Overview of ADHD, Anxiety and Other Mental Disorders in Children

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Millions of school age children worldwide suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD or ADD.  This disorder normally appears in young children before the age of eight.

Children with ADHD have problems sitting still and paying attention to something for lengthy amounts of time and are unable to manage or control the way they conduct themselves.  All children have times where they cannot pay attention, sit still or be attentive and often act without thinking or fantasize for something to do but these are very normal behaviours.  It is when a child’s impulsiveness, poor concentration, inattentiveness or hyperactivity begins to have a negative affect on their behaviour at home, their performance and behaviour in school, or their relationship with family members and other children that they may consider ADHD the cause of these problems.

Unfortunately, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is difficult to diagnose because symptoms differ from one child to another, particularly when the main symptom is lack of attentiveness.  Diagnosis is also difficult because a very large percentage of ADHD children frequently have other coexisting conditions, which include Oppositional Defiant Disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, mood disorders and Conduct Disorder.  When it comes to ADHD, anxiety often goes along with this disorder.

Studies show that approximately one quarter of all ADHD children also have some form of anxiety disorder, while others may develop vocal or motor ticks such as repeated sounds or movements; Tourette’s syndrome; or obsessive-compulsive disorder.  ADHD alone can be extremely difficult for children and their families to deal with but when complicated by other mental disorders, can make it almost overwhelming and multiply the hardships.

When a child has ADHD, other coexisting mental disorders can be either more or less severe and at times patients already diagnosed with anxiety disorder or other disorders find out later that they have ADHD.  A patient with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can have anxiety or any other mental disorder along with this condition because ADHD does not prevent them from getting other syndromes.

Seek professional guidance if you believe your child may have ADHD, anxiety or other mental disorders.  Along with common ADHD coexisting conditions, there are many lesser-known ones.  It is important for parent to make themselves as knowledgeable about these disorders as possible.  The good news is that with medications and behavioural therapy, doctors can treat children with ADHD and anxiety disorders successfully.

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