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#8 August Who Says You Can't Teach . . . Adult ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression - Is There a Link?

Updated: Jan 8

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A new study published in Scientific Reports reveals a definitive link between ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Research from scientists at the University of Bath in the UK found that adults with significant ADHD symptoms had greater likelihoods of experiencing anxiety and depression than their peers who had significant symptoms of autism.

The lead author of the study, Luca Hargitai, said: "Scientists have long known that autism is linked to anxiety and depression, but ADHD has been somewhat neglected.”

Additionally, Hargitai said, “Our aim was to precisely measure how strongly ADHD personality traits were linked to poor mental health while statistically accounting for autistic traits."

It has long been known that autism and ADHD are often co-morbid or co-occurring. Both ADHD and autism often lead to internalizing one’s problems which leads to anxiety and depression. Co-morbidity has made it difficult for researchers to determine the severity of ADHD on problem internalization versus the severity of autism on problem internalization. Hargitai and the Bath team sought to determine the mental health outcomes of individuals who don’t share ADHD traits and autistic traits.

News said of the study that, “ADHD traits were highly predictive of the severity of anxiety and depression symptoms: the higher the levels of ADHD traits, the more likely a person is to experience severe mental health symptoms. Through innovative analytical techniques, the study authors further confirmed that having more of an ADHD personality was more strongly linked to anxiety and depression than autistic traits.”

According to Hargitai, “"The condition [ADHD] affects many people – both children and adults – and the fact that more people are willing to talk about it is to be welcomed. The hope is that with greater awareness will come more research in this area and better resources to support individuals in better managing their mental health."

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