Obsessive Compulsive Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (OCD ADHD), or over focused ADHD, differs from the standard version of the disorder in many ways. Rather than have a hard time focusing as with ADHD, people with OCD ADHD tend to over focus, or obsess, over things or concepts. Considered harder to treat than typical ADHD, this form of the disorder is usually maintained using medications. Techniques aimed at reducing anxiety and controlling anger or frustration also help.
Anti-Depressants vs. Stimulants
While typical ADHD responds positively to stimulants, OCD ADHD gets worse with stimulant use alone. Over focused ADHD causes an increase in negative symptoms such as anger, frustration and a tendency to argue. Introducing an anti-depressant to the child before adding a stimulant can help to decrease some of the more common difficulties.
Over focused ADHD includes obsessive thought patterns that loop around and seem to be "stuck" in a particular pattern. Anti-depressants relieve this symptom by helping to eradicate obsessive thinking. The child with over focused ADHD will find it much easier to move on from one thought to the next when he or she is taking the proper dose of anti-depressant medication, making it much easier to cope and deal with the disorder.
Angry outbursts and other negative thoughts dull or diminish with anti-depressant use. Instead of feeling down all the time, children with OCD ADHD start to feel better once they start the medication prescribed for them by their doctor.
After the correct anti-depressant starts to work for the child, introduce a stimulant to relieve more of the classic ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity. The best treatment plan for over focused ADHD will always include both an anti-depressant and a stimulant, as one without the other will not be nearly as effective and may even worsen symptoms.
Children with over focused ADHD need to learn anti-anxiety techniques to handle themselves before things get out of control. Emotional roller coasters, angry outbreaks and tantrums and tearful meltdowns occur often in children with OCD ADHD. Teaching the child how to gain control and adapt to stressful situations is a good idea to minimize the severity of symptoms.
Deep breathing is an excellent method of relieving stress and calming down. As the oxygen circulates throughout the body and increases blood flow to the brain, the child will naturally begin to relax. Pairing the breaths with simple counting teaches the child to do the breathing properly.
Listening to relaxing music has a calming effect on children with over focused ADHD. Talking to the child and guiding the concentration to focus on the music allows the child to give up control of the anxiety and release it into the sounds of soothing music.