ADHD and Depression

ADHD and Depression

Depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can coexist. Doctors refer to them as comorbid or coexisting conditions, which means you can have both at the same time.

ADHD is a brain disorder that makes it difficult to concentrate. Children and adults who have it may struggle to complete tasks, sit still, or keep track of things, appointments, or details.

Depression is more than just a bad mood from time to time. You feel deep sadness and despair every day for at least two weeks at a time. It can make it difficult to work, attend school, or sleep.

Up to 30% of children with ADHD also have a serious mood disorder, such as depression. According to some experts, more than half of those who suffer from depression will seek treatment at some point in their lives.

What Is the Relationship?

Some symptoms of ADHD and depression are very similar, making it difficult to diagnose and treat both conditions. For example, difficulty focusing is one of the symptoms of both depression and ADHD. And, if you take medications to treat your ADHD symptoms, they may interfere with your sleep or eating habits, both of which can be signs of depression. Hyperactivity and irritability in children can be symptoms of both depression and ADHD.

When people struggle with their symptoms, ADHD can lead to depression. Children may struggle in school or with playmates, while adults may struggle at work. This can result in profound feelings of hopelessness and other symptoms of depression.

Doctors aren't sure what causes either condition, but they both appear to be related to your family history. People who suffer from depression or ADHD frequently have a parent or other family member who suffers from the same condition.

ADHD and Depression Treatment

Both conditions are typically treated with a combination of medication and therapy sessions.

How you begin may be determined by which condition is causing you the most problems. For instance, if ADHD is causing stress, treating it first may eliminate one of the causes of depression.