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Mental Health Information

Info on Executive Functioning And How It Relates to Mental Health Conditions

By February 17, 2023No Comments

Acknowledgement – Co-drafted with Chat GPT with illustration by DALL-E

Executive functioning refers to a set of cognitive skills that help us manage our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. These skills include things like planning, organizing, problem-solving, attention, and working memory.

Mental health conditions such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety can affect executive functioning. For example, individuals with ADHD may have difficulty with attention and impulse control, while those with depression may have trouble with motivation and decision-making. Anxiety can also negatively impact executive functioning by causing distractibility, rumination, and indecision.

Treatment for mental health conditions that affect executive functioning often includes therapy and medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals learn strategies to improve their executive functioning skills. Medications such as stimulants, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medication can also be used to help manage symptoms.

It’s also important to note that poor executive functioning can contribute to the development of mental health conditions and also worsen symptoms. Thus, working on improving executive functioning through various techniques such as mindfulness, task prioritization, breaking down bigger task into smaller chunks, goal setting and time management can be beneficial in maintaining good mental health.

It’s important to consult a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you have concerns about your executive functioning or overall mental health.


Related Research:

Zainal, N. H., & Newman, M. G. (2022). Executive Functioning Constructs in Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Related Disorders. Current psychiatry reports, 24(12), 871–880.

Aritio-Solana, R., Fonseca-Pedrero, E., Pérez-Albéniz, A., Mason, O., & Ortuño-Sierra, J. (2022). Neurocognitive Functioning in Adolescents at Risk for Mental Health Problems. Psicothema, 34(2), 259–265.