Anxiety: Understanding the Link to ADHD & SPD

Where one lurks, the other may also be wreaking havoc. Anxiety disorders present similar symptoms to SPD and ADHD, causing a delayed diagnosis or even a misdiagnosis at times. Therefore, it is important to understand the similarities and differences between anxiety, SPD and ADHD.

Isn't anxiety normal? We all worry. Yes, that's true. But an actual anxiety disorder can present debilitating symptoms. The length and intensity are telltale signs of anxiety: a child who worries excessively about the weather, is terrified of being timed during a test, must have perfect handwriting, or incessantly worries about peer approval.

Left untreated, anxiety can exacerbate a child's challenges as he/she learns to avoid and/or negatively react to the external and internal stressors.



The symptoms of SPD and/or ADHD can leave a child irritable, sad, overwhelmed and hopeless. Left unaddressed, these symptoms can signal a greater issue: depression.

Stemming either from a hereditary link or the result of the emotional toll of SPD and/or ADHD, depression has two primary tell-tale signs:

  • symptoms are pervasive, lasting weeks or even months
  • and the intensity of symptoms affects day-to-day life.

A study conducted by the University of Chicago noted that adolescents suffering with ADHD were 10 times more likely to have depression (compared to children without ADHD).

Girls, especially those suffering from ADD-predominantly inattentive type, are at a higher risk for developing depression.


Survival Kit

Eliminate the confusion and overwhelm of sensory, behavior and anxiety disorders with our one-of-a-kind survival kit! The ADHD Survival Kit explores the world of ADHD, SPD and Anxiety/Depression including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, school and more!


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