Depression and ADHD

Depression and ADHD

Young people with ADHD experience repeated academic and social failures that may put them at risk for depression. Struggling with both academic issues and depression may cause a child to engage in negative self-talk, such as claiming that he or she is stupid. It is important to be familiar with the symptoms of depression in children with ADHD because depression carries the risk of self-harm. If 3-5 of the following symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, or if your child’s mood ever becomes concerning, seek help from a professional.

Children with ADHD and depression may:

  • Feel guilty for no reason
  • Feel sad and/or cry often
  • Feel low self-esteem
  • Feel as though life is meaningless or that the future is negative
  • Withdraw from previously enjoyed things, such as sports, music, etc.
  • Have trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Overreact and become easily irritated
  • Experience changes in sleep patterns, including sleeping more or less than usual or having trouble falling asleep
  • Have a gain or loss of appetite
  • Feel restless or tired most of the time
  • Have thoughts of death or suicide

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Bernstein, J. (2007). 10 days to a less distracted child. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Photo retrieved from: http://becuo.com/animated-rain-clouds

 

Restless Leg Syndrome and ADHD

Restless Leg Syndrome and ADHD

Traditionally, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is considered to be a problem among middle aged and older adults. However, children can also experience RLS. Children may report symptoms of RLS less commonly than adults due to their inability to describe the RLS sensations or due to a possible different set of symptoms associated with childhood RLS.

**A surprising 44% of people with ADHD have RLS symptoms, and 26% of people with RLS have symptoms of ADHD.

There may be a common comorbidity, or co-occurrence, of RLS and ADHD. It is possible that symptoms of RLS may mimic ADHD symptoms or vice versa; however, research does not support this claim as RLS does not have symptoms of inattentiveness as in ADHD and leg discomfort is not characteristic of ADHD.

One hypothesis to explain this co-occurrence of ADHD and RLS is due to the lack of sleep that RLS causes. Odd sensations in the legs understandably cause lack of sleep. In the hyperarousal theory of ADHD, children with ADHD are sleepier than other children and use hyperactivity as a strategy to stay awake during the day. In other words, RLS may cause daytime sleepiness, which may lead to hyperactivity.

Another hypothesis suggests that children with RLS cannot sit still in class due to their leg discomfort. This increases the likelihood of the children with RLS getting out of their seats and squirming, as commonly seen in ADHD.

Other researchers believe that both RLS and ADHD are associated with a deficit in dopamine, an important neurotransmitter, or an iron deficiency. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between RLS and ADHD.

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Cortese, S., Konofal, E., & Lecendreux, M. (2008). The relationship between attention-deficit- hyperactivity-disorder and restless legs syndrome. European Neurological Review, 3(1), 111-114. doi:10.17925/ENR.2008.03.01.111
Image retrieved from: http://www.md-health.com/Restless-Leg-Syndrome.html

 

Dogs to Help Children With ADHD

Dogs to Help Children With ADHD

When animals are involved in therapy, children may experience increased emotion and attention that allows them to participate more fully in the therapy process. Having the opportunity to interact with a fun dog can increase a child’s compliance to therapy, improve the child’s relationship to the therapist, and help to maintain motivation. Compliance, a therapeutic relationship, and motivation are often noted as key elements of successful therapy.

Dogs have been recognized in the therapeutic process for many other disorders in order to facilitate social learning and empathy. Since children with ADHD may struggle with social cues, including dogs in therapy may be beneficial. In fact, recent research discovered that one group of children with ADHD who used trained therapy dogs in their therapy experienced greater reduction in their ADHD symptoms than those children who did not have dogs in therapy. The dogs in this study were noted to serve as prompts for the children to pay attention and stay in the present moment. Remaining in the present moment improves performance on tasks and trains attention skills. It may just be that animals reduce stress for many people, allowing children to be more relaxed and, therefore, mentally prepared for therapy.

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Schuck, S., Emmerson, N., Fine, A., & Lakes, K. (2013). Canine-assisted therapy for children with ADHD: Preliminary findings from the positive assertive cooperative kids study. Journal of Attention Disorders, 20(10), 1-13. doi: 10.1177/1087054713502080
Picture retrieved from: http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2014/07/31/pet-therapy-for-kids/

 

 

ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is commonly comorbid, or simultaneously occurring with ADHD. ODD is a problem that first becomes noticeable in the preschool years or during early adolescence. The following information discusses the symptoms and criteria needed for a diagnosis of ODD. Please remember that not all people with ADHD have ODD and vice versa; however, the two commonly occur together.

Of the following list of symptoms, at least 4 must be present for at least 6 months to be diagnosed with ODD. The behaviors must also occur with at least one person who is not a sibling. For children under the age of 5, the behaviors should occur on most days for at least 6 months. For those over 5, the behaviors should occur at least once per week for at least 6 months in order to be diagnosed with ODD. These symptoms must cause distress to oneself or others in close social contact with the person, or it must negatively impact areas of functioning such as school, work, or social situations.

Symptoms:

  1. Loses temper often.
  2. Easily annoyed or often touchy
  3. Frequently angry or resentful
  4. Often argues with figures of authority, such as adults
  5. Actively defies authority figures and/or rules
  6. Annoys others on purpose
  7. Blames others for his or her misbehavior or mistakes.
  8. Has been spiteful or vindictive 2 times within the past 6 months.
  • If symptoms occur only in one setting (school, home, work, social environment) ODD may be categorized as mild.
  • If symptoms occur in 2 settings, ODD may be moderate.
  • If symptoms occur in 3 or more settings, ODD may be considered severe.

If you believe that you or a loved one may be struggling with ADHD and/or ODD, please contact Dr. Gordon today!

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5.

 

ADHD diagnosis

7 Parent Self-Help Tips

  1. Delay your responses. Sometimes in the moment of stressful events, we can respond to problems impulsively. It is okay to take a few moments to calm down and think of a way to address your child’s behavior. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I’ll discuss this with you in a few minutes.”
  2. Try meditating! Learning to relax using mental imagery and progressive muscle relaxation can lower your stress level.
  3. Have a weekend to yourself. Taking a weekend away alone or with your partner can recharge your body and mind. Remember that you deserve to take good care of yourself, not just your child.
  4. Make time to enjoy a hobby. Giving yourself some time to read, knit, write, craft, or do any of the endless variety of hobbies can be just as renewing as taking a weekend away.
  5. Join a support group for parents of children with ADHD. Support groups are a great resource for discussing problems and solutions to problems. Other parents struggle just as you do! Perhaps, they have some advice and ideas or are in need of your advice. Being surrounded by people with similar issues is a unique support experience. You may even make some friends!
  6. Share parenting with your partner! If you feel that you don’t have at least some time for yourself during the day, consider talking to your partner, as he/she may need to take more responsibility for child or household care.
  7. Exercise to reduce stress and avoid chemical substances. Alcohol may result in fatigue and increased frustration while nicotine and caffeine can produce feelings of stress. Stress and fatigue are the last things you need.

<em><strong>Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.</strong></em>

written by:
Brianna Malinowski,
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

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Barkley, R. A. (2013). Taking charge of ADHD: The complete, authoritative guide for parents (3rd ed.). NY: The Guilford Press.

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Adhd Coaching

Coach, Client and Parents: One Team!

Ultimately, the success of coaching depends on the relationship between the coach and the client. A parent’s role is to observe, support, and celebrate the process and progress of coaching. Keep in mind that it is important for a parent to give the child space. Giving a child space can demonstrate to the child that the parents have faith in his/her ability to overcome ADHD.

How can coaches, clients, and parents work together successfully?

Adhd Coaching

 

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Sleeper-Triplett, J. (2010). Empowering Youth with ADHD. Plantation, Florida: Specialty Press