Difference Between Anxiety and ADHD

These are common terms that are used in relation to an individual’s mental state. Although easy to be confused with, anxiety and ADHD, which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder range in two different standards altogether.

While every individual grapples with anxiety, ADHD is a more severe and sensitive issue that requires medical attention.

Anxiety vs ADHD

The main difference between anxiety and ADHD is that while anxiety is caused due to fear, stress, worry, or similar emotions, ADHD, on the other hand, refers to an inability to stay focused or concentrated despite the absence of negative thoughts. This is majorly dependant on the person in question’s mental state and emotional quotient.

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Anxiety can be defined as an excessive amount of worry or fear faced by a person. This is applied to normal everyday situations.

When such events cause the individual to obsessively think it over to the point that it can deter their day-to-day activities and start affecting their routine, they are liable to be diagnosed with anxiety. 

ADHD, expanded, refers to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may sound similar to anxiety but has several key distinctions.

When an individual has a calm, otherwise peaceful mental state but is still unable to focus or concentrate on any of their tasks or activities, it is likely the person could have ADHD.

Comparison Table Between Anxiety and ADHD

Parameters of ComparisonAnxietyADHD
DefinitionAn excessive amount of worry faced by an individual for normal situations.When an individual is not troubled yet cannot focus on their activities.
LongevityAnxiety can occur at specific time; the frequency depends on the individual. ADHD is a continuing condition that can last for decades.
AgeMore common among adultsMostly diagnosed in children
Physical SymptomsDigestive dysfunction, bruxism, exhaustion, restlessness, headaches, and trembles.Exhaustion, faulty sleeping routine, restlessness, etc.
Psychological EffectsIntroverted, clingy, racing thoughts, lack of punctuality, irritable.Inattention, distracted easily, impulsive, forgetful, hyperactive.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety refers to a condition or a situation wherein an excessive amount of worry or fear is faced by a person. This is applicable to normal everyday situations. 

However, it is important to note that anxiety is a normal human emotion experienced by every conscious human being at several points in their life.

Stressful situations are the critical factor that induces an anxious state of mind and body. These can be personal tragedies, upcoming deadlines, moving to a different place, etc.

When such events cause the individual to obsessively think it over to the point that it can deter their day-to-day activities and start affecting their routine, they are liable to be diagnosed with anxiety. 

Anxiety is found to occur at a specific time; the frequency depends on the individual’s state of mind.

Anxiety is observed to be more common among adults. This is not to say that children cannot be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The probability of that is quite low as anxiety among children is often confused with ADHD.

Anxiety manifests itself in several physical forms, such as digestive dysfunction, bruxism, exhaustion, restlessness, headaches, and trembles.

The psychological repercussions of anxiety include introversion, clingy behavior, racing thoughts, lack of punctuality, irritable.

Living with anxiety can be quite difficult, and appropriate medical help must be sought in the necessary cases to cope with it.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or known as ADHD in a more common way, sounds very similar to anxiety but has several key distinctions. 

It is likely the person could have ADHD, when the individual owns a calm and peaceful mental state, yet is not able to stay focused or concentrate on their tasks or activities. 

Unlike regular anxiety, ADHD is not experienced by everyone. An extreme state of distraction and inability to focus on daily tasks or any activities is the result of ADHD.

Therefore, it needs to be consulted and resulting medical attention provided to the person.

ADHD is a clinical condition that is diagnosed in an early onset among most children. ADHD often continues well into adult life, making it difficult for a person to lead an otherwise normal life.

ADHD can be spotted when people display physical symptoms such as exhaustion, faulty sleeping routine, restlessness, etc.

The main limitations faced by people who have ADHD begin at a psychological level: inattention, distracted easily, impulsive, forgetful, and hyperactive.

ADHD is a more severe and sensitive issue that requires definite medical attention.

There is also a chance or possibility that people with ADHD may also be experiencing anxiety issues. In such cases, anxiety is often overlooked and chalked up to another symptom of ADHD.

However, this is not the case as ADHD is only referred to as distraction even though the state of mind might be calm, whereas anxiety causes distraction due to worry, or fear. 

Main Differences Between Anxiety and ADHD

  1. The major causes of anxiety includes fear, stress, worry, or similar emotions faced by an individual. An inability to stay focused or concentrated despite the absence of negative thoughts, is termed as ADHD.
  2. Anxiety occurs at specific times; the frequency depends on the individual. ADHD is a continuing condition that can last for decades in an individual’s life.
  3. The physical symptoms of anxiety are digestive dysfunction, bruxism, exhaustion, restlessness, headaches, and trembles. Exhaustion, faulty sleeping routine, restlessness, etc. can be considered as symptoms faced by people who have ADHD
  4. The psychological effects of anxiety are introversion, clinginess, racing thoughts, lack of punctuality, irritable. People with ADHD are troubled with difficulties regarding inattention, distracted easily, impulsive, forgetful, and hyperactivity.
  5. Every individual grapples with anxiety at some point, only the minority face anxiety disorders. ADHD is not that common and hence considered to be highly sensitive and severe.
Difference Between Anxiety and ADHD

Conclusion

The mental well-being of people, young and old alike, is usually disregarded due to ignorance. Several people face haunting problems that are caused due to proper care not being given to their psychological well-being.

Today’s modern world carries with it several wonderful, and breathtaking achievements and an equal share of horrifying difficulties.

Anxiety is caused due to fear, stress, worry, or similar emotions faced by an individual. ADHD refers to an inability to stay focused or concentrated despite the absence of negative thoughts.

They are common mental problems faced by people all around us. There are several telling symptoms that can be easily observed and due help should be given to those in need.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/108705479900300201
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00787-009-0041-8
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