ADHD and anxiety

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Are you often worried? Nervous? Jumpy? Self-counscious or insecure?  Did you know these are all symptoms of anxiety?  And axiety disorders are much more common in people with ADHD than you might realize.

Everyone gets the common cold, right?  Healthy adults have on average 2 colds per year and each cold lasts on average one week. That means that at any one time about 4% of adults will have a cold.

According to the Surgeon General, at any one time, 16% of our population will have an anxiety disorder. That means Anxiety Disorders are FOUR TIMES as common as the common cold.  And some studies have indicated that as many as 25% of children with ADHD also have anxiety disorder.

When should you worry about anxiety?

Normal anxiety comes and goes in response to real challenges involving potential loss or failure. Normal anxiety helps sharpen your attention so you can meet those challenges.

Anxiety disorders involved anxiety that is more intense or lasts longer than normal anxiety, or that leads to phobias. Basically, if you worry when there’s no real threat, to the point where you can’t function normally, that’s an anxiety disorder.

Why haven’t I heard about anxiety disorders and ADHD before?

People know when they have a cold. If it’s so common, why don’t they know when they have an anxiety disorder?

  • People may think the anxiety they live with is normal – it’s normal for them after all.
  • People may deny their anxiety because it’s not acceptable to be “afraid”.
  • People may be so good at avoiding what makes them anxious that they almost never experience the symptoms.
  • People may have symptoms they don’t recognize as anxiety-stomach upset, muscle aches, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, twitches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, clammy hands-these can all be symptoms of anxiety.

The primary symptoms of anxiety disorders are fear and worry. But when people have physical symptoms that may mask the real issue, they will seek treatment for those instead. In fact, people with anxiety disorders are 3-5 times more likely to go to the doctor than non-sufferers.

Do you have any of these common symptoms of anxiety?

Emotional and Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Apprehension, uneasiness, and dread
  • Impaired concentration or selective attention
  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Avoidance
  • Hypervigilance
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Behavioral problems (especially in children and adolescents)
  • Nervousness and jumpiness
  • Self-consciousness and insecurity
  • Fear that you are dying or going crazy
  • Strong desire to escape

 Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Heart palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Cold and clammy hands
  • Stomach upset or queasiness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors, twitches, and jitters
  • Muscle tension or aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

(Source:  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm)

An ADHD Coach can help you manage your anxiety

If you’ve been going to the doctor with any of these and not getting relief, you might want to consider consulting an anxiety specialist.   And an ADHD coach can also help you learn to identify your anxiety triggers and things you can do to keep your anxiety under control.  For example, exercise is an important way to minimize ADHD symptoms.  It is also a powerful antidote to many symptoms of anxiety.

You don’t have to live with anxiety, sign up for an Edge Coach and start taking charge of your life today.

ADHD and anxiety resources

For more information about ADHD and anxiety visit:

Do you have ADHD and anxiety?  What have you done to keep it under control.  We invite you to share your story here and help others learn what you have to keep your edge!

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