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My eight-year-old son was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD and Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). He has always been a shy anxious child and uncomfortable socially. We have been trying different stimulant medications for him that have helped the inattentiveness, but have exacerbated the anxiety (separation anxiety and peeling his finger tips particularly).

We are now going to try Straterra. Should he get a formal diagnosis for anxiety disorder and be taking something more like Wellbutrin, or should we see how he responds to the Straterra? I have always been bothered by his anxiety issues and feel that the professionals I have seen seem to focus more on the ADD issues. Only now is the present doctor recommending he also has therapy for anxiety.

Thank you,


When someone has ADHD and also has an anxiety disorder, it is not uncommon for the medication used to treat the ADHD to exacerbate the anxiety disorder. It is best, therefore, to treat the anxiety disorder first.

Once this disorder is under good management, it should be possible to reintroduce a stimulant medication to treat the ADHD. The most frequent medications used to treat anxiety disorders are called “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.” Discuss this approach with the prescribing doctor.

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