How Do You Treat Your ADHD and Anxiety?
Symptoms of ADHD and anxiety tend to excerbate and feed off one another. What is the secret to treating ADHD and anxiety simultaneously? Here are nine tips our ADDitude readers swear by for keeping the two conditions at bay.
Generalized anxiety disorder is among the most common related conditions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). Rates of ADHD comorbidity in anxiety are high — approximately 47 percent of adults with ADHD have an anxiety disorder1. It is characterized by restlessness, excessive worry of everyday situations, and persistent, irrational thoughts and fears. Anxiety can occur independently of ADHD, or it can stem from and be exacerbated by it.
Fortunately, there are many approaches ranging from therapy to medication that can help manage anxiety and ADHD symptoms. Here, some of our readers answer the question:
“How Do You Treat Your ADHD and Anxiety?”
1. “I take anti-anxiety medication.” — Rosemarie Calvoni. Waxhaw, NC
2. “I take Vyvanse daily and do an hour of vigorous exercise three times.” — Barbara. Tacoma, WA
3. “My faith in God and support from my brothers in Christ. My psychiatrist encouraged me to create a social media site and a blog. Many Christians, as it turns out, have ADHD. People found a safe place on the sites and my posts resonated with believers. Knowing that has been great therapy for me.” — Kevin Tomich. Huntington Beach, CA
[Self-Test: Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Adults]
4. “For me, time in nature helps, as does relaxing with coffee outside in the morning, and petting my cat. For my son, taking medication, talking with friends, and diversion — watching TV — help.” — Emily. OK
5. “Forgiving myself, exercising, getting sunshine on my face, prayer, and singing make me less anxious. I no longer compare myself to others. Learning more about ADHD has made me less anxious, too.” — Nelson Nissley. Kansas City, MO
6. “My son, 14, attended an outpatient anxiety program at our Children’s Hospital.” — Kelly Ribeiro. Lincoln, RI
7. “Medication has been effective in reducing worry, but I don’t want to rely on it. I have been trying meditation and deep breathing.” — Linda. PA
[Free Resource: Make Mindfulness Work for You]
8. “We don’t use medication. We listen to relaxing music and use calming techniques we learn from articles in your magazine and online.” — Stacy Nelson. Electra, TX
9. “I don’t try to reduce worry. Being worried all the time is how I manage my ADHD.” — Tory. Baltimore, MD
[Read This Next: Panic Buttons: How to Stop Anxiety and Its Triggers]
1 Kessler, Ronald C et al. “The prevalence and correlates of adult ADHD in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.” The American journal of psychiatry vol. 163,4 (2006): 716-23. doi:10.1176/ajp.2006.163.4.716