Did you know anxiety can affect your attention span? Researchers believe there is a brain connection between the two. Initial studies on teens, show they’re more likely to have both issues together. If you have anxiety or trouble concentrating, consider the following discoveries:
- The link between anxiety and attention. Here is what researchers at the University of Texas discovered:
- Teens who have anxiety, are also more likely to perform worse in school, because of attention issues. They also saw a connection between anxiety, and other mental health issues like depression and suicide.
- Researchers shared that in some cases anxiety appeared first, while in others, it was attention span. Recognizing the first issue, can help families deal with the second.
- Teens who had problems concentrating, were also more likely to have anxiety. Experts believe there is a deeper reason for this in the brain.
- Unconscious anxiety. Medical experts believe unconscious anxiety, can explain some cases of attention deficit disorders.
- Unconscious anxiety occurs, when you don’t recognize you’re actually suffering from worry and concern. You have trouble concentrating, often blame it on your poor attention span. However, in reality, your unconscious anxiety is actually preventing you from being able to focus. The root of this anxiety can be buried among deeper emotional concerns.
- Overlapping symptoms. Anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can overlap. Shared symptoms can include having trouble concentrating, focusing on one task, not having control over your impulses, being irritable, feeling scared and afraid to try new things.
- It’s not always easy to tell apart anxiety and attention disorders.
- Treatment and help. If you or someone you care about has anxiety and attention issues, seeking help may bring real benefits.
- Treatment options can include medication to control anxiety, and help attention spans. Another option is therapy that helps adjust behavior. Meditation and relaxation, are also commonly used to help both disorders.
- The role of learning disabilities. It’s important to avoid overlooking learning disabilities, that can exacerbate anxiety and attention issues. Researchers have noticed all three issues can occur together.
- In some cases, learning disabilities are not caught right away as a child starts school. Children are sometimes able to compensate, so the issues go undiagnosed.
- Anxiety and attention disorders can be worse in children with learning disabilities. By focusing on the learning issues, they have the chance to succeed in school and reduce their anxiety. A child with a learning disability can feel anxious before every test, and might try to avoid classes. In addition, the same child can be so stressed, they’re unable to concentrate on the simplest tasks. The learning disability makes these issues more difficult to treat.
- It’s important to note that kids aren’t the only ones who suffer from all three conditions. Adults can spend years being misdiagnosed, or not getting the proper treatments.
Anxiety and attention issues can appear together. If you or a loved one suffers from these issues, current research can help you understand, what is happening in the brain and seek treatment. As a Social Work Contractor, I am in a unique position to to help clients with the daily challenges, some of which can be incredibly hard to move past.
Download this FREE page of an Anxiety Journal. It will help you to keep track of your moods. Print out as many pages as you need.
American Psychology Association offers help and insights on all things mental health.
Contact the National Alliance on Mental Health :1800 950 NAMI, if you need additional resources and support.
To Your Success,