If you’re an adult with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you could have a significant risk for having an anxiety disorder.
New research from the University of Toronto suggests that adults with ADHD face a four-time greater risk for anxiety disorders than the general population. Women with ADHD face even greater odds, having a five-fold increase in risk for a general anxiety disorder (GAD).
ADHD may contribute to anxiety disorders in several ways. It could lead to an inability to focus on essential tasks like paying bills and holding a job or increasing the risk of stressful situations.
The data also found that 60 percent of adults with ADHD also had adverse experiences in childhood, like some form of abuse. They were also less more likely to earn less than $40,000 per year and have fewer close relationships.
Finding ways to treat ADHD may help ease the risk for anxiety disorders, and learning ways to cope with anxiety may also be helpful.
Managing ADHD in adults is typically conducted through psychological counselling, medication, education, and skills training.
When working on managing ADHD, learning stress and anxiety coping mechanisms can also help.
Some things that may help with stressful situations include making notes and setting reminders for tasks and engagements that must be met. Breathing techniques and certain types of meditation (mindfulness may not work in these cases) may also be worthwhile to help manage anxiety.
If you have ADHD or find yourself regularly feeling anxious or unable to focus, it is worth a trip to the doctor. ADHD was viewed as a children’s condition for decades, where it was believed to go away in adulthood. This is not the case. Speak to a doctor about your symptoms and learn about treatment and management options.