ADHD has lots of friends – anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, even asthma. ADHD never occurs by itself; it always has what is called a comorbidity or two with it.
Anxiety, in one form or another, is often present with Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s easy to see how one would feed the other; your life can become so chaotic with ADHD that it can trigger anxiety or anxiety attacks.
Here are some of the emotional signs of anxiety:
A feeling of uncertainty or unease
Feeling tense or jittery
Expecting the worst – glass half empty
Irritability, restlessness and trouble concentrating
Physically you might feel:
Shortness of breath
Insomnia or fatigue
A full blown panic attack might include:
An overwhelming sense of panic
Feeling or fear that you’re going crazy
Heart palpitations or chest pain
Difficulty breathing, a sense that you may pass out
Feeling detached or removed from the situation as though you are watching a movie
A lot of people who have ADHD experience some form of anxiety. Often it’s mild or infrequent enough that you can just deal with it without any extra help.
If that’s the case, you can try things like good self care – enough sleep, exercise, a good diet, relaxation exercises, and yoga. Don’t overlook the positive effects of spending fun time with family or friends, and be sure to limit alcohol and nicotine. Both can make anxiety worse.
You might also consider things like soothing herbal teas and herbal supplements like chamomile, valerian, and passion flower.
If anxiety is more than just a once in a while problem, be sure to seek professional help. Anxiety can take over your life and keep you from having one. It can also feed into depression which will further impact your life in a negative way.
Although anxiety medications are often not effective when taking ADHD medication, it’s worth it to see a mental health professional to get treatment.