Q & A Library
Reducing Anxiety Related to ADHD?
Is there a natural supplement that adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can take, along with their stimulant medication, to reduce anxiety attacks?
Answer (Published 4/13/2004)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects two to four percent of adults (compared to three to five percent of school-age children). Although this disorder appears to have a strong biological basis, we don’t know for sure what causes it. Treatment combining stimulant medication (such as Ritalin, Adderall or Dexedrine) with counseling seems to be the most effective way to manage symptoms. Sometimes, tricyclic antidepressants are prescribed to help affected adults manage co-existing depression and anxiety.
While there is no natural treatment for the "core" symptom of ADHD – lack of focused attention – several alternative and lifestyle strategies can help quell the anxiety that may accompany the disorder or, more likely, be experienced as a side-effect of the stimulant drugs used to treat it. These include:
I would also recommend avoiding caffeine while taking stimulant medications, as this can exacerbate their side effects.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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