Thirty to 50 percent of individuals with ADHD also have a learning disability, difficulty regulating emotions (anxiety, mood disorder), anger, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and/or a tic disorder.
A person can have both ADHD and OCD, with some evidence suggesting that 11.8% of those with OCD also have ADHD. If an individual has both ADHD and OCD symptoms from a young age, they are more likely to experience greater OCD severity, persistence of symptoms, and a less favorable prognosis.
The authors hypothesize that the additional impairments in executive control caused by ADHD may make it harder for individuals with both disorders to resist compulsions that make OCD worse.
Obsessing and ruminating are often part of living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). No matter how hard you try to ignore them, those negative thoughts just keep coming back, replaying themselves in an infinite loop.
ADHD Comorbidities & Related Conditions
Roughly 80 percent of those with ADHD are diagnosed with at least one other psychiatric disorder sometime during their life. The most common ADHD comorbidities are learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, sensory processing disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder.
With ADHD children, we use "The 30% Rule" to set realistic expectations. The 30% Rule goes like this. Take the age of your ADHD child and subtract 30% from it. If your son is 12, for example, subtracting 30% of 12 (3.6 years) from 12 gives you 8.4.
Adults diagnosed with ADHD often blame themselves for their problems or view themselves in a negative light. This can lead to self-esteem issues, anxiety, or depression.
While most people associate ADHD with hyperactivity and impulsivity, it can also manifest in more subtle ways, such as through intrusive thoughts and overthinking. Intrusive thoughts are unwanted and repetitive thoughts that can be distressing or disturbing.
With ADHD, that part of the brain is always turned on, which causes the endless look of intrusive thoughts to replay in your head like a bad song. In short, when you have ADHD and your Default Mode Network region is wired neurodivergent, it makes your mind wander on a continuous loop.
Some ADHD group members have said that they often have thoughts of self-harm, sexual acts, or violence running through their minds. ADHD can cause these types of intrusive thoughts because it weakens the brain's executive functions responsible for controlling your emotions and behaviors.
Adderall and other stimulant medications are not a first-line treatment for OCD. In some anecdotal cases, they may worsen OCD symptoms. There is also a higher risk of dependency. However, doctors commonly prescribe them for people who have both OCD and ADHD.
Whereas research suggests that one out of five children with OCD has co-occurring ADHD, only one out of every 12 adults with OCD has ADHD.
While the most common comorbid disorder of OCD is depression, others include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), panic disorder (PD), autism, eating disorders (ED), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
People struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are often misdiagnosed as having other psychological conditions. One of the most common misdiagnoses for this population is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This diagnostic problem arises for two reasons.
An individual with OCD may avoid or become inattentive to stimuli that cause stress and anxiety, whereas a person with ADHD will hyperfocus on a stimulating task and can even lose track of time. Typical OCD manifestations such as cleaning and organizing items can actually be a coping mechanism for those with ADHD.
If you or a loved one with ADHD meets the triggers as listed by the SSA's impairments under neurological conditions for ADHD or other disorders, you may qualify for SSDI. The SSA updated its listing for anxiety disorders under neurological disorders to include other disorders such as OCD.
Those with Type 3 ADD can have difficulty shifting their attention. They become hyper-focused on one thing while tuning out everything else. People with Over-Focused ADD tend to get “stuck” in negative thought patterns and behaviors.
ADHD brains are no different - they're programmed to focus on past mistakes and future danger. But ADHD brain EXTRA prone to ruminating because they are constantly fighting a part of our brain that I like to call brain recess (or the Default Mode Network if you want to get technical).
The hallmark signs of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. For some people with ADHD, only one of these behaviors is the primary problem, but for others it's a combination.
Traumatic stress can worsen ADHD symptoms. Up to 17% of trauma-exposed children meet ADHD criteria, and the co-occurrence of each worsens the effects of the other. Trauma also impacts specific brain regions that may also increase: Inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
While people with neurotypical brains can easily have and sustain a hobby, some adults with ADHD may struggle. They might easily lose interest in the activity or impulsively decide to try another one.
Similarly, people with ADHD can also experience 'meltdowns' more commonly than others, which is where emotions build up so extremely that someone acts out, often crying, angering, laughing, yelling and moving all at once, driven by many different emotions at once – this essentially resembles a child tantrum and can ...
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; anxiety)
While you'll often spot the two together, some clinicians are quick to diagnose anxiety, but not ADHD. If you have trouble concentrating and completing tasks on top of the anxiety, this can be an indicator that something more is going on.
Similar to the hyperactive symptoms, impulsive symptoms are typically seen by the time a child is four years old and increase during the next three to four years to peak in severity when the child is seven to eight years of age.
The brain's frontal lobes, which are involved in ADHD, continue to mature until we reach age 35. In practical terms, this means that people with ADHD can expect some lessening of their symptoms over time. Many will not match the emotional maturity of a 21-year-old until their late 30's.