People with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience anxiety and depression. However, when these conditions occur together, as is often the case, it is difficult to pinpoint which one contributes most to worsening mental health. was intended.
It found that people with ADHD personality traits were more likely to experience common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety than those with autistic traits. , to our knowledge, is the first study to show that people with ADHD are more likely to have poor mental health than people with autism.
To conduct our study, over 500 adults in the UK completed a questionnaire measuring characteristics of autism and ADHD. We also asked them to complete a standard questionnaire on depression and anxiety.
This is known as the “trait approach” for autism and ADHD. The focus should be on individual characteristics rather than diagnosis. This gives you an indirect understanding of how much different conditions overlap.
We then used statistical tests to measure the strength of the relationship between autistic traits and mental health problems, and compared this to the association of ADHD traits with poorer mental health.
Our results showed that personality traits in both ADHD and autism can predict a person’s anxiety severity and depression symptoms. People with many ADHD traits were more likely to experience these symptoms compared to people with ADHD. It was found to be about three times stronger than the autism association.
These results were reproduced with 100% ‘recall’ in computerized simulations. In other words, ADHD traits are almost certainly associated with poorer mental health than autistic traits in the UK population.
Our research highlights a clear link between ADHD and common mental health problems in adults. The next step is to examine factors that may be driving this relationship. Scientists know that genes associated with ADHD are also associated with certain mental health conditions, such as depression. People with ADHD are more likely to experience stressful life events, which can lead to mental health problems.
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It will be important to examine how environmental and social cognitive factors (such as how well people understand others) affect the mental health of this group. This research is important for identifying people at highest risk of poor mental health. Knowing the warning signs helps doctors intervene early, before people become severely anxious or depressed.
However, more funding needs to be invested in research to better understand the relationship between ADHD and mental health and to better understand which support approaches are most effective for this group. Funding for ADHD research is scarce compared to other conditions such as autism. Still, given that nearly 30% of people with autism also have her ADHD, more funding for this area of research could have far-reaching benefits for many. It is clear.
If you have autism or ADHD and are struggling with mental health, there are many charities and nonprofits that can help you.
Luca Hargitai, PhD Candidate, Psychology, University of BathLucy Ann Livingston, Lecturer in Psychology, King’s College Londonand Punit Shah, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Bath
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Please read the original article.
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