comfort due to worry.


Obviously, the characteristics of ADHD—inattention, irritability, procrastination, sleep problems, feeling overwhelmed—may overlap with anxiety symptoms. Therefore, the first step in planning treatment is to decipher whether these disorders are from ADHD (secondary to ADHD), or whether they are the result of separate, coexisting anxiety disorders.

Regardless of whether a person meets the diagnostic criteria for anxiety, it is clear that the symptoms of ADHD can cause chronic anxiety, which further impairs a person’s function, sense of well-being, and self-esteem.

It is important to understand and manage the full scope of ADHD.

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Many adults with ADHD and anxiety disorders benefit from the combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and appropriate medication.