Last updated on: September 22nd, 2019
If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a connection between ADHD and social anxiety, you aren’t alone.
There’s a lot of overlap between these two disorders.
So, this article explores the relationship between ADHD and social anxiety.
But, I’ll also reveal some life-changing tips that you can use to make massive progress in your social life, feel happier, and interact with other people much more freely.
What’s the relationship between ADHD and social anxiety?
Research also suggests that roughly 6.8% of the American population lives with social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Shockingly, studies also show that roughly 50% of people with ADHD also have some form of an anxiety disorder.
So, if you have ADHD, there’s a decent chance that you suffer from a form of anxiety such as social anxiety disorder.
Does medication work for ADHD and social anxiety?
I’m a fan of doing whatever works best for your mind, body and lifestyle.
If you want to use pharmaceuticals to manage your ADHD and social anxiety – that option works well for many people.
If you want to use natural alternatives to manage your ADHD and social anxiety – that option works well for many people, too.
It’s totally up to you to decide how you want to manage your health. I’m just here to explain what works best for me and many other people.
And, I’ve personally found the most success by attacking the root source of my anxiety. In my experience, attacking the root source of anxiety leads to massive improvements in both ADHD and social anxiety disorder.
To treat my anxiety issues, I’ve tried using ADHD medication, anxiety medication, herbs and spices, natural ingredients, mindfulness, and all other sorts of treatment options. There was even point when I explored using nootropics like modafinil, and plant-based sedatives like kratom.
The truth is that there probably isn’t one perfect medication or solution to fix your anxiety or ADHD problems. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.
But, I have had tremendous success with creating a complete lifestyle that revolves around eating a healthy diet, exercising, taking the proper supplements, socializing, and yes – using a light dose of high-quality ADHD medication.
Living an all-around healthy, active and smart lifestyle is the best solution that I’ve found for attacking ADHD, social anxiety, depression and similar health ailments.
Using medication is one part of that formula.
The 10 strategies to break free socially
It takes hard work to break free from the problems of ADHD, social anxiety, depression and similar mental health conditions.
But, with the following 10 strategies, I bet that you’ll be able to live a happier, healthier and more socially active existence.
So, here are the 10 strategies that you need to know in order to break free from most ADHD and anxiety-related problems, and live more freely:
1. Detox your gut
Did you know that your gut regulates your mood and emotions? Yes, the gut-brain connection is real.
It’s astonishing how many people don’t realize that the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most powerful parts of the human body.
You need to cleanse your gut with kefir, probiotics, and vegetables. And, you need to do this as soon as possible. I like to use Garden of Life Alkalizer & Detoxifier (Amazon) in a pinch, because it contains organic food-based probiotics, vitamins, and superfood ingredients.
When you detox your gut with healthy foods and supplements, you’ll ultimately load your gut with good bacteria. And, keep in mind that having good gut bacteria is largely responsible for how you feel on any given day.
Yes – having good gut bacteria easily translates into feeling less socially anxious. When your gut is healthy, your ADHD symptoms will probably improve, too.
I know that when my gut is healthy, I feel like I have a natural “light buzz” throughout the entire day. It’s amazing.
2. Experiment with supplements that cleanse the gut and liver
I’ve had a lot of success with reducing my ADHD and anxiety symptoms.
My best results almost always come from a few highly-effective supplements that specifically help to cleanse the gut or liver.
There is growing scientific research indicating that your liver and gut may be responsible for your anxiety, and possibly even some ADHD-like symptoms.
So, I’ve already detailed how probiotics can be used to detox your gut. That’s the most effective way to reduce your anxiety fast.
I also frequently write about how I use N-A-C Sustain (Amazon) to reduce anxiety symptoms as well (NAC detoxifies your liver).
If you can primarily focus on using supplements that detox the gut and liver, you’ll almost certainly see huge improvements in your anxiety and ADHD symptoms. It sounds wacky. But, it’s also really important, and you’ll actually feel the results.
3. Consider medication
I had a friend who used ADHD and anxiety medication simultaneously. He absolutely loved the combination.
Some people would call him nuts.
But, if it worked for him, then who’s really to judge?
I’ve personally used a variety of ADHD medications. I find that taking ADHD medication helps me focus immensely. But, it usually makes my anxiety worse.
On the other hand, some people find that ADHD medication provides an excellent solution for both ADHD and anxiety symptoms.
So, if you want to go the medication route, then you’re probably going to have to experiment with different medications, and find what works best for your unique brain chemistry.
Just choose a doctor who you trust, and work with him or her to find a medication that fits your lifestyle.
