A recently released study published in Canada revealed the complex relationship that exists between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and adult ADHD. Of 7,000 respondents, 682 were diagnosed with GAD, 272 had ADHD, and approximately 11 percent of those with GAD also reported having ADHD.

The report also revealed that 25% of those with GAD and ADHD, as opposed to having just ADHD, were most likely to report a history of adverse childhood events, such as poor education, relationship challenges, or a history of substance use. This group was also characterized by a higher proportion of white females. The findings were reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

A co-occurrence of anxiety and ADHD in adults is well-documented and reflects clinical observation of adults with ADHD. The foundation of anxiety revolves around difficulty grappling with uncertainty, the discomfort of unpredictability, and more familiar sources such as fear, risk, and threats.

Uncertainty is an inherent trait of ADHD and is often fueled by executive dysfunction or chronic self-regulation challenges. Executive functions comprise various skills such as self-motivation, emotional self-control, and time management. These critical personal skills all play a role in helping create behavioral plans critical to reaching goals, including doing the not-so-desirable tasks you just want to put behind you.

ADHD introduces challenges that make life more complex for adults diagnosed with the condition. Struggles with time management, task completion, and getting to work on time are just some of the daily issues they face with significant trepidation and unease.

Many of these anxieties may not conform with the criteria for GAD, but they remain clinically significant and deserve therapeutic attention.

Evidence-based treatments for adult ADHD have produced encouraging medical and psychosocial benefits for ADHD and reducing anxiety. Despite initial concerns that they might exacerbate anxiety symptoms, stimulant-based medications have been used to alleviate symptoms and mitigate the restlessness often produced as a side effect.

Other people have noticed that symptoms can be measurably reduced by achieving goals and following through on obligations. Cognitive-behavior therapy has also gained some traction in helping people with ADHD develop the coping skills required for managing executive function challenges.

The strategies have proven valuable in addressing the avoidance tendencies underlying ADHD and anxiety.

Ultimately, the synergy between ADHD and anxiety is a common and perplexing phenomenon in adults. However, an array of effective interventions exists to combat worries and manage the intricacies of ADHD, offering a promising path toward newfound accomplishments.

Find out more about how you can learn the coping skills to deal with ADHD and anxiety by booking a free consultation. For more information, visit here: Anxiety Treatment