Comorbidity: Depression

Depression is another common comorbidity among those with ADHD. It is a topic that I have addressed in a previous post. However, it is an important and serious issue. I feel it is important to take another look at this condition.

So, let’s take another look at ADHD and depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that causes and is characterized by a persistent change in mood and/or lack of interest in daily activities. 

Depression is more than just a simple case of the blues. It causes feelings of sadness much of the day, nearly everyday. Many with depression will frequent episodes that can last anywhere from weeks to months, if not longer.

Some of the symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, guilt
  • Being more irritable
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Change in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating

There are just some of the things that those with depression struggle with and for much longer periods than those without depression.

ADHD and Depression

Those with ADHD are more likely and at greater risk to be diagnosed with depression. Adults with ADHD are three times more likely to have depression that those without ADHD.

When it comes to depression in ADHDers, it can fall into categories. First, it can happen without being caused by any specific situation. In this case, ADHD and depression simply co-exist. Second, depression can arise as a direct result of the struggles and frustration of living with ADHD.

Similarly to some other comorbidities, it can be difficult to distinguished the difference between ADHD and depression, as there are some similarities and some common symptoms between the two. 

Here are some similarities:

  • Ability to focus and concentrate
  • Difficulties with motivation
  • Issues with sleep
  • Executive functioning difficulties
  • Change in their mood

Although there are some similarities between the two, they may not always be for the same reason.  There are differences between the two conditions.

What Can Help

There are some options available for those struggling with depression.

For one, some are prescribed antidepressants in order to help manage their symptoms of depression. There are a few different medications that doctors may prescribe. 

Therapy is another option. Talking to a counselor or therapist can help address some of issues and find helpful strategies and coping skills. It can and has been beneficial for many.

For some with mild depression, some lifestyles changes can help and make a difference. Some changes and adjustments include:

  • Daily exercise
  • At least seven hours of sleep at night
  • Practicing mindfulness, yoga and meditation
  • Spending time outside every day
  • Reducing caffeine intake

There are certainly options available for those struggling with depression. It’s all about finding what works best.

Final Thoughts

So many with ADHD struggle with depression. It is quite common for people with ADHD to also have depression. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not treatable. The important thing is to get help for these conditions. This comorbidity is something that should be discussed, much like so many other issues.

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