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Old 01-27-20, 07:47 PM
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Are anxiety and ADHD sometimes confused with each other?

One p-doc said GAD/SAD. Another said possible ADHD, and has allowed me to try Strattera, Adderall and now Concerta. So far I haven't had any real improvement, but I am new to Concerta and didn't really give Strattera long enough due to side-effects.

I know I can't be diagnosed here, hence I am not listing any symptoms. But I'm just curious if anyone has thought he/she has GAD/SAD or ADHD and then finds out he/she has the other.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:19 PM
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Re: Are anxiety and ADHD sometimes confused with each other?

They can sometimes be confused with each other, and they can also (frequently) coexist.

A thorough history can help the clinician (and you) figure out which symptoms were present when, which can then help to work out whether it's ADHD, anxiety, both, or neither. But it can certainly be tricky in an adult who's lived a complicated life, especially if there are also issues of social/familial difficulties.

Sometimes anxiety symptoms can arise as a result of dealing with undiagnosed ADHD, and in those cases, treating the ADHD can also end up helping the anxiety by alleviating the root of it.

Other times, the anxiety needs treatment on its own (with therapy and/or medication and/or changes environment).

And in cases where someone is having difficulty focusing primarily because they're anxious, treating the anxiety can help with concentration, memory issues, etc.
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Old 01-27-20, 10:51 PM
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Re: Are anxiety and ADHD sometimes confused with each other?

Anxiety is actually accepted as common in ADHD.
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Old 01-28-20, 04:15 AM
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Re: Are anxiety and ADHD sometimes confused with each other?

It may help to understand that different types anxieties, and lack of attention skills are normal, in all people during early brain development.


Bottom up anxiety disorder experienced in early life before self regulation of attention normally develops may interfere with normal development, in turn resulting in attention disorder.


There are also more than one type of generalized anxiety disorders to consider.

-FEAR related anxiety disorder and GRIEF related separation anxiety disorder may both interfere with normal development of attention regulation, in early life, resulting in attention disorder. (again individual circumstances apply)

(there are individual factors like individual inherited temperament and individual early life experiences to consider)

Primary treatment also depends on the individuals stage of development.

Example, treating anxiety disorder that occurs in early life before self regulation of attention normally develops may help lessen attention disorder.

But if attention disorder is already established in childhood, treating both anxiety disorder and attention disorder later in life may be required.








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Old 01-28-20, 11:53 PM
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Re: Are anxiety and ADHD sometimes confused with each other?

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Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Anxiety is actually accepted as common in ADHD.
To clarify- it is often a matter of the time course of the particular symptoms. So many ADHD cock ups happen when we are NOT consciously anxious- but we get anxious about the potential outcomes.
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