ADHD and Depression - Discussion

What is the association between ADHD and depression?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also referred to as ADHD, can be described as a condition where people demonstrate impaired or irregular behavior patterns characterized by unusually short attention spans and increased activity or hyperactive reactions. Inability to concentrate, focus, and getting distracted easily are some of the main symptoms of ADHD. Another key symptom of ADHD is the inability to pay attention to what is being said while being directly addressed.

In addition to the above, ADHD also includes symptoms like increased physical activity, for example the inability to sit in one place for even a short duration, often fidgeting with things, etc. Impulsive behavior is seen in most people suffering from ADHD, too. ADHD occurs both in adults and in children.

It has been noted that most people, especially adults, suffering from ADHD experience depression. Indeed, ADHD and depression co-exist in such people. Diagnosing and treating ADHD under these circumstances becomes extremely difficult.

Initially, people suffering from ADHD and depression are treated first for ADHD under the presumption that once this condition is cured, depression will subside. However, recent studies and research has indicated that both conditions are not dependent on each other and are two separate conditions that co-exist. Under the circumstances, it is imperative to treat ADHD and depression separately.

It has also been noted that pharmacological drugs prescribed for ADHD often manifested certain depression-like symptoms in people, and sometimes increased the symptoms of various forms of depression, like bipolar disorder or manic depression.

Thus, it becomes extremely challenging to establish the root cause of depression in people suffering from ADHD, mainly because drugs prescribed for ADHD are often linked to depression-like symptoms. Therefore, in an attempt to combat this situation, physicians now treat depression first and, once this condition is settled, they will then proceed with the clinical and pharmacological treatment for ADHD. Sometimes, physicians treat both conditions simultaneously, so that all symptoms subside and the patient will be cured more quickly and effectively.

Also, in adults and teens, additional problems could further exacerbate both depression and ADHD, especially when they abuse drugs, engage in excessive drinking, and become increasingly frustrated and aggressive. Controlling people who are depressed and have ADHD is a huge challenge and should be understood by friends and family from the beginning. Therefore, it will take a lot of patience, understanding, and effort to take care of people experiencing ADHD and depression.

The various treatment options available for treating depression in ADHD patients include pharmacological drugs, psychotherapy, and other alternative treatment methodologies and remedies. Pharmacological drug treatment does include a lot of side effects, like lack of sleep or insomnia, weight loss, change in appetite and eating habits, etc. The safer option would thus be to opt for more effective alternative treatments like behavioral therapy, self-help and self-coping skills that encourage people to think and act differently. Depending upon the response, these treatment modalities can be altered and customized based on the specific needs of the people suffering from ADHD.

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