Category Archives: PTSD

Children with ADHD at Risk for Bullying and Self Harm

Children with ADHD at Risk for Bullying and Self Harm ADHD experts have long known that children, teens and adults with ADHD are at increased risk for bullying at school, work and even at home. Unfortunately, a recent study showed children bullied by peerswhen they are younger are up to three times more likely to harm themselves in adolescence.” Researchers followed 1,116 sets of twins from 1994 to 1995 until their twelfth birthday and discovered almost 8% of those who were victims of frequent bullying deliberated tried to harm themselves. In contrast, only 2% of those who were not bullied tried self-harming behaviors. Observed self-harming behaviors included: Attempted suicide by strangulation Cutting arms Biting body parts Banging their head against walls And pulling out clumps of hair. In our practice, we have seen kids who deliberated excessively tattooed parts of their body as a result of the stress of being bullying. One teenage girl told me she had done so in hopes her tormentors would leave her alone because they would think she was crazy. Another bully-abused teen in our practice explained he tattooed his arms to keep from “slicing and dicing them with my knife.”  His tattoos… Read the rest

Diabetes Risk in ADHD Children Treated with Atypical Antipsychotics

ADHD children treated with atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants for depression or other behavior disorders are at greater risk for developing diabetes mellitus. While atypical antipsychotics are traditionally used to treat schizophrenia, I’ve found more and more doctors using them to treat bipolar disorder, agitated depression, anxiety associated with depression, major depressive disorder, oppositional behavior disorder, conduct disorder, and obsessive-compulsive behavior disorder. It’s currently estimated in excess of 40 children per 1000 children in the U.S. are being treated for one of the above behavior problem diagnoses using second generation (atypical) antipsychotics. This number has increased dramatically since 1996 at which point only about 9 out of 1000 kids ages 5 to 18 years were exposed to these drugs. Unfortunately, with increasing use of atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants, significant side effects of these medications are starting to pop up-the most concerning being diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes. A new study released in the December issue of the medical journal Pediatrics showed a four-fold increased risk of diabetes among children exposed to atypical antipsychotics and a little less in those treated with antidepressants. While the study doesn’t well-define the exact number of children, who develop diabetes as a result of exposure… Read the rest

Problems with Perception causes Misbehavior in ADHD Kids and Teens

Simple problems with perception over what is said may cause misbehavior in ADHD kids, teens, and spouses In a previous article, Behavior in ADHD Children Often Based on Perception, we explored how simple misperceptions can cause major behavior-learning problems in children, whether ADHD or not-ADHD. In this article, I’d like to share ways that you can avoid perception problems when speaking with your ADHD child or teen, or even with your non-ADHD child or spouse. You can usually prevent misperception and the damage it might cause when talking with your child-especially your ADHD child or teen-by being sure that you communicate or speak with your child or teen in a reasonable manner, verbally, emotionally and physically. Here are a few tips I share with parents of children who misbehave or have ADHD: •             Be sure to speak with your child or teen on his or her language-comprehension level. Use simple words and short sentences, avoiding lengthy examples, parables and metaphors. For example, you wouldn’t expect a child of nine to understand what you mean when you say “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” or “a bird in the hand is… Read the rest

Behavior in ADHD Children Often Based on Perception

Changes in an ADHD child’s behavior might be caused by misperception based on poor communication. An ADHD child’s behavior and grades are often heavily influenced by what they perceive has happened to them or what they are told about what has occurred. Unfortunately, we as adults do not do the best job when explaining things to our children or teens. We more often than not tend to use adult language, adult metaphors, and assume that our children understand what we have just said to them. How many times did you nod yes or say yes when your mom, dad, or teacher asked you if you understood something…when in actuality, you really didn’t understand a thing, but were afraid to admit so? If you answered “none” to the question, then you probably shouldn’t read any further, because you were one of the 0.001% of kids who were a childhood prodigy-already capable of adult thinking and comprehension. No, seriously… For the rest of us, we know what is going on in that child’s mind and we should do all we can to help our children, grandchildren, and patients avoid misbehavior caused by perception problems. To reach that goal, I’d like to share a… Read the rest

ADHD Children-Mouthiness and Verbal Impulsivity

Sometimes, ADHD children and teens can’t seem to control their mouth and words flow without rhyme or reason. Parents complain these ADHD kids are mouthy or say “it’s that mouth that gets her (or him) in trouble”. Many times it appears they just don’t think before saying things that hurt or insult others or anger or upset their moms, dads, or teachers. Doctors call this mouthiness-Verbal Impulsivity-or the tendency to speak before considering what is to be said. In my last post, we discussed John, a 16 year-old with a terrible mouth and even worse attitude. John is the epitome of the ADHD teen who suffers from faulty executive thinking and verbal impulsivity or mouthiness. In other words, the parts of his brain that allow him to take what he sees, hears, feels, and senses and interpret them and then decide if, what and when to respond or take action are not working normally or don’t control imulsivity. ADHD children are prone to mouthiness and all types of impulsivity, including verbal impulsivity. This process is called executive processing or thinking and unfortunately seems to be impaired in many ADHD children, teens and adults. Executive thinking… Read the rest

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or ADHD?

Remember…in my last post I reminded everyone that Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often mistaken for ADHD and misdiagnosed as ADHD. Well…I’d also like to point out that PTSD and ADHD can co-exist. That’s right! A child, teen or adult might suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the same time. These persons often present doctors with a very difficult time in making the correct diagnosis. How can a parent or a spouse decide whether it’s ADHD, PTSD, or both ADHD and PTSD causing a behavior disorder, a job-keeping problem, or a learning disability? Here are a few tips! You should be suspicious it is PTSD and not ADHD if: • Your loved one has suffered a major traumatic event in the past 5 years (may show up as long as 10 years later if the trauma was life-threatening) • If ADHD drugs have made their anxiety, depression, or ADHD-like symptoms worse (e.g. grades are worse, having more legal problems, started having panic attack, getting into legal problems) • ADHD-like symptoms only show-up in one environment; such as only at the mall, only at school or only at work • Your behavior disorder child,… Read the rest

Diagnosing and Treating Teen Depression

       In our last post, we discussed some of the signs of teenage depression that are often confused with ADHD, such as poor concentration and social –self-esteem problems. Before we cover today’s topic: Diagnosing and Treating Teen Depression, I’d like to tell you about Gracie. I’m sure you know a kid just like Gracie. There seems to be a 10 year-old Gracie in every school…. Gracie’s mom explained why her teacher thought she was ADHD – Gracie couldn’t focus. She just didn’t pay attention in class and had terrible grades…because she often forgot to do her homework or forgot to bring it in. Her teacher and mom agreed; Gracie wasn’t impulsive, but got frustrated so often that she would cry and become disruptive “at the drop of a hat”! She had few friends and those who “stuck by her” seemed to avoid her most of the time. Gracie was treated for ADHD for about six months before I did her evaluation. She just wasn’t getting better on 3 different ADHD drugs. Gracie had been misdiagnosed as ADHD when she was really suffering from depression. So… how did we make the correct diagnosis? I discovered what was bothering Gracie,… Read the rest
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