My therapist says anxiety mimics ADHD.

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    • #40189
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user pink ginger in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      I knew I had ADD my whole life. My therapist said my anxiety mimics ADD but I made him give me an ADD test and over a few weeks of questions, I have ADD! So is my anxiety just a fake thing in my mind really being ADD? I asked him how do I know the difference and he said ADD is always there and anxiety comes and goes. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • #43365
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user MrNeutron in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      For myself, it feels like anxiety hides in the background most of the time, waiting for some state of mind to trigger it.

    • #43367
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Mitzi McPike in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I disagree that anxiety comes and goes. I like what the last post said. It is always there it is just at different levels of intensity.

      I found my anxiety/depression were a part of my overall ADHD symptoms.

      It makes sense to me when I finally understood the bigger picture of what is going on in a chemically imbalanced brain. There are classic symptoms that are born out of that imbalance.


    • #43369
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Anxiety can be due to ADHD and wane with effective treatment. OR, anxiety can be its own co-existing condition. It should be addressed either way. Here are some strategies:

      Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #43371
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Gomorrah_vavakii in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Anxiety and ADD mimic each other for me in the sense that they both lead to avoidance in some way. ADD causes avoidance in mundane tasks and anxiety causes avoidance of what I think I will fail at, or what I think will make me feel bad about myself. Nevertheless, they are very similar. One way to get to know what’s within is to ask: “WHY am I avoiding?” and being honest, accepting, and non-judgmental towards yourself.

      P.S. I think a big part of Anxiety and depression are due to how outsiders react to us ADDers. The important thing to keep in mind is that our traits used to be adaptive through human evolution. It’s modern living that puts us in the situation where we feel like we don’t perform well, but that self-evaluation is based on narrowly standards of society.

    • #43373
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user najn in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      When I first suspected that I had ADD or ADHD and asked for a diagnosis, I was diagnosed with general anxiety and chronic depression. I was medicated and given therapy for anxiety and depression for four years before the same specialists diagnosed me with ADD.

      I didn’t even think I had any depression at the time. I could relate to anxiety but not to depression, but looking back, I have had good and bad years, and I have had physical depression symptoms that kept me in bed for weeks or even months at a time. Probably thanks to the meds and therapy I haven’t had fallen in bed for more than one or two days since I am on meds.

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