"Behaviors Are Messages; They Are Not Diagnoses"

Why your child's inattentive or hyperactive symptoms may actually be symptoms of anxiety. Or why her worry and trouble sleeping may point to ADHD. And how to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

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A Diagnosis Wrinkle

Parents need to understand that the diagnostic process can be further complicated during the treatment phase. It was for 10-year-old Robert.

He was diagnosed with ADHD and was put on a stimulant. Two days later, his mother called, saying that her son had become anxious. He would not sleep alone, and he would call his mother from school to make sure she was OK. I took him off the medication, and his anxiety disappeared.

While some children with ADHD may also have an anxiety disorder or another comorbid condition, sometimes the disorder is so minimal that there are no symptoms. We call this subclinical. Taking a stimulant, however, may exacerbate a low-level condition. When this happens, it is important to deal with the anxiety disorder first. Once that is treated, it is generally safe to reintroduce the stimulant without causing a flare-up of anxiety.

More About Conditions Related to ADD/ADHD

Is It Asperger's Syndrome or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Autism or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Bipolar Disorder or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Depression or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Executive Function Disorder (EFD) or ADD/ADHD?
Is It a Learning Disability or Inattentive ADD/ADHD?
Is It Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or ADD/ADHD?
Is It Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or ADD/ADHD?


It's Not ADHD: 3 Common Diagnosis Mistakes
How to avoid the mistakes that lead doctors to make an incorrect diagnosis. Download now!

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TAGS: ADHD and Anxiety, Stress, Comorbid Conditions with ADD, Depression

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