As for me, I continue to use Vyvanse in extremely low doses on days when I have a heavy workload (see: Vyvanse dosage hack). I find that this gives me the greatest focus, least amount of anxiety, and most productivity.
4. Expose yourself to plenty of different social interactions
You’re probably going to have to expose yourself to plenty of social situations if you want to improve your social anxiety disorder (SAD) and ADHD.
Don’t worry. Life’s short. Just go ahead and accept that socializing is still a major part of life with social anxiety and ADHD. There’s no getting around it.
You have to expose yourself to plenty of social situations because humans are social animals. People who socialize tend to liver longer, face a lower risk of dementia, and enjoy healthier lives.
I strongly believe that socializing will boost the quality of life of anyone suffering from social anxiety or ADHD.
So get out there. Be social. Embrace being uncomfortable for a little while.
After enough time, your brain will eventually adapt to socializing.
And by that point, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of discomfort that you feel while dealing with social anxiety and ADHD.
5. Force yourself to casually chat with people throughout the day
Going to the gym? You should casually chat with at least one person there.
Heading to the grocery store? Talk to the person in the checkout aisle.
You have nothing to lose by chatting with people who you’re already going to come into contact with throughout your day-to-day life.
By regularly talking to people who you come into contact with, you’ll brighten up other people’s lives, and you’ll stop feeling as anxious, too.
No excuses. Just do it.
6. Work in sales (nuclear option)
Working in sales forces you to chat with people all day long.
While most people with ADHD or social anxiety initially hate the idea of working in a sales role, I actually think these types of jobs can be pretty fun.
Getting a job in sales forces you to get out of your head, and work through many of the anti-social tendencies that people with ADHD and anxiety commonly deal with.
If you’re the kind of person who feels terribly uncomfortable in social situations, then getting a job in sales could be the best decision that you ever make.
Side story: Even though I was a terrible waiter when I worked in restaurants (one type of sales job) – my social skills were tremendous during this time. I was so comfortable talking with people at this point in my life (during college) that it was truly unbelievable. That’s the type of natural benefit that comes with working in sales. I highly recommend sales jobs for anyone who wants to counteract some of the negative side effects that come with social anxiety and ADHD.
7. Build quality relationships
Having a handful of really great friends is extremely comforting.
Something really special happens once you know that you have a solid group of friends who you can rely on.
Yes, it can be tough to build quality relationships.
But, it’s great to have people who you can reach out to when you want to chat about personal issues, hang out, or go out with.
Knowing that you have a handful of quality friends to fall back will seriously put your social anxiety and ADHD at ease.
8. Dedicate a year to working on yourself
If it’s financially feasible for you to take a year off from work, and you are capable of returning to work afterwards, then you should absolutely do this.
Taking a year off from work can help you free your mind from so much petty drama and other annoyances that most of us deal with on a day-to-day basis.
When you take a “gap year” – you’ll get to work solely on yourself and your mental state.
You can use this time to travel, take improv classes, learn a new language, or do anything that gets you out of your head for a little while.
Sometimes, the most important thing for people with ADHD and social anxiety to do is get moving and stay moving.
So, go ahead and spend some time working on yourself. And, take really great care of yourself. You deserve it.
9. Get involved
If you live in America, or virtually anywhere else in the developed world, you have so many easy excuses for going out, socializing, and essentially forgetting about the problems that come with ADHD or social anxiety.
For example, you can…
- Join a book club
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter
- Go out to bars or local nightlife
- Join an athletic club
- Go on a road trip with friends
- Do anything social while you’re healthy and active
Yes, it will be uncomfortable to attend social activities with other people at first. But, you will get over it.
Eventually, you might even enjoy the idea of socializing.
Trust me. I’m naturally introverted. So, I have to force myself to be social. And, I always feel a lot better after socializing. Every single time.
Humans are simply social animals, and we have to connect with one another. Whether you have ADHD, social anxiety, or both.
10. Embrace the temporary mental pain
My experience with ADHD and social anxiety is that life doesn’t get any easier. But, it does get a lot better.
If you have ADHD or social anxiety, just keep in mind that you will have to undergo some slight mental discomfort while you build new habits, force yourself to socialize, and put in the effort that’s required to live a more enjoyable lifestyle.
But, if you can overcome these temporary mental hurdles, you can boost your overall quality of life big time.
Whether you’re dealing with ADHD, social anxiety, or both conditions – your options are usually the same.
You can either get upset about having social anxiety and/or ADHD.
Or, you can choose to take action, and start making the most of the one life that you have.
The choice is yours.
But of course, I absolutely recommend that you start confronting your ADHD and social anxiety, and begin living life on your terms.
Because, once you learn to work through the initial pain of dealing with social anxiety and ADHD, life gets so much better.