July 25, 2024
adhd and anxiety

Did you know that Anxiety can exist alongside of ADHD, or ADHD can create it?

ADHD-induced Anxiety stems from the struggles and stresses of dealing with ADHD, particularly when it's unmanaged or unsupported. This is not unusual in women because women are often diagnosed late and have accumulated many years of stress.

Women are also often misdiagnosed and treated for Anxiety without their Adhd being noticed. These strategies aren't helpful and often don't work.  

 Masking 

Professionals blame masking when they mistakenly diagnose Anxiety in Adhd women when the real issue is Adhd. 

What is masking? 

Masking is when you hide your struggles or differences to fit in and be accepted. Women are very good at masking. 

However, professionals mistakenly diagnose women for many reasons, and masking is only a tiny part of the puzzle. If you haven't been diagnosed appropriately, it isn't your fault.

ADHD-induced Anxiety often improves when your Adhd is supported and accommodated. 

You might often hear people say they were misdiagnosed with Anxiety when they have this kind of Anxiety. They also might report their Anxiety goes away when they go on stimulants or medication for ADHD. 

 ADHD and Coexisting Anxiety

You can also have separate and coexisting Anxiety. This is independent Anxiety that exists all on its own alongside your Adhd. 

This type of Anxiety will require a specific treatment strategy separate from ADHD management.

However, it's important to always care for your ADHD FIRST with medication or strategies to optimize your executive functioning (strengths-based, stress management, medicine, etc. ).

 Anxiety and ADHD can each exacerbate the symptoms of the other. ADHD, with its inherent difficulties in emotional regulation, can lead to an increased tendency to ruminate and fixate on worries.

 

In turn, these worries can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.

 The ADHD brain, which often struggles with focus and attention regulation, can have a greater propensity to **engage in worry,** as it may have difficulty pulling away or distracting itself from sources of stress or Anxiety.

 Do Adhd Medications make Anxiety Worse?

According to Earl J. Soileau, MD, FSAHM, in his article When Adhd and Anxiety Coexist Earl J. Soileau, MD FSAHM stimulants, when started low and increased until they reach the optimal effect, should not increase Anxiety, and when they do, it's usually because the dose is too high.  

 Self Care is Crucial for both Anxiety and Adhd

Sleep and exercise are vital for regulating stress, Anxiety, and executive functioning struggles. Self-care is the best thing you can do if you suffer from adhd and Anxiety. 

 Everyone is Unique

How ADHD and Anxiety interact can vary significantly among individuals, and so can the strategies for managing these conditions. Anxiety and how it develops doesn't necessarily fall into discrete categories. Although this may be a helpful way to understand anxiety in adhd women. 

You may like these pages:

Adhd and Generalized Anxiety Disorder