Is it ADHD or Anxiety: Part Two

Last month, we focused on the striking similarities between ADHD and Anxiety in our article. This month, I wanted to delve deeper into this vast topic. At my therapy clinic, I work extensively with both children and parents, providing them with support and strategies to cope with anxiety and ADHD. If you know a young person struggling with anxiety, I highly recommend signing them up for ‘The Overcome Anxiety Programme’. This scientifically proven program takes 10 weeks to complete and has been shown to increase confidence levels, reduce anxiety, and alleviate feelings of depression. A university-led study has demonstrated significant improvements in anxiety and depression among children who participated in the program. To learn more, visit

In my therapy clinic, I’ve observed that impulsivity can often blur the lines between ADHD and Anxiety, making them appear similar. One key characteristic of ADHD is the tendency for individuals to react quickly and without much thought. While this spontaneity can be amazing, it can also lead to trouble when the consequences of their actions are not fully considered. It’s important to note that not everyone with ADHD exhibits impulsivity, but it is a common trait.

On the other hand, individuals with anxiety typically do not display impulsive behaviour. However, the impact of anxiety on their thoughts and actions may sometimes make it seem like they are acting without proper consideration because they go into fight or flight mode. An anxious child’s preoccupation with anxious thoughts leaves them with limited capacity to think through the consequences of their decisions or actions.

It’s important to acknowledge that individuals with ADHD may also experience feelings of anxiety. When someone realises that they are different from their peers in terms of behaviour and reactions, it can often lead to negative emotions.

If you suspect that ADHD may be a factor, it’s crucial to seek a proper diagnosis, although this process may involve some waiting time. In the meantime, I recommend implementing anxiety management programs that can be beneficial for individuals with ADHD as well. These programs will empower them to take control of their thoughts and think things through, which are essential skills for managing both anxiety and ADHD.

With time, you may notice improvements in ADHD symptoms and behaviours, but it’s crucial to obtain the correct diagnosis and implement appropriate strategies. I hope this information has been helpful and informative. If you have someone in your life whom you suspect may have ADHD or anxiety, understanding the overlap between the two can guide you in implementing the right support for them.


By Gemma Bailey


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