Living with Adult ADHD and Depression

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Adult ADHD and Depression: How Do You Survive That?

Children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) have difficulty focusing, which leads to problems in school. Their impulsivity makes them more likely to get in trouble in class and at home.

That equation, school problems + trouble, usually equals low self-esteem - and depression. According to Lenard Adler, M.D., Director of the adult ADHD program at New York University Medical Center, major depression also tends to run in families that have ADHD.

Since some 25% of children with ADHD are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, untreated or undertreated, you can imagine how many are suffering from the dreaded duo of ADHD and depression.

Traveling Buddies: ADHD and Depression

Many of these same kids grow up to become adults with ADHD and the suffering continues. Researchers estimate that major depression is nearly 3 times more prevalent among adults with ADHD than among the general adult population. For those ADHD adults with dysthymia, a milder form of depression, the number jumps to a mind-boggling 8 times more common.

I mention this because if you have a child who you think may have ADHD, or some other psychological condition, it's important to talk to your child's doctor about it. It's been proven, early diagnosis and treatment of ADHD leads to improved outcomes. And if you're an adult with ADHD, it's not too late. Get a diagnosis for what's going on. Medication and non-medication (therapy, ADHD coaching) treatment for ADHD is available and helpful.

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Finally, if you're receiving treatment for ADHD, it's vital that you continue it. Statistics indicate that half the adults taking an ADHD medication stop after the third refill. Within 9 months of starting the prescription, 85% have quit their medication for ADHD.

As for treating the depression side of the equation, HealthyPlace Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft says most antidepressants work well when taken concurrently with ADHD medications. For treatment of depression, there's also psychotherapy, exercise, lifestyle changes, meditation, and don't forget sunlight. A vast majority of people who get treatment for depression experience significant relief.

Helpful Links for ADHD and Depression

Share Your Mental Health Experiences

Share your experiences with adult ADHD and depression or any mental health subject, or respond to other people's audio posts, by calling our toll-free number (1-888-883-8045).

You can listen to what other people are saying by clicking on the gray title bars inside the widgets located on the "Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences" homepage, the HealthyPlace homepage, and the HealthyPlace Support Network homepage.

If you have any questions, write us at: info AT

"Living Day-to-Day with Adult ADHD and Depression" On HealthyPlace TV

In third grade, Douglas Cootey, author of "A Splintered Mind" blog, was taking Ritalin. By age 15, depression struck and the prescribed medication that was supposed to help, instead gave him Tourette's Syndrome. In adulthood, disabled and unable to work, it was a 10-year battle before Douglas discovered some ways of coping. His story on Tuesday's HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show.

Join us Tuesday, December 15, at 5:30p PT, 7:30 CST, 8:30 EST or catch it on-demand. The show airs live on our website. Douglas will be taking your questions during the live show.

In the second half of the show, you get to ask Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, your personal mental health questions.

If you would like to be a guest on the show or share you personal story in writing or via video, please write us at: producer AT

Click here for a list of previous HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Shows.

Scrupulosity Show Rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15

As happens sometimes, we had some technical issues during last week's show, so we are doing a special early edition tonight (Tuesday) at 6p CT, 7 ET -- BEFORE our regularly scheduled show. It's an important subject and we hope you'll join us. The Sin of Scrupulosity blog post with more info is here.

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, December 15). Living with Adult ADHD and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Last Updated: September 5, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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