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Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that primarily affects behavioral inhibition, attention, resistance to distraction, and self-regulation. One of the major challenges of ADHD is the very high comorbidity rates of anxiety, depression, and externalizing problem behavior. Children with ADHD have difficulty stopping and thinking before acting. They often are described as being excessively fidgety, restless, and "on the go." When engaging in activities, they may show poor sustained attention or persistence. This is most obvious when children are assigned tedious, protracted, or repetitive activities. Although these are the most common areas of difficulties, research also indicates that at times it may also impact other areas of psychological functioning, including regulation of emotions. Children with ADHD oftentimes have more difficulty managing their emotional reactions to situations. They are more likely to publicly show their emotions and consequently are often perceived as less emotionally mature and more reactive.

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The primary treatment for ADHD involves a combination of medication management and behavioral modification training for the child, parents, and teachers. This typically includes prescribing psychostimulants like methylphenidate (Ritalin) or d-amphetamine (Adderall). In some cases, a tricyclic antidepressant such as desipramine may also be prescribed to address ADHD along with other co-existing symptoms like depression or anxiety. Behavioral modification techniques have been shown to enhance improvements in children with ADHD and assist in managing concurrent conditions. The clinicians at The Anxiety Center are experts in behavioral treatments for ADHD, executive functioning coaching, and cognitive behavioral therapy for co-occurring conditions. If you suspect your child has ADHD, we can conduct a comprehensive evaluation, collaborate with school personnel to ensure adequate support, and provide effective treatment.

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