Treating Anxiety in ADHD: the Essential Guide for Rebalancing the Anxious and Hyperactive Brain
The eyes are fixed on vacancy, the sounds of the world melt in to confused unity, the attention is dispersed… and the fore-ground of consciousness is filled, if by anything, by… surrender to the empty passing of time. In the dim background of our mind we know meanwhile what we ought to be doing, dressing ourselves, answering the person who has spoken to us, trying to make the next step in our reasoning. But somehow we cannot start.
—William James (1890)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that is on the increase in civilised societies today. The strain of maintaining focus and the struggle to sit still makes this condition a real challenge, not only to the person who has it, but also to parents, carers and teachers as well as employers, friends and other family members.
Anxious ADHD is a type of ADHD that has all the symptoms of the classic ADHD (inattentive, disorganised, distractible, restless, hyperactive and impulsive) in conjunction with many other symptoms of high anxiety (tension, nervousness and predicting the worst) and other physical stress symptoms such as gastrointestinal symptoms and headaches. This type of ADHD may or may not be hyperactive.
Ironically, the harder those with ADHD and anxious ADHD try to concentrate, the worst things can become. This is because as the person tries to focus, the regions of the brain involved with concentration, focus and followthrough (the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum) actually shut down, instead of turn on.
The good news is that ADHD and its anxious symptoms can be effectively treated. Happily, effective treatment does not change the personality of the person with ADHD; it simply removes the barriers that are hindering them from accessing their unique talents and abilities.
Treating Anxious ADHD at a Glimpse
The term ‘ADHD’ has become synonymous with a teacher’s nightmare, conjuring up a picture of a fidgety and disruptive child who struggles to concentrate in the classroom.
For those living with the condition, however, as well as for those parents and carers of children with ADHD, it is clear that there is much more to it than that!
This course is designed to empower all those who live with the condition and support those who treat it or are impacted by it.
The learning outcomes include:
- an in-depth understanding of ADHD and anxious ADHD
- how the anxious ADHD brain processes thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- knowledge of the three brain regions implicated in anxious ADHD
- how to rebalance the anxious brain through personalised guided imagery
- recommended interventions for healing anxious ADHD
My Motivation for Writing This Book...
In the last two and a half years, I have met and spoken to over 13,000 people in a variety of conference and workshop settings, including for educational institutions, non-for-profit groups, private organisations and the general public.
Meeting with attendees from all walks of life have led me to realise how common and widespread ADHD and anxious ADHD is today. My own research on the subject has also given me many reasons to believe that much can be done to help bring more understanding to people with ADHD, as well as their parents and caregivers. Indeed, not only understanding, but effective treatment to help manage the condition.
You are the inspiration for this book. Among the insights into the condition, you will find ideas and recommendations from some of the top experts in the field who are helping others transform ADHD with anxiety.
My hope is that you find the contents of this book both helpful and life changing.
Table of Contents
- Acknowledgements 6
Chapter 1: Quick Start: Key facts at a glimpse
What is ADHD? 9
What Is the Difference Between ADHD and ADD? 10
What Are the Causes of and Contributors to ADHD? 10
Core Symptoms of ADHD 10
ADHD and the ‘Executive Function’ 11
Day to Day Symptoms of ADHD 12
Beneficial Attributes of ADHD 14
Other Conditions that May Accompany ADHD 15
How Does ADHD Get Diagnosed? 17
Is It Possible to Outgrow ADHD? 19
Chapter 2: ADHD and Your Brain
The Neurones 20
Neural Networks 21
Chemical Neurotransmitters 22
The Three Levels of the Brain 22
Chapter 3: The Three Brain Regions Largely Implicated in Anxious ADHD
The Prefrontal Cortex 28
Problems in the Prefrontal Cortex 31
The Prefrontal Cortex Rating Scale 32
Optimising Your Prefrontal Cortex Functions 33
The Basal Ganglia 35
Functions of the Basal Ganglia 36
Problems with the Basal Ganglia 37
The Basal Ganglia Checklist 37
Optimising Your Basal Ganglia Functions 38
The Cerebellum 40
Symptoms of the Cerebellar Issues 41
Optimising the Cerebellum 41
Chapter 4: Classic ADHD
Common Symptoms of Classic ADHD 42
Classic ADHD and Self-Medication 43
Common Subconscious Tricks Played by Individuals with classic ADHD 44
Chapter 5: Anxious ADHD
Symptoms of Anxious ADHD 47
Treating Anxious ADHD 48
16 Recommended Interventions for Healing Anxious ADHD 48
Chapter 6: Recommended Interventions for Healing Anxious ADHD
Dietary Interventions 52
Regular Aerobic Exercise 56
Optimise the Gut-Brain Axis 57
Neurofeedback Training 59
Work Out the Brain Regularly 61
Counselling and Psychotherapy 63
Transform Automatic Negative Thoughts 64
Count Your blessings, Not Your Burden 67
Daily Relaxation Exercise 70
Guided Imagery Relaxation Script 71
Chapter 7: Tips for Helping a Child with Anxious ADHD 76
Chapter 8: Tips for Going to Bed and Getting Up 80
Other Resources 83
I am also an Anxiety UK approved therapist providing therapeutic support to the charity’s members and partner beneficiaries. I am subject to Anxiety UK’s regular monitoring of my professional qualifications, supervision, continual professional development, insurance and professional body membership in addition to complying with the ethical framework and professional standards set down by my registered governing body.
Full details of the Anxiety UK approved therapist scheme can be found here - www.anxietyuk.org.uk/getinvolved/therapists-at-anxiety-uk Details about becoming a member of Anxiety UK to be able to access therapy via the charity can be found here www.anxietyuk.org.uk/membership