Controlling Anxiety

Q:

"I become very anxious as my long-acting stimulant wears off. Should I be taking a higher dose? What do you think is going on here?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
A:

The anxiety might be a rebound effect, which sometimes happens as medication wears off, or it might be your reaction to the return of your symptoms (especially if it wears off during class, work, or at another inconvenient time).

You may want to discuss a dose increase with your doctor. See if this lasts longer and doesn't cause anxiety. One other caution: If you have an anxiety disorder [see "When AD/HD Is Only Part of the Story"], the stimulant could be exacerbating this. If so, this condition must be treated in addition to AD/HD.

Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
 
 
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