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Anxiety and ADHD

high school

I’m 16 and I’m having a lot of trouble in school right now. I got a 3.8 last semester. But this semester is different. I have an f in algebra 2. I got an a last semester. I’ve always had trouble with matg. Last Year Was Different though. I understood it. But this year I really only see numbers. And my drive that I had last semester practically faded away. I don’t know what to do. I can’t get any f’s or d’s this semester


I am a mom of a 13 year old with anxiety and ADHD, so I have some idea of what you are experiencing.  Have you shared with your parents or a counselor or teacher at school that you have concerns?  Do you feel like your anxiety is coming from you worries about school or do you feel like something else is causing it?  One thing about math as you reach higher levels is that you can understand one concept and totally not get another.  However, if you are depressed or anxious, that can be keeping you from being able to concentrate and take in the material. 

Sometimes you may be embarrassed about sharing your feelings, even with your parents, but realize that your feelings are always valid.  Please let someone- an adult at home or school, know how you are feeling, and keep sharing until you have some help that brings you peace.

Posted by MollyMS on May 18, 2014 at 6:27am

I have adhd, an anxiety disorder and have constant periods of depression. I’m thinking that could be holding me back. My parents say not to use it as an excuse. I don’t know what to do about it.

Posted by ernie123 on May 18, 2014 at 9:53am

I’m the mom of a 13 year old with add/anxiety and a 18 year old boy with add.  I have anxiety myself!  I’m proud of you for advocating for your self with us! 

Is it possible for you to go in early or stay late for extra sessions with your math teacher?  My son, who also has a very high gpa like you, had to go in for help this year when he hit AP stat.  It was so hard for him to stay ‘tuned in’ because it bored him.  He had to make double/triple his normal effort to maintain good grades which was very difficult for him.  I’m pretty sure he hated every minute and I know he was so very happy when that class was over.

Also, I’m not sure what your fmaily sitaution is, but is it possible to get a math tutor?  Perhaps you had a better relationship with your math teacher last year and this year’s isn’t quite so good?  A tutor may be a possibliity.  Would your last year teacher be willing to help you with this year’s math perhaps?

Lastly, is it possible your meds could need a change?  Just something to consider - might be a good time to touch base with your doctor.  As you age, and your body changes, it’s needs for meds change as well.

Adhd/anxiety is not an excuse.  It’s no different than any other kind of issue that people face.  For example, a person that wears glasses needs periodic eye exames for new lenses - and, they surely wouldn’t be able to see without glasses/contacts - just like people with adhd struggle with executive skills and impulese control without thei meds..  Please know, everyone has something they deal with.  It might not be visible, but sure enough, we all have something we struggle with!

And please remember, math is just one class.  I imagine you have at least 5 or 6 others,  Please take time to sit back and look at all the other things you do well - I’ll bet there are plenty!

Take care!  Keep us posted!!!

Posted by SJF04 on May 19, 2014 at 5:08pm

Hi, Ernie- Checking in on you again.  Dealing with depression and anxiety along with ADHD is difficult and not at all fun.  Here in our state school is letting out so I don’t know if you are still dealing with the concerns with your school work.  But I wanted to see if you felt you were getting the support you need for the anxiety and depression (and ADHD).  All three of these things can cause trouble concentrating and absorbing new information.  Not only that, but you are worthy of getting these things under control. 

Are you in therapy of any kind and are you taking any medications for the ADHD, anxiety or depression?  These are not weaknesses, and they often have a genetic component.  It might be helpful to have another adult help you speak with your parents, like a doctor or the school counselor, to explain that you are not using your mental health as an excuse. 

If finances are a problem, there are regional mental health services in most areas that will provide help based on a familyincome.

Posted by MollyMS on May 25, 2014 at 6:45am

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