The symptoms of ADHD include inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. These are traits that most children display at some point or another. But to establish a diagnosis of ADHD, sometimes referred to as ADD, the symptoms should be inappropriate for the child's age.
Adults also can have ADHD; in fact, up to half of adults diagnosed with the disorder had it as children. When ADHD persists into adulthood, symptoms may vary. For instance, an adult may experience restlessness instead of hyperactivity...
It's not surprising that anyone living with ADHD might also experience excessive levels of stress. ADHD symptoms, such as trouble focusing, short attention span, hyperactivity, and poor organizational skills can lead to frustration and feelings of loss of control and hopelessness – a sure set-up for daily stress. ADHD may also be accompanied by other mental health conditions -- conditions that are also linked to stress including:
Are these conditions secondary to ADHD or themselves causes of stress? No one knows for sure, but it's important to address stress, in addition to your ADHD.
Why Worry About ADHD and Stress?
Everyone feels stress. Stress helps you focus on something that requires your attention -- and that's good. It can make you work harder and react quicker. Otherwise, you might stumble into something dangerous.
Stress becomes bad when it overwhelms your ability to act. When stress levels remain high for long periods, problems like depression and heart disease can result.
So what's the connection between stress and ADHD? ADHD presents ongoing challenges that can make stress and frustration become out of control. If you have ADHD and a lot of unmanaged stress, it could raise your risk of some health problems and worsen symptoms of others, including: