ADD/ADHD and comorbidities – the iceberg phenomenon

Often it is other illnesses or disorders that appear first and make the actual ADD/ADHD symptoms disappear below the surface of the water like an iceberg. You can find out here which ones often occur in this context and cause this iceberg to grow.

In medicine/psychology we speak of a "comorbidity" (concomitant disease), if this does not occur coincidentally, but with an increased probability alongside the underlying disease. The underlying disease does not necessarily have to be the cause of the comorbidity.
The list of comorbidities in ADD/ADHD is long:

In children are often observed:


  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Learning difficulties

Comorbidities often complicate the diagnosisThis is because symptoms can overlap (e.g. concentration disorders in depression) or the symptoms of the comorbidity are so prominent that only this is seen (e.g. in anxiety disorders).

The situation can be explained well with the image of an iceberg: above the waterline and therefore clearly visible is the tip of the iceberg - in this case the quite well recognizable comorbidity. Hidden below the waterline is the ADHD. However, this can only be seen if one looks for it. If the therapist - like the captain of a ship - fails to see this constellation, he rams the iceberg. And his assistance in psychotherapy remains ineffective.

If you are interested in further information on the topic of ADS/ADHS, it is worth taking a look at the homepage of our OptiMind Institute to throw.

You will find not only tips, but also checklists for ADHD symptoms in children adolescents and adults.

If you wish a competent diagnostics: here you come to our Questionnaire for children and here to our Questionnaire for Adults.