Does ADHD cause anxiety?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety are mutual mental health conditions that often occur together. Many individuals with ADHD also experience anxiety, worsening symptoms and affecting their overall quality of life. This note will explore the relationship between ADHD and anxiety, including the symptoms of both conditions, how they are diagnosed, and potential treatment options.

ADHD symptoms

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. People with ADHD may struggle with organisation, time management, and planning. They may have difficulty completing tasks, following instructions, and focusing on one thing for a long period. Additionally, they may be easily distracted, forgetful, and have trouble sitting still.

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that are characterised by excessive fear, worry, or nervousness. Common anxiety symptoms include restlessness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. Individuals with anxiety may also experience physical symptoms such as trembling, sweating, and rapid heart rate.

Diagnosing ADHD and anxiety

Diagnosing ADHD and anxiety can be challenging because the symptoms can overlap. However, there are specific criteria that clinicians use to diagnose these conditions.

Diagnosing ADHD involves assessing the presence and severity of symptoms. Doctors may use rating scales, behavioural observations, and interviews with family members and teachers to make a diagnosis. Diagnosing anxiety disorders typically involves assessing the presence and severity of symptoms using various diagnostic tools such as questionnaires, interviews, and rating scales.

The relationship between ADHD and anxiety

Research suggests a strong correlation between ADHD and anxiety. According to the research, approximately 50% of individuals with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Additionally, individuals with ADHD are at a higher risk for developing anxiety disorders than those without ADHD.

One likely explanation for this relationship is that the symptoms of ADHD can cause significant stress and frustration, leading to anxiety. For example, someone with ADHD may struggle with completing tasks and meeting deadlines, which can cause them to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Another possible explanation is that the two conditions share a common genetic component. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD and anxiety often have a family history of one or both conditions.

Treatment options

Treatment options for ADHD and anxiety can vary depending on the cruelty of symptoms and the individual's needs. In some cases, treating ADHD may improve anxiety symptoms and vice versa.


It is often used to treat both ADHD and anxiety. For example, Alprazolam and Diazepam will help manage ADHD symptoms.

Behavioural therapy

It is another effective treatment option for both ADHD and anxiety. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps individuals to identify negative thought patterns and behaviours and replace them with more positive ones. It is effective in treating both ADHD and anxiety.


ADHD and anxiety are two common mental health conditions that often occur together. While it can be challenging to diagnose and treat both conditions simultaneously, effective treatment options are available. Individuals with ADHD and anxiety should work thoroughly with their healthcare provider to develop an individualised treatment plan that meets their needs and improves their overall quality of life.