Apple Psychological
(917)-526-0766 | 200 S Service Rd Suite 108 & 110A Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 | Boca Medical Plaza 7100 West Camino Real Suite 404 Boca Raton, FL 33433

Is It An Anxiety Disorder Or ADHD?

Many parents and educators face the challenge of distinguishing between anxiety disorders and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Both conditions can significantly impact a child’s daily functioning, but they require different approaches to treatment. Understanding the key differences between anxiety disorders and ADHD is crucial for getting the right diagnosis and support. Here, we explore the signs, symptoms, and nuances of each condition to help you determine whether it might be anxiety, ADHD, or even both.

Understanding ADHD:

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms are typically present from an early age and can impact various aspects of a child’s life, including academic performance, social interactions, and family relationships.

Common Symptoms of ADHD:

1. Inattention:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Frequent careless mistakes in schoolwork.
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities.
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  • Forgetful in daily activities.

2. Hyperactivity:

  • Fidgeting or tapping hands or feet.
  • Inability to stay seated in situations where it is expected.
  • Running or climbing in inappropriate situations.
  • Inability to play or engage in activities quietly.
  • Excessive talking.

3. Impulsivity:

  • Blurting out answers before questions have been completed.
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn.
  • Interrupting or intruding on others’ conversations or games.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders:

Anxiety disorders involve excessive fear or worry that is difficult to control and interferes with daily activities. Unlike ADHD, anxiety symptoms can be more situational and may not always be present. Anxiety can manifest in various forms, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders:

1. Excessive Worry:

  • Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life, such as school, health, or social interactions.
  • Difficulty controlling the worry.

2. Physical Symptoms:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleep disturbances, such as trouble falling or staying asleep.

3. Avoidance Behaviors:

  • Avoiding situations or activities that trigger anxiety.
  • Seeking reassurance excessively.

Key Differences and Overlaps:

While ADHD and anxiety disorders have distinct features, they can also overlap, making diagnosis challenging. For instance, both conditions can lead to difficulties with concentration and restlessness. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Focus and Attention:

  • ADHD: Inattention in ADHD is more consistent and pervasive, affecting multiple settings (e.g., home, school) regardless of the situation.
  • Anxiety: Inattention in anxiety is often situational, worsening during anxiety-provoking situations or thoughts.

2. Behavioral Symptoms:

  • ADHD: Hyperactivity and impulsivity are hallmark symptoms of ADHD, leading to fidgeting, interrupting others, and an inability to sit still.
  • Anxiety: Children with anxiety may appear restless due to nervous energy, but they typically do not exhibit the same level of impulsivity as those with ADHD.

3. Emotional Responses:

  • ADHD: Emotional responses in ADHD may be more related to frustration or impatience.
  • Anxiety: Emotional responses in anxiety are often tied to fear, worry, or apprehension about specific situations or events.

Co-Occurrence of ADHD and Anxiety:

It is also possible for a child to have both ADHD and an anxiety disorder. When this occurs, symptoms can be more complex and may require a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional. Co-occurring conditions can interact and exacerbate each other, making it even more crucial to get an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Determining whether your child has an anxiety disorder, ADHD, or both can be challenging, but understanding the differences and seeking a professional evaluation are critical steps. At Apple Psychological, our team of experienced professionals is equipped to conduct thorough assessments and provide comprehensive treatment plans tailored to your child’s unique needs. Learn more about our comprehensive Psychological Evaluations which can provide a clear picture of your child’s symptoms and accurate diagnosis.

Contact us today for a FREE consultaiton to learn more about how we can support your child’s mental health and well-being.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Why Can’t My School Diagnose a Learning Disability or ADHD?

When a parent is suspecting that their child has a Learning Disability, ADHD, or an emotional disability, they often receive the run-around from their school saying that the school is not equipped to diagnose or identify such disabilities. As a parent, this is highly upsetting and frustrating.

When our child is struggling we want answers.

However, it can be complicated and sometimes it feels like you’re being told different things by different people!

The challenge is that schools cannot diagnose learning disabilities, ADHD, or an emotional disorder.

Schools can identify risk factors, or obstacles that are getting in a child’s way of learning. Schools can also (often after a long period of implemented interventions), ultimately work through a testing process to determine whether students qualify for additional help but they cannot diagnose a specific disability.

