This afternoon I tuned in to a webinar hosted by ADDitude magazine. The guest was Dr. Thomas Brown and his topic was “Signs of Anxiety in ADHD Adults and Kids — and How to Get Help.”

I was quite surprised to learn from Dr. Brown that anxiety disorders show up in about five percent of the entire population of children (in the US, I assume), but anxiety disorders are a challenge for between 25 and 35 percent of ADHD kids! (The range of 25-35 percent is due to varying results from different studies.) That means that 5-7 times as many ADHD kids are troubled with phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder as their peers who don’t have AHDD.

Anxiety is even more common in adults than in children: 18 percent of adults in the general population suffer from anxiety disorders, but between 38 and 63% of ADHD adults experience anxiety of one form or more! Does that surprise you? It does me.

Though I haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD, it is in my family (as well as my husband’s family). As I learn more about ADHD, I see many of my behaviors and ways of functioning as very ADHD-like. I don’t feel the need of a diagnosis, but I do find it reassuring somehow to know that things that have been issues for me over the years can be explained at least in part by ADHD.

One of those things is anxiety. I have experienced several of the types of anxiety that Dr. Brown listed. I have experienced phobias and panic disorder and perhaps a bit of social anxiety disorder as well. My experience with panic disorder was prior to its becoming a “household word,” and I thought I was going crazy!

Information is so important! For years I tended to keep my head firmly buried in the sand as if I were responsible for the issues that challenged me. What a relief it can be to know that others have also experienced these things and that they may come along with a certain type of brain wiring–something over which we have no control!

What we do have control over is what we do once we understand more about our brains. There is so much information and support available. If you are reading this blog post and would like to learn more, please visit my web page at freetobecoaching.com and sign up for our monthly newsletter. The issue that will be going out later this week will contain links to several sources of valuable information. Give yourself a holiday gift of better self-awareness–and maybe even consider signing up for some coaching!

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