Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anxiety & Attention Deficit Disorder

As an AD(H)D coach and psychologist, I used to think that ADDers who were very anxious as well would do poorly on stimulants, in that they would become more anxious. However, many professionals now think that indeed a subpopulation of ADDers might become more anxious on stimulants, but another subgroup might be less anxious. Why the latter? Because their anxiety might arise from various components of ADD such as poor time management, inability to focus on or initiate tasks, or organize their environment. Thus, if the latter subgroup takes stimulants and becomes more functional, their anxiety will dissipate.

The answer to this dilemma is empirical. The possibilities include treating anxiety or ADD first and assess the result. Or treat anxiety and ADD concurrently.

What do you think?

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