The ADHD Depression Connection

The ADHD depression connection is common, and is becoming more of a rule rather than the exception.

Research indicates that as many as 40% to 80% of adolescents and adults with ADHD have at least one other mental health condition.

This phenomenon is commonly referred to dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders.

Common co-occurring conditions along with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), substance abuse, bipolar disorder, mood disorders (depression), dyslexia, learning disorders, Touette's syndrome, autism, sleep disorders, and eating disorders.
As a result, if you or a loved one suffers from ADHD, it is important to be alert for the following symptoms.

Depression Symptoms

-persistent feelings of sadness





-loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once pleasurable


-decreased energy

-sleep disturbances (insomnia, or sleeping too much) 

-early morning waking, often related to worry or anxiety

-eating disturbances (eating too little or too much)

-difficulty concentrating and remembering details




-physical aches and pains

-thoughts of self-harm

-suicide attempts 

adhd depression

Clinical depression does not include the common ups and downs that we all experience, and does not include temporary responses to loss or bad news.

For any type of clinical depression to be diagnosed, these symptoms must persist for weeks, months, and years. The difference between normal sadness and clinical depression is that clinical depression features a longer duration, and negatively affects one's ability to function in terms of relationships, work, school, complete other responsibilities, etc.

If you or a loved one are experiencing the above symptoms, make an appointment with a local mental health care provider who is qualified to diagnose depression (psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, etc).

Important: If you or a loved one is experiencing thoughts of suicide, take them to the nearest hospital ER immediately for an assessment.  

ADHD Depression Treatment

Like ADHD, treatment for depression typically includes a combination of medication and therapy. The difference is that therapy for ADHD is usually behavioral, while treatment for mood disorders is typically cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Become an informed healthcare consumer by doing research and asking questions during your office visit. Try to choose a mental health professional and doctor who has experience in treating both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and mood disorders such as depression.

The range of treatment providers can include psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, clinical social workers, neurologists and child development specialists (to treat ADHD), etc.

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