Being identified with a learning disability, ADHD, or an emotional disability such as Anxiety or Depression is not the same as receiving help from the school.

It is possible for students to be clinically diagnosed with a particular disability and still not qualify for support through the school district. This is because schools are providing evaluations to determine whether or not the student’s performance is low enough (or if they are far enough behind) to get support provided through the school.

This does not mean that a child does not have a learning disability and this does not mean that a child wouldn’t benefit from support or intervention. It simply means that the student does not meet the criteria set in place by the school district to receive additional help.

As a parent, after doing some research, it seems reasonable to go to the school with concerns about a specific learning, attentional, or emotional disability and ask the school to test for the disability.

So, as a parent, you might ask the school to test your child for dyslexia, for example. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading and writing skills.

However, schools cannot test for dyslexia. As a parent, it becomes frustrating because that is often the end of the conversation and you feel lost and confused as to what to do next.

The problem here is that we are talking about two different things.

Diagnosis of a learning disability, such as dyslexia, needs to come from a clinical psychologist, a speech-language pathologist, an educational diagnostician, or another similarly trained professional.

If you want the school to provide testing to see whether or not they can provide support or intervention for your struggling child, you need to ask for a different type of assessment.

If you want to know if the school can help your child and are less interested in a formal diagnostic assessment, you want to request a “Special Education Eligibility test” and you want to make this request in writing with a specific date included in your request letter because they have 60 calendar days following your formal consent for testing and request to complete the evaluation. They will ask you what your concerns are to determine what and how much testing to complete.

A special education eligibility evaluation should include measures of:

  • Cognitive Ability (General Intelligence/IQ) – Usually performed by the School Psychologist
  • Academic Performance (Reading, Writing, Math) – Usually performed by the Special Education Teacher
  • Language Ability – Usually performed by the Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Social/Emotional Functioning – Usually performed by the School Psychologist
  • Motor Functioning – Usually performed by an Occupational Therapist (OT)

Some of these tests might be the same tests as those used to diagnose a specific learning disability so if you decide to seek a private evaluation (outside of the school) and also a special education eligibility evaluation (through the school district) you want to make sure to let both parties know so that no assessments are repeated which can invalidate the results on the assessment.

What is the difference between a private psychological evaluation and a special education eligibility evaluation that I can receive through my school district?

  • Private evaluations often provide a more comprehensive assessment of an individual’s psychological functioning, including cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, behavioral issues, and any potential underlying mental health conditions. Private Evaluations CAN DIAGNOSE LEARNING DISABILITIES AND MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS.
  • Special education evaluations primarily focus on determining eligibility for services within the educational system and may not delve as deeply into all aspects of psychological functioning. School-based evaluations DO NOT DIAGNOSE LEARNING DISABILITIES OR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS.

In summary, If you are looking for a clear, accurate clinical diagnosis which is able to tailor treatment, it is important to get a thorough private psychological evaluation to address the specific obstacles impacting your child.

If you have questions about the high quality, comprehensive psychological evaluation process at Apple Psychological, please visit our website HERE. Or Book a FREE consultation HERE or by call us at 917-526-0766.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Why does my ADHD make me so emotional?

ADHD MAKE ME SO EMOTIONALLife with ADHD can feel like an everyday rollercoaster of emotions.
Sometimes, this makes it challenging to stay in tune with your relationships. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. Those who struggle with ADHD can tend to overthink situations that occur in their life, replaying them over and over again in their mind.

For example, sometimes, I think of all the other possible ways conversations could have gone if I said something else. By doing this, it’s possible to overthink how you might have been perceived by others and the understand the role you played in that situation.

Another thing those with ADHD often do is fixate on the opinions and responses of others. This can lead to isolating yourself or suppress your thoughts and feelings due to fear of judgement. Those with ADHD actually don’t think these thoughts for very long periods of time before the next thing catches their attention. It’s a cycle of overthinking, worrying about your perception, and overanalyzing that create this dysregulation of emotion.

At Apple Psychological we specialize in helping those people with ADHD to
gain a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings and how they
impact their behavior and relationship patterns. This helps people to feel
more confident handling ADHD in their daily lives. Breaking the stigma
around mental health and accepting your mind’s neurodivergency is
something that our clinicians work towards. We help our clients find their
strengths and use them to help overcome the challenges ADHD may cause.

