What is Anxious ADD?

Anxious ADD is one of the theorized “7 types of ADD” (Classic ADD, Ring of Fire ADD, Temporal Lobe ADD, Limbic ADD, Inattentive ADD, Overfocused ADD) and is characterized by a severe feeling of anxiousness and nervousness as well as inattention..

These symptoms are caused by a dysregulated brain. After undergoing a qEEG brain map, we can often see that regions of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, are demonstrating atypical neuronal activity or simply brain dysregulation. These regions of the brain are responsible for attention and memory, anxiety, mood regulation, and executive functions (e.g., decision making).

There’s a lot to learn about Anxious ADD, and in this article, we will discuss specific features of this theorized type of ADD, including how our medical and psychological professionals at the Drake Institute have helped families all around the world find relief from their ADD and ADHD symptoms.

Please note that while ADD/ADHD has been recognized as a formal disorder since 1980, the theoretical 7 types of ADD, including Anxious ADD, are not official diagnoses recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. However, because the general population has become aware of these labels, we feel that they are still worth addressing in order to provide some clarifying information about the term.


Anxious ADD Symptoms

Anxious ADD encompasses a wide range of symptoms, some of which are listed below:

  • Inability to sustain focus
  • Feelings of anxiousness
  • Fear of disapproval or Criticism
  • Social anxiety
  • Stress related digestive symptoms,  headaches,  and/or sleeping difficulties
  • Pessimism

The primary distinction between Anxious ADD and Anxiety is that with Anxious ADD, the anxiety occurs in addition to the individual’s attentional deficits. Anxious ADD can have a devastating effect on both children and adults, especially during events that are already intrinsically stressful, like presentations, exams, and social interactions with peers.

This is why so many individuals suffering from this disorder will have such difficulties during times of stress or take steps to avoid difficult or stressful situations.

Unfortunately, this avoidance tactic can only last for so long. The individual is eventually forced to confront the negative situation, resulting in increased anxiety as they are being forced to attempt a task that causes such high levels of distress.

This chronic cycle of anxiety, fear of criticism or confrontation, and eventual emotional distress can cause a person to experience physical symptoms as well, like headaches, digestive problems, muscle spasms, confusion, and depression.

Is it ADD or Anxiety?

In terms of answering the question “Is it ADD or Anxiety”, this can be very difficult to differentiate because of overlap with the 2 disorders. However, what is most important is the linkage or correlation between the symptoms and the dysregulated regions of the brain that can be helped with the Drake Institute’s individualized treatment protocols.

Anxious ADD Treatment Options

Typical treatment protocols for Anxious ADD range from varying Anxious ADD diets to Anxious ADD medications, and at times counseling.

However, these treatment protocols are often sub-optimal solutions that may only provide temporary relief from symptoms.

In some cases, ADHD anxiety medications can provide temporary relief from symptoms; however, once the medication stops, the symptoms can return.

And while diet, exercise, and even medication can have a positive effect on a person’s mood, it still doesn’t address the primary issue, which is dysregulation of the brain’s attentional networks and possibly limbic system.

At the Drake Institute, we approach ADD treatment in an entirely different way: by relying on qEEG brain mapping technology to identify the location and severity of the dysregulation within the brain, we can develop a treatment plan that is not only highly effective but also individually tailored to the patient’s specific needs (linking symptoms to the dysregulated brain activity).

Our treatment plans utilize both neurofeedback/biofeedback therapy and neuromodulation to strengthen the brain’s natural ability to regulate itself properly. Neurofeedback, Biofeedback and Neuromodulation are non-invasive treatment methods, but what’s more, they’re also capable of providing patients with the capacity for self-regulation, which can lead to long-lasting symptom relief.

By helping our patients develop the mental skills and improved brain functioning required for self-regulation, we can help reduce our patient’s dependency on medications, though, in some cases medication and changes to diet may still be necessary.

With these important tools in place, our patients can now rely on the resources of their own brain to improve their symptoms. In fact, many of our patients may be able to be titrated off of or at least reduce their reliance on expensive and sometimes potentially harmful medications as a result of the treatment they received at the Drake Institute.

Contact the Drake Institute

Anxious ADD is a serious disorder involving a very specific set of complex structures within the brain, and manifesting symptoms similar to an Anxiety Disorder.  

Without proper treatment, those experiencing the effects of Anxious ADD are at risk of growing more dysfunctional, compromised, and unhappy as symptoms persist or progress.

At the Drake Institute, we help patients rediscover their full potential and get their lives back on track, often without relying on drugs.

Get the help your family deserves at the Drake Institute today! Contact us at 1-800-700-4233 to schedule a no-cost screening consultation.

Contact Us Today

To get the help you or a loved one needs, call now to schedule your no-cost screening consultation.

dr david velkoff headshot

“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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