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Can young people with ADHD also have mental health disorders?

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

Anxiety disorders and ADHD
Studies show that about 30 percent of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a co-existing anxiety disorder. Sometimes, the symptoms of the anxiety disorder go unnoticed by parents or teachers. Still, the child or teen with ADHD and anxiety disorders may worry or ruminate much of the time, have difficulty sleeping, and suffer with panic attacks or severe anxiety. Children and teens with ADHD and anxiety disorders may have difficulty getting along with family and friends and suffer with repeated failures at school.

Mood disorders and ADHD
It is not uncommon for children and teenagers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to also have mood disorders. In fact, statistics show that 20 to 30 percent of adolescents with ADHD have a mood disorder. Common mood disorders with ADHD include depression, dysthymia (a milder form of depression or negative mood that lasts for two or more years), and bipolar disorder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.