A few things Apple Psychological ADHD treatment services can help with:

● Prioritizing your day to day goals and tasks
● Working through emotional regulation techniques
● Providing support and guidance through a strenuous time

Using these techniques could help those in need build structure in their
daily lives. Seeking assistance to do this is not something that should be
frowned upon, but encouraged in our society. With the everyday struggles
that people are facing today, a licensed clinician is someone who will help
improve your quality of life by introducing new skills.

We can help you learn the strategies to gain control over your ADHD
symptoms. Contact Us at 917-526-0766  or Click Here book a Free Consultation. An experienced counselor specializing in ADHD
Treatment can help.

7 Ways To Stop Procrastinating Today!

Many teenagers and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggle with chronic procrastination. This procrastination can cause problems at school and at work when responsibilities aren’t completed until the last minute.

It can cause financial stress at home when balancing the checkbook is constantly delayed or when bills are paid late. And it can cause problems in relationships when you continue to put off others, making them feel unimportant. It can also cause stress between teenagers and their parents when kids put off their schoolwork or lie about their grades or academic performance due to the negative effects of procrastination.

Procrastination can also lead to negative moods and emotions as well as low self-esteem. This failure to complete tasks can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, guilt, and shame. Such emotions also contribute to the tendency to put off tasks, thus feeding the cycle.

1. Writing down your tasks in a checklist.

It’s one of the easiest methods of getting your work done. Making a checklist doesn’t have to be a daily thing for those forgetful people, but on important projects and exams, it could definitely be of use. Checklists remain an easy and organized method of making sure you have all your tasks written down, and it becomes so much more fulfilling when you finish a task and get to check it off. 

2.Choose positive thinking.

Instead of putting your head under the mindset to finish something just because you have to, it’s a better solution to replace your thoughts with a more positive narrative. In place of telling yourself you NEED to finish something, ask yourself when you CAN get it done. Procrastinators tend to lie to themselves, promising themselves that they’ll finish something when they’ll likely put it off to the last minute. Being honest with your behavior towards tasks can be an easy first step to getting work done.

3.Figure out reasons for your delay.

Whether distractions lie in social media, video games or even just stress, it’s easy to take these as excuses for your procrastination. Put your phone in another room, or choose to take your books in a more secluded area to get genuine work done.

4.Music, prizes, anything as motivation.

Set up a playlist on any music app, and you can use it as a constant pick-me-up to keep you constant with finishing your work. For those who easily get lost in their music, you can promise yourself a little break time for every interval of tasks you accomplish. If not music, you can also use prizes like sweets or savory snacks when you finish a certain section.

5.Use a Timer.

A method I like to suggest is to use a timer on the phone and try to finish a specific assignment in that time frame. The timer sets off the right kind of artificial deadline to instill the stress and motivation needed to finish the work.

6.Break large Tasks down into smaller tasks.

When you are able to break tasks down into smaller tasks, your brain is able to absorb the task and take it on more easily. For example, if I tell myself, “I have a 20 page paper to write by next week.” That can cause me to feel overwhelmed and procrastinate. But if I say, I am going to try to write an outline today and that’s it! This is something manageable that I feel will not take long and that I am capable of accomplishing, Also, after I accomplish the task, I can check it off my list and then start on the next small task, like writing the introduction paragraph.

7.Work together with a partner.

If you work together with a partner, whether it be on a group project or with any type of goal, you might be more successful. The reason for this is because a partner can hold you accountable if you slack off and vice versa. Also, when you know that you have a person to answer to, you are less likely to make excuses and Just Do It.

Our Transitional Group Programs Adolescence & Adulting or College Consultation can help teens gain the skills they need to gain confidence to prevent procrastination and avoidance, and instead, learn to cope with anxiety and face their challenges head on. For questions or more information about these amazing programs, complete the form below:

Please send us a quick message if you have any questions.

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If you or your child is experiencing issues with procrastination, disorganization, and difficulty with managing the many demands of school or work life, know that you are not alone. 

 

We can help you learn the strategies that you need to feel productive and confident. Contact Us at https://applepsychological.janeapp.com/ or call us at 917-526-0766 . An experienced counselor specializing in ADHD Treatment can help.