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  • Writer's pictureJill Kolstad, M.Ed.

Understanding the Role of Anxiety in Children with ADHD

Anxiety in children with ADHD sometimes rears its head in angry, oppositional outbursts. Kids who feel ashamed or disadvantaged sometimes lash out — and push away the people who can help them the most. Here is an important reminder to parents about the interplay between ADHD and anxiety, and the ways in which better understanding can unlock healing.

The overlap between ADHD and anxiety is well established. According to one study1, a quarter of children and teens with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. This information is not new. Therapists, parents, and educators know this comorbidity exists, yet few truly understand what it means, how it manifests, and how to respond when it does.

The truth is, we’re quick to diagnose kids with ADHD without properly acknowledging the emotional experience of the condition. I wish I had understood earlier in my career as a therapist that anger and opposition can be a cover for shame and the fear of not measuring up. Sadly, kids who exhibit these behaviors push away the people from whom they most need support. Understanding the interplay between ADHD and anxiety allows parents, educators, and therapists to view children more fully and better meet their unique needs.

Can ADHD Look Like Anxiety? And Vice Versa?...FULL ARTICLE

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