ADHD Comorbidities & Related Conditions

Common Comorbid Conditions

Roughly half of all people with ADHD also have symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD, learning disabilities, or another related condition. Here is a comparative chart of symptoms – and recommended resources for each.

Illustration of head with possible puzzle pieces to place in it, representing different ADHD comorbid conditions
Illustration of head with possible puzzle pieces to place in it, representing different ADHD comorbid conditions

Recommended Resources

Learning Disabilities

  • Difficulty mastering reading, writing, and/or math skills
  • Difficulty with memory, mastering new academic concepts, and/or reasoning

The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child’s Learning Disabilities, by Larry Silver, M.D. (Three Rivers Press)

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Language Disabilities

  • Difficulty understanding what is said
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and finding the right words when speaking

Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems, by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi (Wiley)

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Fine and Gross Motor Difficulties

  • Difficulty with fine motor skills (writing, tying shoes)
  • Difficulty with gross motor skills (running, playing, eye-hand coordination, riding a bike)

The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disorders, by Sue Thompson (LiguiSystems)

The Out-of-Sync Child, by Carol Stock Kranowitz


American Occupational Therapy Association

Tic Disorders (Motor, Oral, Tourette’s)

  • Patterns of motor (or vocal) tics that come and go and may change form

Tics and Tourette Syndrome, by Uttom Chowdury (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Tourette Syndrome Plus


  • Specific or generalized fears beyond what would be expected given a child’s age
  • Panic attacks

Worried No More, by Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D. (Lighthouse Press)

Anxiety Disorders Association of America


  • Persistent moodiness, fatigue, or loss of appetite
  • Unexplained feelings of guilt
  • Unexplained agitation or irritability

The Childhood Depression Sourcebook, by Jeffrey A. Miller, Ph.D. (McGraw-Hill)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Anger-Control Problems

  • Uncontrollable anger or rage lasting 5-30 minutes or longer
  • Irrational during “meltdown”
  • Often remorseful afterward

The Explosive Child: Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. (Harper)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Ritualistic, goal-directed behavior, such as counting or repeating, or picking at sores or scabs or pulling out hair
  • Need for extreme order or cleanliness
  • Need to collect or hoard objects

Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D. (Three Rivers Press)

International OCD Foundation

Bipolar Disorder

  • Mood swings from calm to rage and/or from depression to manic (super-happy) state

The Bipolar Child, by Demitri Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos (Broadway)

The Balanced Mind Parent Network

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