For those who are wondering, ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a behavioral disorder that is now affecting almost 10% of the school-age chidren. In our day to day life, you may hear a lot of people associate ADHD medications with children with anxiety. From a more professional prospective, however, there is no direct connection between two. They are only associated for the simple fact that both relate to ADHD. If a child is suffering ADHD, he will have great difficulty in paying attention and focusing, which will ultimately lead to difficulty in achieving goals. Despite its seemingly obvious symptoms, diagnosis of ADHD is not as easy as many would believe.
This is because about two thirds of the children with ADHD also suffer other medical conditions the same time, and the common coexisting conditions include anxiety disorder, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and CD (Conduct Disorder), mood disorder, and learning disabilities. Now, it is not hard to understand the association between ADHD and anxiety - they often go side by side! In fact, about 25% of the ADHD sufferers also have anxiety disorders. There are both mental and physical symptoms, such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, irritability, insomnia, excessive worry, fear, heart racing, sweating, stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Others may even develop OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and Tourette syndrome, as well as motor or vocal tics (movements or sounds that are repeated over and over). When diagnosing ADHD children who also have anxiety conditions, the doctors will often conduct an interview with the parents to understand the child's full medical history and symptoms. At the moment, ADHD cannot be completely cured but can be effectively managed through a combination of medications and behavior therapies. The anxiety condition is also highly treatable with professional counseling coupled with medications. In both situations, early treatment may help prevent further development of mental problems, including suicide attempts.
There are several types of ADHD medications, such as stimulants, non-stimulants and anti-depressants. All of these have proven record of effectiveness, but none is totally free from side effects although long-term side effects are far and rare. The same can be said for medications for children's anxiety, but of course the two medications cannot be used interchangeably. Behavior therapy is another effective means to treat both ADHD and children's anxiety.
With that method, the doctors endeavor to adjust the behavior of affected children by making right changes to their home and school environment, improving their organisational skill, and setting up an appropriate reward and punish system. Needless to say, the parents play an essential role in executing the behavior therapy. Being the closest ones to the affected children, parents can help their kids by creating a routine, help organise, limit distractions, establish goal, rewards and confidence. Because of such, almost all treatment programs get parent training included as an integral part. Despite the importance of the role by parents of the affected children, some people are still attributing the cause of children's mental problem to poor parenting.
This, of course, is a complete myth. Today, the stresses faced by our teenagers are no less than adults, which include the worries for schooling and concerns about socialisation. Plus, teenagers' minds are experiencing constant learning and changes. With that being said, there is no need for you to get over concerned if your child is affected. As discussed, ADHD can be effectively managed with behavioral therapy and ADHD medications, and children with anxiety can also be successfully treated with the same combination of methods. Copyright (c) 2008 Sandy Adamson.
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