Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 73–97 | Cite as

Treatment Implications for ADHD Youth with Mood and Anxiety Comorbidity

  • Raman Baweja
  • James G. Waxmonsky
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (M Brotman, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


Purpose of Review

There are multiple pharmacological and psychosocial interventions that are tolerable and efficacious for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, many youth with ADHD have elevated levels of mood and anxiety symptoms that can complicate treatment. In this review, we summarize the relevant treatment studies on the treatment of youth with ADHD and comorbid anxiety or mood disorders.

Recent Findings

Treatment of ADHD, specifically CNS stimulants, often translates to reduced irritability in youth with ADHD, but appears to have limited impact on other mood or anxiety symptoms. The presence of ADHD does not appear to reduce the efficacy of pharmacological treatments of mood and anxiety disorders. There is less data on the impact of ADHD on psychosocial treatments for internalizing disorders.


In children with elevated levels of mood or anxiety, ADHD can be safely and effectively treated with either evidence-based pharmacological or psychosocial interventions. However, additional treatments are often needed to achieve significant improvements in other mood or anxiety symptoms.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Mood disorder Anxiety disorder Comorbidity Treatment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. R. Baweja declares that he has no conflict of interest. Dr. Waxmonsky, in the past 3 years, received research funds from NIH and Pfizer and served as a consultant for Noven Pharmaceuticals, IronShore, Purdue Pharma, and NLS Pharma.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as follows: • Of importance

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Penn State College Of MedicineHersheyUSA

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