Anxiety & Depression



-Approximately 50% of those with LDs will have some co-morbid mental health condition
-More prone to loneliness and low self-esteem
-Depressive and anxious disorders commonly co-occur with LDs
-Children with LDs are 70% more likely to have heightened anxious symptoms than those without LDs
-Up to 20% of individuals with LDs will also have depression

Excessive Worries (Anxiety)

All individuals experience worries and fears, and all people encounter daily stressors. For individuals with LD and/or ADHD, their worries and fears are often about their academic or work struggles, social challenges or emotion and behaviour dysregulation. When the worries impede a person’s day-to-day functioning, then he/she may be experiencing anxiety.

Anxiety Disorders

-Anxiety disorders differ from developmentally typical fear (an emotional response to real or perceived threat) or anxiety (worry about a future threat) by being excessive or persisting for a longer than normal amount of time (e.g. typically lasting 6 months or more).
-Since individuals with anxiety disorders tend to overestimate the danger in situations they fear or avoid, determining whether the fear or anxiety is excessive or out of proportion is made by a clinician.
-Many of the anxiety disorders develop in childhood and tend to persist if not treated.
-Most occur more frequently in females than in males (approximately 2:1 ratio).

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Types of Anxiety Disorders:
-Separation Anxiety
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder
-Social Anxiety Disorder
-Specific Phobia
-Panic Disorder-Selective Mutism

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders:
For Children: Anxiety disorder are best diagnosed by a psychologist, pediatrician, or child psychiatrist.

For Adults: Anxiety disorders are best diagnosed by a psychologist, physician or psychiatrist.

Appropriate Interventions for Anxiety Disorders

-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
-Family Therapy
-Executive Function Coaching



Excessive Sadness (Depression)

Experiencing sadness is an expected part of child and adulthood. However, when the feelings of sadness are present more often than not and are accompanied by irritable mood, feelings of emptiness, changes in thinking and/or behaviour, then the individual may be experiencing a Depressive Disorder.

Depressive Disorders

-The common feature of depressive disorders is the presence of sad, empty, or irritable mood accompanied by changes in thinking and somatic (health) complaints.
-In children there is often an increase in severe irritability, while in adults there is often a loss of interest or pleasure.
-How these disorders further differ is by duration, timing and cause.
-Most occur more frequently in females than in males (approximately 2:1 ratio).

Types of Depressive Disorders

-Disruptive Mood Regulation Disorder
-Major Depressive Disorder
-Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
-For Children: Diagnoses are best made by a psychologist, pediatrician, child psychiatrist
-For Adults: Diagnoses are best made by a psychologist, physician, psychiatrist

Appropriate Interventions for Depressive Disorders

-Family Therapy


Finding Support Services for Mental Health:
To get guidance on how to access support services for mental health challenges, go to:
Find Help Children; Mental Health Services or Find Help Adults; Mental Health Services – Adults