Anxiety And ADHD: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and anxiety are two distinct conditions, but they come as one package for many parents. About 50% of individuals with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. Are you one of them? If you are, then the appropriate treatment can alleviate your ADHD symptoms and improve your anxious emotions, too.

Anxiety And ADHD

When you are diagnosed with anxiety with ADHD, it might make your ADHD symptoms really worse, like feeling helpless or having difficulty focusing. However, anxiety disorder is also accompanied by its own gamut of symptoms, such as fatigue, nervousness, permanent worries about various things, difficulty sleeping, and constant stress. Anxiety disorder is simply not only being anxious at times. It’s a mental condition that can tremendously impact your work, home, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Sometimes, anxiety emerges due to ADHD. When this happens, your concerns are often about how little or how much you can get done. You are overwhelmed or anxious by your ADHD. When you have existing anxiety on top of your hyperactivity disorder, your concerns are typically about many things and not merely connected to your ADHD battles.

Consult with your doctor so that both of you can find solutions as to where your anxieties are coming from. Some queries that may arise are:

  • Do you have difficulty controlling your anxieties?
  • Are you worried about things that are not logical at all?
  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Is there an upcoming situation or event that you’re expecting?
  • Do you have a family history of anxiety?

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Do ADHD and anxiety go together? 

Anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder recurrently happen together. These problems can merely present together, or ADHD may cause the development of anxiety. People who have ADHD frequently have other mental health illnesses. 

Can ADHD cause depression and anxiety? 

People with ADHD have a higher likelihood of having anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or other co-existing psychiatric disorders. About half of those with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. 

Can anxiety symptoms mimic ADHD? 

The best action to take to ensure a proper diagnosis is a complete evaluation done by a neuropsychologist. Anxiety can present as ADHD for many kids, so it is vital to have your kid assessed to identify the best treatment plan. 

What is the best medication for ADHD and anxiety? 

Though you are taking these meds for your anxiety, they may also work effectively for your ADHD. Doctors may also prescribe these antidepressants:

  • Imipramine
  • Bupropion
  • Nortriptyline
  • Desipramine
  • Venlafaxine 

How a person with ADHD thinks?

When individuals with ADHD feel like they’re undependable, they start to doubt their skills and are ashamed of being unaccountable. Energy and mood levels also fluctuate with discrepancies of challenge and interest. 

Can treating ADHD help with anxiety? 

If ADHD is causing anxiety, managing the ADHD may decrease the anxiety. HOWEVER, if ADHD does not cause anxiety, your doctor will identify the accurate medications for you. A health professional may opt to manage the anxiety initially, while another may manage both problems altogether. 

Can ADHD make you suicidal?

Young individuals with ADHD are at a higher risk of suicide because of their being more impulsive, which is actually a common symptom of ADHD. This can cause these individuals to move quickly from having suicidal thoughts to having suicidal behaviors during periods of distress. 

What happens when ADHD goes untreated? 

Individuals with untreated ADHD have a higher likelihood of going through a divorce. You’re also more inclined to be insecure or depressed. These risky behaviors, which can hurt teens with unmanaged ADHD, also impact adults going through the same experience. 

Can ADHD make anxiety worse? 

When you experience anxiety and ADHD, it may worsen some symptoms of ADHD, like trouble focusing and restlessness. However, anxiety disorders also come with their own range of constant tension and worry about many things. 

Is playing with your hair a sign of anxiety? 

If you play with your hair when you feel tense or deal with anxious invasive thoughts, this habit may indicate an anxiety disorder.

What can ADHD be mistaken for? 

Conditions that appear to be ADHD include autism, bipolar disorder, hearing disabilities, sensory processing disorders, sleep disorders, and decreased blood sugar. 

What ADHD looks like in adults?

In adult individuals, the primary qualities of ADHD may include trouble paying attention, restlessness, and impulsiveness. Symptoms can present as mild to severe. A lot of adults with ADHD do not know that they have it. They know that daily activity can be challenging for them. 

Does ADHD medication change your personality? 

So long as the medication dose is correctly administered, it should not affect the person’s personality. But what it does is control his hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. An extremely high dosage could briefly modify personality, which may cause the person to be unusually withdrawn or silent.

What is the best antidepressant for ADHD?

Tofranil, Pamelor, and Norpramin are tricyclic antidepressants proven beneficial in kids and adults diagnosed with ADHD. However, they may cause some negative side effects like constipation, urinary issues, and dry mouth.

Does caffeine help ADHD?

A few studies have proven that caffeine can increase concentrations for individuals with ADHD. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it mimics several stronger stimulants used to manage ADHD, like amphetamine medicines. Nevertheless, caffeine alone is not as effective as prescription medicines.

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Treatment

Dealing with anxiety and ADHD together may be daunting because some medicines for ADHD can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Both these disorders require treatment, though. Your doctor or mental health provider may opt to concentrate first on the disorder that gravely affects the quality of your life. He may also give recommendations for methods to deal with the other disorder.

Your doctor or mental health provider’s treatments could recommend anxiety and ADHD relaxation techniques, prescription medications, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

You must be honest and open with your mental health provider about all the symptoms you are experiencing. This is particularly true if you believe that you have two disorders simultaneously. Your doctor should know if there are one or more treatments that worsen one or both of your disorders. This will definitely help them customize your treatment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Fidgeting or making small movements, especially among hands and feet, can represent an entirely uncomfortable feeling. Though at some point, fidgeting is not that all bad. Sometimes, it simply means that some kids’ minds are wandering during a task. Often, people recognize it as a behavior that allows the physical aspects to stay with reality despite daydreaming.

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There are many reasons why children fidget. Usually, parents can conclude that it is all because of boredom. However, fidgeting can be a sign of stress, anxiety, nervousness, impatience, attention problems, and hyperactivity in kids in relation to mental health. In some unfortunate cases, serious fidgeting can be a symptom of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But what does fidgeting have to do with a mental illness? Let’s try and unravel some information about the relationship of fidgeting to mental health through these frequently asked questions.

Do fidget toys help anxiety?

Yes. Fidget toys help reduce stress and anxiety. The toys also help improve learning skills, enhance agility, improve motor skills, improve body and mind coordination, and help develop small hands muscles. Fidget toys are appropriately recommended for all ages and genders.

But as a reminder, fidget toys should be at the use of your kids when they are at home. It would be nice not to bring it to school as it can cause a distraction and annoyance to the class. Be mindful that even if fidgeting toys help with your kids’ ADHD, you still need to encourage them not to stick with it and work on daily mind and body exercises instead.

 Do squishies help with anxiety? 

Squishies are popular among children and some teens. But despite being on the trendy list, they do not intend to burn off nervous energy, severe stress, and anxiety. Usually, squishies are more likely to ease the sense of loneliness and emptiness in a touch-deprived era.

But on the lighter note, squishies help with anxiety as it provides children with an external focus and interest on things with shape, texture, color, and sounds. It draws attention that helps take away a huge portion of children’s stress and anxiety to go back to a relaxed state easily.

 What are good things to fidget with? 

Some of the things you can fidget with are bumpy shells, sponges, pencil grips, unfilled balloons, silly putty, and play dough. You can also use bull or alligator clips, chair rubber bands, kneaded erasers, origami packing away toys, and sand-filled stress balls.

What are the best fidget toys for anxiety?

Some of the best fidget toys for anxiety that your children might enjoy are Toysmith Deluxe Sand Garden, SPOLEY Desk Sculpture, COFFLED Newton’s Cradle, Coogan Mini Rubik’s Cube, JOEYANK Infinity Cube, Möbii Fidget Ball, Tom’s Fidgets Flippy Chain, and Toysmith Euler’s Disk.

 Do fidget toys help with ADHD? 

Fidgets are commonly known as specific toys for kids with ADHD. However, these toys are can also be useful for those children with sensory disorders or those on the autism spectrum. But the hat is not all. Fidgets are also a stress reliever that many adults and people without disabilities often use. That is because it helps with focus, concentration, and learning.

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 Why do ADHD patients fidget? 

Patients with ADHD fidget their hands or use fidgeting toys to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine levels. The specially-designed toys play a key role in sharpening focus, increasing attention, and increase interest and challenge.

 Is fidgeting a sign of ADHD? 

Hyper-activeness combined may produce the following behaviors: excessive talking, interrupting others often, experiencing difficulty with quiet activities, and squirming and fidgeting. Though that does not entirely cause many problems, some people find it unbearable and hard to control.

Apparently, fidgeting is what most children with ADHD do to maintain attention and do better with their tasks.

 How a person with ADHD thinks? 

Usually, people with ADHD often believe that they are undependable. That explains why they often doubt their talents and abilities. They see themselves as incapable of providing help to others since they think they can’t help themselves. Sadly, they feel the shame of being unreliable.

Sometimes, they tend to be chaotic and out of control. The kids often seem careless, selfish, and impulsive. They always experience an overwhelming feeling that hinders them from expressing themselves, needing someone, and taking care of their health.

 Is fidgeting a sign of anxiety? 

Some behavioral manifestation of anxiety includes irritability. In physical aspects, it shows symptoms such as trembling and shaking. On the other hand, fidgeting may be more obvious to observe since it can also mean something unrelated to anxiety, particularly boredom. However, often, fidgeting is a behavior that helps lower levels of stress hormones and prepares muscles for a sudden exertion.

 Is ADHD a form of anxiety? 

The symptoms of mild to severe cases of anxiety are slightly different from those of ADHD. That is because ADHD symptoms primarily involve issues with hyperactivity, concentration, and focus. Anxiety symptoms, on the other hand, have a lot to do with unwarranted fear and nervousness. But it is also necessary to realize that even though each mental health condition has unique symptoms, sometimes both of them mirror each other.

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Takeaway

Fidgeting is part of human nature. Even before a couple of years back then, it was seen as an implication of boredom. At some point, the behavior is not generally related to ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or any mental health conditions. In fact, science already considers it as a way to keep the brain focused and active. When the brain is stressed, people do not pay attention to things resulting in less learning. That explains the cognitive load theory, where the brain tends to shut down when there is too much going on in it. If you think your children’s fidgeting might have been related to mental health issues, it would be best to consult a medical expert as soon as possible. Never assume things and always rely on professional diagnosis to help your kids.

 

 

Top Online Games Good For The Mental Health Of Children With ADHD

Admit or not, many parents get pissed when their kid glues to a video game for hours. However, you don’t have to fret anymore. With the help of the top online games good for their mental health, you can now maximize this time for your child with ADHD. Read the list below for the best ones. 

Captain’s LogAhoy! 

Do you want your kid to be a captain of his own? This game will enable their distractions and impulses to take over their lives. Through this game, it can help them better manage these impulses. 

Are you aware that therapists maximized Captain’s LogAhoy! to guide children with ADHD to overcome their behavioral challenges since 1985? What’s good about this app is it’s pretty accessible. It’s downloadable in 50 states in the USA as well as in other 50 countries. 

Basically, this online game is a computerized mental game. They work with whatever medium, whether it is a keyboard, mouse, game controller, or joystick. So, how does this work?

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All your child has to do is to come up with the activity that answers his basic needs. You may explore the options of addressing the control in impulsive tendencies and improving the attention span.

There will be several specific games that will pop on the screen, and it is your job as the user to choose the best game that will satisfy your child’s needs. Keep in mind that the games here are designed for those with ADHD through cognitive challenges. 

Some games available include a memory game that requires the user to match the cards based on its facing. It gives extra difficulty since your child won’t be able to advance to the next level without finishing the previous one.  

Amazing Alex

Amazing Alex has gameplay, which incorporates the concept of physics into the challenges. The game prompts the users to maximize the objects they can find in a particular room (e.g., pencils, balls, bookshelves, etc.) to innovate a chain reaction.

The chain reaction per level has a different goal. It may be to send a ball to the other side or close the door without having to walk over there. 

This activity is perfect for those with ADHD. For one, it gives them a mental boost since they have to think critically to achieve the desired domino effect. However, this cause must be supported by planning skills, awareness, and organization – primary skills that most individuals with ADHD struggle with. 

SmartDriver 3

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Most people with ADHD find it challenging to drive a car. Aside from that, it’s also dangerous for them to control one given the inattentive and impulsive behavior. It is why parents need to train their kids at a young age to address focus and concentration. SmartDriver 3 is a helpful tool in doing this. 

So, how does the game work? Primarily, there will be a USB steering wheel and pedal that you must plug into your gaming computer. This game is an effective practice since they get to drive in a pretend environment. 

Keep in mind that this activity is not a driving simulator. Instead of driving the car from the inside perspective, they will do this outside of the vehicle.

Part of the mechanics of the game includes the need to follow the rules of the road. For instance, they have to be aware of the traffic lights, heed speed limits, and follow the road signs around them. 

Tap Tap Revenge Tour

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Memory skills are an excellent aspect for a parent with ADHD to explore. It is a challenging area for them since kids with ADHD respond instantly and too readily to an outside stimulus. Therefore, committing and retaining material in their memories may be hard for them. Tap Tap Revenge Tour is an activity that will help develop this skill. 

In the game, the users should follow visual cues on their screens. They have to tap these in sync with the beats of their chosen songs. Keep in mind that there are also tapping patterns that they have to follow. Therefore, the kids have to internalize fully to keep up with the requirements of the game. 

This game is not only useful in terms of addressing memory skills, but it’s also an effective way to improve motor skills. It also enhances an individual’s focus and concentration on a singular task. 

Gardens Of Time

Gardens of Time is a puzzle Facebook adventure where the users must time travel to the past to restore order in the present. The way to do this is to navigate several different worlds while looking for necessary items hidden there.

They must look for one object at a time. Players must also ensure that they won’t lose focus as they explore the various locations they are in. 

As mentioned, most children with ADHD struggle with focus and concentration, which is the game’s goal. The producers aim for their users to develop these abilities, which they can use in their everyday lives.

Aside from this, the game also promotes problem-solving skills. At each level, they encounter new puzzles and different game goals to achieve. 

There are various ways to address the shortcomings of a person with ADHD. However, one exciting way to do it for children is to gamify everything so you can pique their interest. It would be more effective for them if their hearts and minds are into what they are doing. 

 

Fun Indoor Family Activities For Children With ADHD

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Children with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have qualities that make it difficult for them to concentrate. As a result, it becomes challenging for them to participate in activities that require focus and following directions.

The key is to come up with an action that will not trigger their symptoms. With that said, parents have to make an effort to tailor family activities to their children.

Depending on the ADHD type your child has, it’s crucial to provide a suitable extracurricular. For instance, a hyperactive or impulsive child may find it hard to handle activities that involve a lot of waiting time. On the other hand, for an inattentive child, chaotic team activities and indoor sports may come off overwhelming.

With that, here are some ideas for fun indoor family activities that you can introduce to children with ADHD:

Aerobic Activities

Physical exercise and burning off energy can improve the mental focus of children with ADHD. One of the best activities for this is aerobic exercise. What it does is to boost the executive function of the brain, which then improves mental concentration. 

Dancing is a great and fun aerobic exercise for the whole family. Not only is it an enjoyable family bonding activity, but it helps you burn excess energy. If an hour or so of a dancing period is too much to handle, you break it into short sessions throughout the day.

Karaoke And Musical Instruments

Aside from dancing, singing also offers a lot of benefits for children with ADHD. During your karaoke session, you can let them choose the list of the songs they want to sing. It boosts focus and concentration while enhancing the cognitive development of younger children.

Meanwhile, playing instruments, such as guitar, piano, drums, and other instruments, fosters confidence and enhances focus. Many research suggests that music can lessen the impulsiveness symptom of children with ADHD.

Storytelling

Storytelling is an excellent way to help your child broaden their perspective about the world. Sharing stories boosts the imagination and focus of children with ADHD. It would allow them to understand characters better and their actions.

Also, It would also enable them to come up with unique plots when it’s their turn to share a story. Afterward, you can discuss the scenarios you shared and the motive behind the actions of the characters.

Board Games

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Board games remain to be one of the best family indoor activities for children with ADHD. The rules are typically simple and easy to understand for all ages.

It’s ideal for impulsive children and those with short attention spans as they can learn how to take turns. It also allows them to strategize by themselves, which enhances their cognitive and problem-solving skills.

Twister

Another excellent physical activity to get the whole family moving is the classic Twister game. For children with ADHD, it can boost their motor skills and practice their social skills. It’s also a fun way to burn excess energy while enhancing concentration and flexibility.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt and treasure hunt activities are great for keeping ADHD children’s body and brain working. What you will do is hide things around the house and come up with a list and give it to them.

As much as possible, make sure to come up with a quest that matches the age and abilities of your child. If you have small kids at home, make sure to supervise them. 

