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.

 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Around one in every five people is going through a psychological problem.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

cognitive behavior
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The most common mental illnesses today include ADHD, anxiety, and depression. These are medical conditions that diminish an individual’s psychological functions, which affect their daily lives. 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is common among children. It normally manifests as an above-average level of hyperactivity and brings about impulsive behaviors. Children with ADHD have a much harder time focusing on a single task. If it persists, it can, later on, affect school performance and relationships.

But thanks to medical science and technology, mental health care and treatment have immensely improved over the years. Many victims and sufferers can now function normally, live their lives more freely, and cope with daily stress.

Among the many measures in treating mental disorders, psychotherapy has played a significant role in improving people’s state of mind.

Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for different types of psychological therapies. These therapies include the guidance and advice of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental healthcare providers.

Also called talk therapy, people learn to “talk” with their chosen physician in psychotherapy. As they open up to their psychiatrist, it helps them understand their feelings and thoughts better.

In the early days, psychotherapies’ methods come in two categories: cognitive and behavioral. Cognitive focused more on an individual’s memories, decision-making, and ability to respond to situations or things. On the other hand, behavioral aims to understand behavior and the consequences that come with it. 

Now, there is a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is an abbreviation for cognitive-behavioral therapy. Basically, it is a blend of the two methods in the past. A short-term psychological treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy looks at an individual’s cognitions, emotions, and behavioral patterns and the connection between these three.

For more information about Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, read our FAQs below:

How do I find a CBT therapist?

You can find a cognitive-behavioral therapist by asking for recommendations from people you trust, like your friends and family. It would also help to ask for a referral from your physician. You can also try calling your local community clinic for mental health and ask for a cognitive behavior therapist.

How much does CBT cost?

It typically costs $100 or more for one CBT session, which means you have to shell out $1,200 for 12 sessions. Ask your insurance provider if therapy is covered under your policy. But you can also consider federal-funded health centers that offer CBT on a pay-what-you-can basis.

How long does it take for CBT to work?

Like all therapy methods, CBT’s success largely depends on your willingness to commit to the treatment process. A typical CBT treatment spans 12-20 weekly sessions lasting about 30-60 minutes each.

If you want quick results, you may consider intensive CBT, which compresses those appointments into a week-long or even a one-day session.

What does CBT involve?

As a talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy involves several discussions with your therapist to help you respond to a problem that may appear overwhelming at the onset. Your therapist will start by helping you analyze the thoughts and feelings behind your behaviors.

The therapist will also guide you to form healthier coping mechanisms that you are expected to practice daily. You may also be asked to complete assignments so that you maintain the habit even after treatment.

Can I do CBT on my own?

For individuals with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, it may be possible to do self-CBT. If barriers prevent you from working with a therapist, you can try journaling to break down your thoughts and emotions into identifiable components.

From then, you may be able to recognize and reframe cognitive distortions. You can also enroll in online courses complete with worksheets for a more structured CBT experience.

What is an example of CBT?

Cognitive restructuring is one CBT technique that can equip just about anyone with the skills to respond to a stressful situation. If you experience overwhelming negative feelings, a CBT therapist may advise you to take a step back, analyze your mood, and recognize the thoughts that automatically cross your mind before making a snap judgment.

You may then look for evidence to support or challenge those thoughts until you’ve calmed down enough to assess the situation from a clearer headspace.

cognitive behavioral therapy patient
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What is CBT for anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is particularly useful in treating anxiety. It helps stop a negative thought loop by breaking a problem into distinct components (thoughts, emotions, actions) to make it seem more manageable. Your therapist will help you identify and replace cognitive distortions with more compassionate ways of thinking.

Over time, these positive affirmations will hopefully improve how you feel and inform the way you act.

Can CB Therapy make anxiety worse?

Some patients may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable during a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy session due to the heavy introspection and reflection. In some cases, you might feel frustration or anger, but that’s often part of the treatment process. As the saying goes, it usually gets worse before it gets better.

Are therapists worth it?

There are some thoughts or beliefs that we pick up through life, not knowing that they may not be useful anymore, and a therapist has the clinical expertise to bring those to the surface. You don’t need to have anxiety or depression to consider therapy. CBT is useful for individuals who are seeking healthier ways to respond to life’s problems.

What is the success rate of CB Therapy?

According to a study, CBT is 50-75% effective in helping individuals with depression and anxiety provided they commit to 5-15 sessions. Although it can help treat a wide range of mental disorders, CBT is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include medications.

Does CB Therapy really work?

Research shows that CBT can work as well as or even slightly better than antidepressants in treating patients with depression and anxiety. However, it’s not for everyone, nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution. As mentioned, the treatment’s success depends on your commitment to change, and change often takes time.

What is the difference between cognitive therapy and CBT?

By treading the line between cognitive and behavioral therapy, CBT analyzes the interaction between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. CBT proponents would argue that cognitive distortions may result in not just emotional consequences but also self-destructive behaviors.

cognitive behavioral therapy
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Cognitive and behavioral methods have given way to the most prevalent psychological treatment approach—cognitive-behavioral therapy. There have been countless studies on CBT’s effectiveness regarding a variety of psychological disorders, including ADHD.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helped many individuals address emotional and behavioral challenges brought upon by their mental illnesses. The therapy’s different attributes include problem-solving, coping mechanisms, and self-control, among many others.

CBT identifies and alters every maladaptive thought and negative emotion. People start developing a better sense of themselves and their environment.

Psychiatrists and psychologists recommend a minimum of 12 weeks or 12 sessions in CB therapy. Each session lasts about an hour or two. It is a relatively short treatment approach in comparison with other psychotherapy types.

But the length of the process still depends on the patient’s case. Some commit to it in a shorter amount of time, while others take longer, even up to 20 weeks. 

Despite the impressive help of CBT in the field of mental health, it is without any risk. As many doctors and medical researchers have said, psychotherapy is not harmless.

It comes with side effects, disadvantages, and risks like any other treatment. For CBT, there were signs of relapse, commitment issues, and emotional distraught during sessions.

Nonetheless, CB Therapy has brought many patients a tremendous positive impact on their lives. If you have been struggling with a mental disorder, you may want to talk to the nearest therapy in your area regarding CBT’s influence.