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ADHD Parents Together
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Anxiety Issues with ADD?

Anyone out there have the above issue with there child. My 9 year old son has gone from fingernail and everything else chewing to now picking skin sores up both arms and legs. He doesn't do these activities at home but only in school. We are working on his 504 plans but just wondered if there were any others out there with this issue and any tips you can offer beyond fidgets, gum chewing, and meditation. He is also paranoid about bugs and now goes into a full fledged freak out when seen. We do meditation but that doesn't seem to be cutting it.

6 Replies

My son was having trouble with social anxiety. He picked his fingers until they bled. He was started on zoloft and those symptoms have since resolved.

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I was going to say, try an anti-depressant.

Our daughter is 10 and on a super-low dose of Citalopram (2mg - one drop in liquid form!) and although it's not something we ever wanted to do, it has transformed her life.

See what your local CAMHS say (if you can get an appointment!).

And good luck x


Is your son on a stimulant by chance?


Anxiety is certainly a component of ADHD for my five year old. He has a huge oral fixation. For instance, everything goes in his mouth. He still sucks his fingers. He has a blanket and stuffed dog as coping items, but we don't let those go to school out of fear they'd be lost. And, they have been heavily loved, which means that they are a little embarrassing to look at. So, we went for chewable necklaces as our lesser evil. The only thing I can really think of is transferring the problematic behavior to a less problematic, repetitive behavior. In short, teach him to pick up a new anxious behavior that's less harmful for him. I'm also curious as to whether Atomoxetine might be a good medication option for my son because of his known anxiousness.

As an example of a potentially less problematic repetitious behavior, I had a lot of anxiety as a teenager and I was biting my nails and picking at my face a lot. But then I took a typing class. My teacher sent us home with a print out of a keyboard so that we could practice. Eventually, I started practicing wherever I happened to be. I would type out words and phrases as I heard them. Then, it became the de facto nervous habit, replacing my nail biting and face touching, etc. Of course, it drove my parents insane. I would type everything they said, and everything I heard on TV all the time. On the other hand, though, I can now type 75 WPM easily. :)

Perhaps drumming or something else that engages the hands? Today, I crochet at work when I have to sit through long, tedious meetings that try my patience. Anything to keep the fingers and hands busy.

Fidgets are problematic for my kiddo because, for him, there's a fine line between a fidget and a toy. He crosses that line regularly, which means that he isn't focusing as he should be. :\


My daughter does this and it is "self-soothing" according to her psychologist. He most likely needs medication and therapy for the anxiety to break the cycle.


Sounds like OCD too. Don’t mean to add more to ur stress but hormones r right around the corner & wr tough on my son as well as his day-to-day school situation. (He has ADHD, Anxiety, Depression (this came out in the last year), Perfectionism some OCD, Sensory & a stereotypic movement. I recommend the Genomind genetic test. This will help the psychiatrist determine the best med w/ minimal risk. I tried to avoid meds-holistic chiropractic (NSA), nutrition etc. it wasn’t happening & we truly needed to address his most impactful dx, depression.


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