Monday, 15 December 2014

ADHD and Coexisting Conditions

I just wanted to do a short post of the main coexisting conditions of adhd, I always find every bit of information helpful and I know so many moms who don't know about these conditions or what to look for- if you think your adhd/ Add child may have one of these coexisting disorders or that they are displaying any of this symptoms please discuss this with your chosen specialist as soon as possible.

ADHD and Coexisting Disorders 

As many as 75% of children with ADHD have at least 1 coexisting condition this can however be overshadowed by their ADHD symptoms and often goes unnoticed, there are 5 disorders to seem to be most common. 

They are:

1-       ODD or CD
2-       Mood Disorders
3-       Anxiety Disorders
4-       Tourettes Syndrome
5-       Learning disabilities

ODD (Oppositional-Defiant Disorder) and CD (Conduct Disorder) 

About 40 percent of individuals with ADHD have ODD and 25% have CD. 

ODD involves a pattern of arguing with multiple adults, losing one's temper, refusing to follow rules, blaming others, deliberately annoying others, and being angry, resentful, spiteful, and vindictive.

CD is often associated with efforts to break rules without getting caught. Such children may be aggressive to people or animals, destroy property, lie or steal things from others, run away, skip school, or break curfews.

Academically, students with both ADHD and CD are twice as likely to have difficulty reading as other ADHD children. 

* just a side not your child may be displaying symptoms associated with ODD/ CD and yet may not have ODD/CD, if they start displaying these symptoms it is best to seek out professional help as soon as possible, the sooner these symptoms or actions are dealt with the easier it is to stop it from developing into full on ODD or CD.

Mood Disorders

Some children, in addition to being hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive, may also seem to always be in a bad mood. They may cry daily, out of the blue, for no reason, and they may frequently be irritable with others for no apparent reason. 

*side note- all children have bad days but children with mood disorders are constantly in a bad mood or are mostly in a bad mood for what is mostly illogical reasons.


The most careful studies suggest that between 10-30 percent of children with ADHD, also have depression. Typically, ADHD occurs first and depression occurs later. Both environmental and genetic factors may contribute. 

Environmentally, as children with ADHD get older, they may feel left out. Too often they are forgotten on birthday party lists, playdates, and sleepovers. These children may not be invited to play at other children's homes because of past difficulties with accidents or may not be chosen to be on sports teams or to participate in games. 

This takes a heavy toll on the child's self-esteem. As these episodes pile up, the child with ADHD can become discouraged and about one in four may become clinically depressed. 

While all children have bad days where they feel down, depressed children may be down or irritable most days. Children with ADHD and depression may also withdraw from others, stop doing things they once enjoyed, have trouble sleeping or sleep the day away, lose their appetite, criticize themselves excessively ("I never do anything right!"), and talk about dying ("I wish I were dead"). 

Fortunately, ADHD by itself is not associated with increased risk of suicidal behavior. Current studies suggest that both ADHD and depression may share a common underlying genetic link, since families with ADHD also seem to have more members with depression than would be expected by chance.


Mania/Bipolar Disorder

Up to 20 percent of individuals with ADHD also may manifest bipolar disorder. This condition involves periods of abnormally elevated mood contrasted by episodes of clinical depression. 

In younger people, mania may show up differently. Children may have moods that change very rapidly, seemingly for no reason, be pervasively irritable, exhibit unpremeditated aggression, and sometimes hear voices or see things the rest of us don't. ADHD is much more common than mania, and while many children with mania may first exhibit ADHD symptoms, very few children with ADHD will go on to develop mania. 


Up to 30 percent of children will also have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are often not apparent, and research has shown that half of the children who describe prominent anxiety symptoms are not described by their parents as anxious. 

As with depression, the child's internal feelings may not stand out to parents or teachers. Patients with anxiety disorders often worry excessively about a number of things (school, work, etc.), and may feel edgy, stressed out or tired, tense, and have trouble getting restful sleep. 

Students with ADHD and anxiety report more school, family, and social/peer problems than student who only have ADHD. Students with ADHD accompanied by anxiety are less likely to appear hyperactive and disruptive, but instead appear more slowed down or inefficient. Genetic research thus far suggests that ADHD and anxiety are separate disorders inherited independently of each other.

Tics and Tourette Syndrome
Only about seven percent of those with ADHD have tics or Tourette Syndrome, but 60 percent of those with Tourette Syndrome have ADHD. Tics (sudden, rapid, recurrent, involuntary movements or vocalizations) or Tourette Syndrome (both movements and vocalizations) can occur with ADHD in two ways. 

First, mannerisms or movements such as excessive eye blinking or throat clearing often occur between the ages of 10-12 years. When children are nervous or tired, these tics may appear worse or more conspicuous. These temporary tics usually go away gradually over one-to-two years, and are just as likely to happen in children with ADHD as others. Tourette Syndrome is a much rarer, but more severe tic disorder, where patients may make noises (e.g., barking a word or sound) and movements (e.g., repetitive flinching or eye blinking) on an almost daily basis for years. 

* Loghan developed a few tics when he 1st started on his medication and he still displays them when he is tiured or irritated however he does not have Tourettes.

Learning Disabilities

Individuals with ADHD frequently have difficulty learning in school. Depending on how learning disorders are defined, up to 50 percent of children with ADHD have a co-existing learning disorder. Individuals with learning disabilities may have a specific problem reading or calculating, but they are not less intelligent than their peers are. Research indicates that students with both ADHD and reading disorder (dyslexia) are no more anxious, hyperactive, or aggressive than student with ADHD only. However, the learning disorder does impact school performance, which may subsequently impact family and peer relationships.

1 comment:

  1. My son just started High School and he has ADD. We're lucky to have found INK for All. It's meant to be distraction free. This seemed like an ideal place to share this: