Anxiety or ADHD? They sometimes look the same — Hey, Sigmund
Another wonderful read by Karen Young of Hey, Sigmund. She talks about how close the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety can be, and a few tricks to tell them apart.
"Anxiety and ADHD are very different, but the symptoms can sometimes look similar. This is because both have symptoms are driven by changes in the pre-frontal cortex BUT the nature of those changes and the processes behind those changes are different. With anxiety, the symptoms are brought about by the fight or flight response. This response can be enduring and intense, and it can happen even when there is no threat and no real need for fight or flight. With ADHD, the symptoms are brought about by structural, functional and chemical changes in the brain. "
"Children with anxiety don’t tend to have as many problems with impulsivity. Their impulsive behaviour generally happens in isolated bursts when they are anxious, and is less likely to happen when they are feeling calm and safe."
"Children with anxiety will be unlikely to show problem behaviours when they are feeling calm, safe, and doing things they enjoy. Children with ADHD might struggle even when they are doing the things they want to be doing."
Even more detail here.