Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a mental disorder that manifests as difficulty sustaining attention, impulsiveness, and/or hyperactivity. It’s estimated that about 5% of American children suffer from ADHD, and it’s often comorbid with other disorders such as anxiety or depression. Today, we’re going to focus on Social Anxiety and ADHD – the latter two conditions and discuss how they interact.
Can you have social anxiety with ADHD? Well, the answer may not be as cut and dry as you think. After all, social anxiety is characterized by a fear of social situations, while ADHD is characterized by a lack of focus and impulsivity. However, it’s possible that the two conditions could coexist in someone. For example, someone with ADHD might be so focused on their own thoughts and feelings that they become overwhelmed in social situations. Or, someone with social anxiety might be so worried about what other people think of them that they can’t focus on anything else. So, while the two conditions may seem like they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s possible to have both.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. That means that there’s a pretty good chance that you know somebody who suffers from anxiety. But what exactly is anxiety? While we all experience anxiety to some degree—after all, it’s part of our “fight or flight” response—people with anxiety disorders experience it to a much greater extent. And for some people, excessive worrying and fear can interfere with everyday activities such as school, work, or social interactions.
ADHD and anxiety often co-occur; in fact, it’s estimated that about 50% of people with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. This makes sense when you consider that both conditions share some common symptoms, such as restlessness and worry. For people with both ADHD and anxiety, managing these symptoms can be a real challenge. But there are treatments available that can help.
It looks like a person who is constantly fidgeting, who can’t sit still, and who is always talking. It looks like a person who is always on the go, who is always thinking about the next thing to do, and who never seems to be able to focus on one task for very long. It looks like a person who is always seeking approval from others, and who is terrified of making mistakes. In short, it looks like me.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was six years old, and social anxiety has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For me, the two conditions are intimately intertwined. My ADHD makes it hard for me to focus on anything, which means that I’m often lost in my own thoughts and oblivious to what’s going on around me. This can make social situations incredibly overwhelming, as I’m constantly trying to keep track of everything that’s happening and second-guessing myself. My social anxiety also makes it hard for me to WWE from others, which means that I’m often left feeling isolated and alone.
The good news is that there are ways to manage both conditions. With medication, therapy, and a lot of self-care, I have found ways to cope with my symptoms and live a happy and fulfilling life. If you think you might have ADHD with social anxiety, know that you’re not alone and there is hope.
If you have ADHD and social anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, research suggests that the two conditions often occur together. While managing both conditions can be challenging, there are treatments available that can help you feel your best. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if you’re struggling to cope.