How Do ADHD and Anxiety Symptoms Differ From Children to Teens

If you or someone you love struggles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and anxiety, you are not alone. These two conditions go hand-and-hand and impact all age groups. When it comes to comparing different ages, however, there may be differences. If you are a parent of different age groups, use this guide to help you assist young people who may need your help. 

Spotting ADHD/Anxiety In Young Children

ADHD and anxiety are both common among young children. Sometimes, they may look similar. For example, both conditions can lead to restlessness, trouble focusing or concentrating to finish a task, difficulty with schoolwork, discomfort during social activities, excess stress or irritation, difficulty sleeping and trouble processing new concepts or ideas. Talking to a medical professional can help you determine if you need ADHD medication for kids or another route of action. However, learning more about the differences can help you gain better insight. 

Key ADHD Symptoms in Children

According to the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder foundation, 6.1 million children have an ADHD diagnosis. Although there is an overlap of symptoms and signs between conditions and age groups, children tend to experience distractions during school lessons and exhibit fidgety behaviors more often than teens and adults. 

Key Anxiety Symptoms in Children

In general, anxiety shows up as displays of fear, worrying, irritation and anger. While these signs can show up with ADHD, too, non-ADHD anxiety is usually more situational. For this reason, asking questions can be helpful for better understanding children’s behaviors. For children, anxiety can look like insomnia, exhaustion, headaches and stomachaches.

What Does ADHD/Anxiety Look Like In Teens

Teenagers also experience ADHD and anxiety, and many of the symptoms can appear in ways that are similar to those with younger children. For example, the physical ailments of stomach pains and insomnia are also common, but there are other ADHD symptoms in teens that tend to impact young between the ages of 12 and 18 more frequently.

Key ADHD Symptoms in Teens

Keep in mind, environmental conditions play a big role in mental health. Typically, teenagers have more freedom than young children and their school surroundings change, too. As teens become more independent, that independence can also have an effect on how ADHD symptoms show up. For example, teens with ADHD may struggle with talking excessively, becoming easily frustrated with tasks or refusing to ask for help when he or she needs it.

Key Anxiety Symptoms in Teens

As with children, teenage anxiety is usually more situational and infrequent than symptoms that appear with ADHD. When you are looking at anxiety in 6-year-old symptoms and teen symptoms, there is significant overlap, too. However, some key symptoms that impact children over the age of 12 more often include extreme self-consciousness, withdrawal from social activities and avoidance of difficult or new situations.

Anxiety and ADHD can cause problems for young people, but there are many resources and solutions available. Help the children and teens in your life by learning more about the mental health conditions that impact many of them. 

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