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  • Writer's pictureLiliana Turecki

ADHD and Co-Occurring Conditions

The ADHD “package” comes with one or more co-existing conditions in over 80% of individuals. When it comes to “detecting” your condition, it is critical to go beyond the common checklist evaluation on the internet. If you have an ADHD diagnosis, here are the associated co-occurring conditions you might want to discuss with your doctor:

Categories and Types of Disorders that Coexist with ADHD

1. Anxiety Disorders

Untreated ADHD often becomes the breeding ground for anxiety. Treatments, including medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and coaching, can help avert it to a great degree.

2. Mood Disorders

  • Depression – When ADHD goes unnoticed or untreated for a long time, depression begins to seep in. In some cases, the depression disappears if an individual responds well to their ADHD treatment. But cases of primary depression often require a separate treatment.

  • Bipolar Disorder – 1 out of 13 individuals with ADHD is known to have a cooccurring bipolar disorder, and 1 out of 6 patients with bipolar disorder has ADHD.

  • Lifelong low mood – ADHD triggers emotional dysregulation and low mood which can translate into lifelong low mood over time.

  • Dysthymia – This condition comes with low mood and sadness which lasts longer than depression but is considerably less severe.

  • Rejection Sensitive Disorder (RSD)RSD is the extreme emotional pain linked to feelings of rejection and shame and is commonly found in children and adults with ADHD.

3. Behavioral Disorders

These include conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), which are often common in males.

4. Learning Disorders

  • Dyslexia – the slowness associated with learning to spell, write, or read a language. However, an individual with dyslexia can be an incredibly gifted writer.

  • Dyspraxia – also called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). It is associated with a lack of coordination or clumsiness, awkward movement, and a tendency to drop things constantly.

  • Dyscalculia – Many call it “math dyslexia.” This condition makes it challenging to cope with all things “math.” Just like in the case of dyslexia, dyscalculia cannot prevent someone from mastering mathematics.

  • Dysgraphia – Individuals with dysgraphia often find difficulty with handwriting, pacing written letters or words, and awkward body positioning when writing something.

But Which Co-Occurring Conditions Show Up the Most?

Knowing the detailed symptoms of any condition associated with ADHD is critical for an accurate diagnosis. Here are 6 of the most common conditions that cooccur with ADHD:

  • Depression

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Anxiety

  • Borderline personality disorder

  • Autism spectrum disorder

  • Antisocial personality disorder

While most co-occurring conditions associated with ADHD require specialized treatment, A great way to bring out your best ADHD self is to take up ADHD coaching for adults. Explore the growth of your ADHD diagnosis by booking a consultation with me!

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