Is ADHD an adjustment disorder?

Is ADHD an adjustment disorder?

It is fairly unusual for children and adolescents suffering from adjustment disorder to also be experiencing signs of another mental disease. The following are the most often mentioned disorders as co-occurring with adjustment disorder: ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), CD (cannabis dependence), and ANX (anxiety).

However, this does not mean that those with adjustment disorder cannot also have other problems in their mental health. It is simply more common for them to be suffering from nothing more than a case of the Mondays or the school phobia syndrome.

Adjustment disorder can be diagnosed if you have been feeling anxious or depressed for more than two weeks. If your therapist believes that your symptoms meet the criteria listed below, then you will likely have the diagnosis.

Your symptoms must be caused by something outside yourself. This means that someone else's behavior cannot be responsible for your symptoms. For example, if you feel sad every time you see your father, but he has not done anything wrong, then this would not qualify as adjustment disorder.

The cause of your adjustment disorder must be identifiable, such as the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or an argument with a friend.

What overlaps with ADHD?

Co-occurring mental illnesses in ADHD patients include anxiety and depression, drug or alcohol misuse, autistic spectrum disorders, sleep difficulties, learning challenges, and antisocial, oppositional defiant, conduct, and/or personality disorders. Many adults who were diagnosed as having ADHD as children continue to experience symptoms of the disorder into adulthood.

ADHD is also associated with a number of other medical conditions that may be found in adults with ADHD symptoms including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, epilepsy, migraine headaches, scoliosis, chronic pain, lung diseases, sexual problems, and self-injurious behaviors such as cutting.

ADHD is highly prevalent in both children and adults. Estimates range from 3% to 7% of adults have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives. That means about 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives.

There are several different types of medications that can be used to treat ADHD symptoms including central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, non-CNS stimulants, and alpha-agonists. Medications are usually prescribed for months or years at a time and dosage levels can change over time based on how well each medication is working and any side effects that may be experienced.

Is anxiety comorbid with ADHD?

In Primary Care, Managing ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Comorbid Anxiety. Children, adolescents, and adults are all affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anxiety disorders are among the most frequent conditions that co-occur with ADHD in both children and adults. An estimated 80% of individuals with ADHD also meet diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder. The most common specific phobia is fear of learning disability symptoms such as falling down or hitting one's head. Social anxiety disorder involves excessive fear of social situations that leads to avoidance behavior. PTSD is associated with intense fear, anger, guilt, shame, and a persistent feeling that the event will be repeated. Symptoms of PTSD usually first appear after experiencing a traumatic event that threatens physical harm, such as sexual assault or road rage.

Symptoms of anxiety often overlap with those of ADHD, making diagnosis difficult. For example, many people with ADHD experience symptoms of anxiety when trying to focus on a task for a long period of time. Others may feel anxious about being unable to control their behaviors or attend to more than one thing at a time. Still others may suffer from panic attacks or obsessive thoughts related to safety or risk. It is important to recognize that anxiety disorders are not just a "behavioral problem" that can be corrected with medication; rather, they are diagnosed based on how you feel and what you experience in your mind and body.

Treatment for anxiety disorders includes psychotherapy and medications.

About Article Author

Patricia Mallon

Patricia Mallon is a psychologist who specializes in trauma. She has been there for her patients through it all, from the most minor of incidents to the most traumatic. Patricia helps her clients find ways to cope with those painful memories by exploring different coping mechanisms that work for each individual person. Patricia is also experienced in helping children who are struggling with developmental delays or behavioral problems such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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