Untangling ADHD and Anxiety as Comorbidities

  “ADHD and anxiety presenting together is very common in children and adolescents. But it can be difficult to discern which is the primary condition and which to treat first,” explains Kari Overstreet, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, a pediatric nurse practitioner focused on child psychiatry and a Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care (PPP)…

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Sleep Smart: Back-to-School Edition

REACH faculty, Dr Kowatch, emphasizes that it’s essential for caregivers to recognize the challenges that can arise when transitioning from summer to a more structured school routine. “Parents have got to anticipate there may be an adjustment period for the first week or two.”

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How Social Media is Impacting Teens

The most important question that we can ask teens isn’t if they use social media, it’s how. Just last May, the Surgeon General’s advisory on social media use in youth exposed some shocking statistics: Among 13 to 17-year-olds, up to 95% use social media, with 35% saying they use social media “almost constantly.”

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Assessing and treating substance abuse

“The risk of substance use starts at about age 10,” said Sam Chang, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist on the REACH faculty. “Prevention has to start before that. By the time kids reach adolescence, the horse has left the barn.”

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Is it ADHD? Or something else?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral health disorders, affecting approximately 9% of all children and adolescents. About 75% of pediatric patients with ADHD have comorbid mental health conditions, ranging from oppositional-defiant disorder to anxiety and mood disorders.

What is a busy clinician to do? How do you discern whether a child who is, say, having difficulty focusing at school and at home has ADHD, anxiety, both, or something else?

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One teen, 10 psychiatric drugs. This must stop!

On August 27, The New York Times ran an article by Matt Richtel titled “This Teen Was Prescribed 10 Psychiatric Drugs. She Is Not Alone.” It documents the practice of “polypharmacy”: prescribing multiple medications—most of which have not been tested either in children or in combination with one another—to manage young patients’ depression or anxiety.

That young patients are being prescribed potent cocktails of untested drugs is obviously wrong. The question is, how did we get to this point, and what can we do about it?

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