In this video, Dr. Jim, ADHD specialist and founder of FastBraiin, answers the question many parents are asking, “What should I do if my ADHD child has anxiety?” The following is a basic transcript…
Anxiety in kids with ADHD is really, really, prominent. I’ll bet I have treated more boys and girls in middle school and high school with anxiety in the last 3 or 4 years than I have in all my years combined.
Anxiety comes from the worry of things that are going to happen to you or worry about thinking about things that might happen to you. Why is that? For the ADHD individual, many times it’s because they’re not getting their work done and they’re not meeting expectations. The boys, especially in high school, are seeing their friends making good grades and looking at going off to college. They’re not. Their expectations and that of their parents are that they should be going to college and instead they’re not making the grades. What happens? Anxiety happens. Self-esteem starts taking a hit.
We have anxiety scales. Every adolescent that comes in our office has to fill out one.
We treat anxiety and we take anxiety very, very, seriously. But, anxiety is not something that just needs a pill. Anxiety needs a whole system of interaction. What’s causing it and what are the reasons behind it and then how do we fix it? I’m into how do we fix it.
If I’m anxious when playing basketball, and when I’m on the free throw line shooting the ball I’m too anxious to make it happen, what do I need to do? I really need to practice a lot. If I’m anxious about taking a test, what do I need to do? I need to practice taking tests. Why don’t we treat studying and learning like we do sports?
What do I need to do if I’m worried I won’t retain a lot of information? You will need to practice 4, 5, or 6 days ahead of time, going over all your stuff. Our belief is that you go over everything in the last 4 days all the time, and with speed and repetition, and then that anxiety will start to go away.
Anxiety can be very real and can be very debilitating. Make sure you go to a health provider that truly understands how serious it is and what can be done about it. It may many times need medication, but it certainly demands that certain changes need to be made in one’s life.