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ADHD frequently occurs with other psychiatric disorders and disabilities. These coexisting conditions have their own sets of symptoms, which sometimes overlap with the symptoms of ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, here’s a list of problems that people with ADHD may have.
A Learning Disability
Common learning problems include reading (dyslexia), math (dyscalculia), handwriting (dysgraphia), hearing (auditory processing disorder) and perceiving (visual processing disorders). A school age child with learning disabilities can get help through an Individual Education Program (IEP) that addresses his specific needs.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
With ODD, a person is regularly or persistently negative, defiant, or hostile to people in authority. Kids with this condition appear overly stubborn and often argue with adults and refuse to obey rules.
Conduct Disorder (CD)
A child with this disorder seems to lack a conscience. He may lie, steal, fight, or bully others. He might also destroy property or harm animals.
Because depression often co-occurs with ADHD, children and teenagers with ADHD should be closely monitored for symptoms of depression, including a milder form called dysthymia and major depressive disorder. Symptoms may include loss of interest or pleasure in activities a person used to enjoy, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, weight loss and sleep problems.
About one fourth of children with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This includes all types of anxiety disorders—generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety, and phobia (including social anxiety).
People with this condition have extreme mood swings that go from mania (extreme elation) to depression in short spaces of time
A person may have nervous tics and perform repetitive motions, such as eye blinks, facial twitches, or grimacing. Others clear their throats, snort, or sniff frequently, or bark out words inappropriately.
ADHD also may coexist with a sleep disorder, bed-wetting, substance abuse or other disorders or illnesses, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. If you have concerns, talk to the doctor or an ADHD specialist.
Diagnosing conditions that coexist with ADHD usually involves a combination of physical examination, behavioral observation and standardized tests. Treatment, too, must be carefully considered. Treatments may involve behavioral modification, medication and psychological counseling.