Resources - Co-existing Conditions with ADHD

General Overviews of Co-Existing Conditions

An overview of co-existing conditions for women with ADHD.  See the chapter on this topic in the book Understanding Women with ADHD by Kathleen Nadeau and Patricia Quinn

The following statistics about the prevalence of coexisting conditions in adults with ADHD are taken from pp. 15-16 in The ADHD Effect on Marriage, by Melissa Orlov

Current depression:  16-31%
Depression at some point in life:  53%
Anxiety:  24-43%, depending upon a variety of factors
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD): 24-35%
Conduct disorder: 17-25% (rates can be higher if diagnosed as hyperactive when a child)
Alcohol dependence or abuse at some point in lifetime: 21-53%


An excellent overview of ADHD and addictions from ADDitude.

Medications do not increase risk of substance abuse...just the opposite.  Overview in this article.

An article from Harvard Health on video gaming plus and minuses, injuries and the possibility of addiction.

Resources for BIPOC addiction information and support.

An excellent article about how ADHD increase the possibility of cannabis addiction and a general overview of the impact of marijuana on the ADHD brain.


Totally ADD has an informative video about how to manage ADHD anger at this link.


Treating Anxiety and Depression in People with ADHD talks about both kids and adults.


An interesting first person account of growing up with a parent who has BiPolar.

First person account of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and BiPolar in ADDitude.

If you suspect that your partner has both ADHD and Bipolar, make sure to get a full evaluation before starting ADHD meds.  The medications for ADHD can make bipolar symptoms more severe.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Roberto Olivardia, PhD provides a webinar on how ADHD and BPD are the same and dissimilar.  There is a lot of overlap.


ADHD and depression often go hand in hand.  These resources may help...

How to talk with someone you love when they are depressed.  PBS link here.

9 Best Ways to Support Someone with Depression

Talk with Your Doctor About Depression at

New research suggests ways to predict whether anti-depressants will help treat depression

Several research studies suggest that diet changes can help relieve depression.  See this overview in the NYT.


See the chapter on this topic in the book Understanding Women with ADHD by Kathleen G. Nadeau and Patricia Quinn

Learning Differences

Estimates vary depending upon how one defines "learning disability" but a significant number of people with ADHD have at least one learning disability.  These can go undetected if doctors don't fully screen for them. Make sure to get a full neuropsychological assessment, not just a review of an ADHD screener when you are being diagnosed.

Personality Disorders

People with ADHD are more likely to have personality disorders than those without.  This overview from ADDitude Magazine describes the different personality disorders and relates them to ADHD.

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and Emotional Dysregulation

Note that emotional dysreguation is a core characteristic of ADHD, not really a co-existing, separate condition.  However, since most think of it that way, I've listed it here.

Deficient Emotional Self-Regulation (DESR) - how Russell Barkley describes the emotional upset which arises from executive function and inattention.  Or, what Ned Hallowell suggests is the 'brakes' part of his description of ADHD - race car brain with bicycle brakes.  Barkley gives a webinar on the topic you can find here.

I have written two blog posts about RSD - How RSD Impacts Non-ADHD Partners and What is RSD and How Does it Relate to ADHD?.  In addition, there are good resources about RSD from ADDitude Magazine here.

One of the better overviews of RSD by Dodson, for professionals.

See a free webinar replay of Dr. Dodson talking about RSD at this link.

Dr. Ned Hallowell's response to RSD...

Sleeping Problems

Three quarters of adults with ADHD report an inability to "shut off their minds", and when they eventually do fall asleep, many complain that they toss and turn or get up several times in the night.  We have a longer article on the topic of sleep and ADHD at this link and this link.

Sleep Tricks and Tips, an article written for a mattress group, but with sleep ideas and some apps for organization and sleep improvement.

Can You Train Yourself to Need Less Sleep? Read more in this article in New York Times.

Sleep deprivation leads to significant increases in ADHD symptom expression.  Therefore, creating good 'sleep hygiene' is a treatment for ADHD.  See my treatment section for more articles on this topic.