Jump Rope And Hula Hoop

If your home has a big space for these activities, these can be a strong candidate for you. You can come up with competitions among the family on who can do the most jump for jumping rope.

For hula hooping, it can be who lasts the longest in making the motion. Or you can also set up obstacle courses around the house that they need to tackle.

Jump rope and hula hoop is a great core workout for the whole family. Moreover, the entire family can participate in it. It doesn’t only burn off energy, but it also enhances coordination.

Art Projects

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Art therapy encourages a child to work on structured art projects. It helps them build essential skills and be creative. It is also straightforward since you only need arts and crafts materials, which you can quickly get at stationery stores. Or you can head towards the DIY path and get extra creative with the projects you will be doing.  

Creative activities encourage children with ADHD  to express their emotions and imagination. They can also learn problem-solving skills and develop mental flexibility.

You can do this together as a family during the weekends or after school. It’s essential to create a motivating and encouraging environment that fosters positive social interactions.

It’s important to know that in art therapy, the benefits emerge from the process and not the final output. So you have to make sure that you’re focusing on your child’s effort throughout. Try to create a workspace that is not distracting as for them not to lose their focus while doing the activity.

Bubble Wrap

People of all ages love bubble wraps, and it can rouse all sorts of indoor family activities. You can use it as an art material for bubble print paintings. Or use it as a learning tool for young children by writing letters or numbers on each bubble. Or you can pass the time together while popping bubble wraps and having fun.

Incorporate Fun Activities In Your Routine

Providing children with ADHD a space to learn and have fun at the same time is very important. Especially now that we are spending more time at home, the situation can be a massive struggle for kids with ADHD.

However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t pick up these fun indoor activities together with the family. As much as possible, be consistent with incorporating it into your daily or weekly routine. Of course, have fun!

 

Keeping ADHD Kids Busy During The Quarantine

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Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be suffering more than their non-disabled peers because of the quarantine. They can no longer go to public parks or play with their friends. The schools have also started letting the students get homeschooled. In other words, they may have a lot of pent-up energy to expel.

Since going out is not possible at the moment, you can keep the hyperactive youngsters busy with the following tips:

Decide On DIY Activities Daily

The first thing that parents should try is making a schedule of DIY activities with your ADHD kids. For instance, on the first day, you can make a sun jar. If they still have plenty of energy after that, you may build shelves or design shirts together.

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It is acceptable to plan as many projects as your children can handle. In truth, the more ideas you have, the more occupied they will be. But be sure that they are part of the decision-making process so that their interest won’t wane in the middle of the project.

Teach Kids How To Cook

In case everyone in the family loves food, your kids may enjoy learning how to cook. After all, they are naturally curious beings. The little ones may ask questions about what they eat, especially if the dish is new in their eyes.

You will be hitting two birds with one stone by doing so because cooking can keep youngsters with ADHD busy. You can get them kid-friendly tools and get their help for cutting fruits, washing vegetables, or picking the ingredients in the pantry. This activity may be able to hold their attention for at least an hour.

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Get A Pet

Have you heard about animal shelters being empty for the first time in forever not too long ago? It’s all because people keep on adopting the dogs under their care. Some have done that because they don’t want to be lonely while quarantined; others have kids who need a new best friend to keep them busy.

If your ADHD child has been asking for a pet for years, now may be the most convenient time to give them one. Then, you may tell them to feed and play with the animal all day long. This way, when the evening comes, all the kid can do is eat their supper and go to bed.

Start A Family Indoor Tournament

Considering no one in the family likes to back down from a challenge, you may start an at-home tournament. Say, each team can consist of boys or girls or a mix of both. After that, the teams need to come up with several games that you will all play.

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What’s fantastic about this activity is that the planning aspect can already take hours. You have to gather the game paraphernalia and prepare the room where the tournament will take place. When everything is ready, your kids will undoubtedly forget thinking about going out.

Plan A Dance Party

If all else fails, you can start a dance party with the kids. As you know, dancing requires everyone to move nonstop and feel the music. Trying it will allow your children to burn their energy effortlessly. Thus, they may not bother you to let them do something else for a while.

Final Thoughts

There is no question about the lengths that you go through to see your children happy, whether they have ADHD or not. However, we get that you may have to put in more effort than usual when you take care of hyperactive kids. Give a shot to any or all of the above ideas so that you can schedule your coming weeks better.

Good luck!