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ADHD Anxiety

Anxiety Sucks
Am I right?

I’ve suffered from anxiety in my life. The debilitating kind that left me sad, scared, starting to look for a way out.

Fortunately I recognized it. And also fortunately I was already in counseling so when I commented on it the help I needed was right there.

And even more fortunate was the fact that the anxiety I was suffering was a side effect of meds I was on.

Stop the meds, stop the anxiety.

And it worked

It did. I began to feel better within a couple of days and improvement went on for a week or two until the anxiety was completely alleviated

And the other great thing was that that bout of anxiety put my usual anxiety into perspective.

Usual anxiety?

Yes. My usual ADHD anxiety.

The constant feeling that I should be doing something else. The constant knowledge that I’m failing at something. The constant assurance that someone is going to judge me for what I’m not doing or for what I’ve missed in my assessment of whatever I’m working on.

And I’ve paid

The price for remediating my anxiety was that I had to give up the meds that were helping me with my ADHD.

The price for having ADHD anxiety is ongoing.

Things like reading have suffered. I’m at the point now where I cannot even pick up a book without feeling guilty. Even reading in bed feels like I’m taking time away from important things.

Fortunately …

Once immersed in reading or watching a show, I can lose myself and forget my anxiety.

but still my reading or watching is fraught with anxious worry.

If I take time away from sleep I feel like I’ll be of less use tomorrow and I’ll fail at something.

But there’s good reason to read

I know that I am a better person for reading.

I’m even a better, more informed person for browsing social media. The time I spend doing that helps inform my writing, my work.


If I am watching something on the TV with someone else I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong. I know that she doesn’t judge me, but it always feels better if my partner and I are watching a movie together. It’s like her participation means it’s okay.

And I know that I am a more balanced and healthy person if I engage in recreation.

When I have work to do

I usually put my head down and charge right at it … you know, when the deadline is NOW!

And I can sometimes use my ADHD anxiety to get myself to engage in things in a more timely manner.

But it doesn’t feel good to do either of those things. In fact, I don’t think I do my best work when I stress myself in that way.

So I guess I’ll keep looking for a happy medium, somewhere between stressed because I need it done and stressed because I need it done NOW!


ADHD Anxiety

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2018). ADHD Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Dec 2018
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