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Depression and ADHD: What’s the Link?

When persons with ADHD struggle with their symptoms, it can cause depression. Adults may experience problems at work. Deep feelings of hopelessness and other signs of depression may result from that. Keep reading to learn how to differentiate each condition and the treatments there are.

What Is ADHD? Depression and ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that affects the brain. It makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control their behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD affects an estimated 15 million people in America. In addition, it is more common in males than females.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes ADHD as a medically and legally treatable condition. Individuals with ADHD may have a hard time maintaining attention and finishing tasks. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can lead to unstable relationships, poor work performance, depression, and substance abuse. Proper ADHD Treatment is attainable, therefore, early detection is a must.

It can be challenging to diagnose and treat depression and ADHD because they share many symptoms. For instance, the inability to concentrate is a symptom of both depression and ADHD.

When persons with ADHD struggle with their symptoms, it can cause depression. Adults may experience problems at work, while kids may struggle at school or with playmates. Deep feelings of hopelessness and other symptoms of depression may result from that.

ADHD Symptoms

A person may not be diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood because teachers or family did not recognize the condition at a younger age.

Symptoms can become more severe when the demands of adulthood increase.

  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Problems listening to others
  • Struggles with organizing projects or responsibilities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Inability to control speech or actions
  • Frequently losing or misplacing personal items

People with ADHD may also be clumsy, unable to sleep, and have temper tantrums, and mood swings. They may find it hard to socialize and make friends. The symptoms and development of ADHD vary from person to person.

Types of ADHD

ADHD is a mental disorder that affects many people, and there are different types of this disorder. Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.

Inattentive Type

A person with this type often loses focus and thus gets off-topic, people must have at least six of these nine symptoms,

  • Making careless mistakes
  • Failing to pay attention and keep on task
  • Not listening
  • Being unable to follow or understand instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that involve effort
  • Being distracted
  • Being forgetful
  • Losing things that are needed to complete tasks

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type.

The hyperactive-impulsive type must have six or more of these symptoms:

  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Getting up often when seated
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble playing quietly
  • Talking too much
  • Talking out of turn or blurting out
  • Interrupting
Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.
Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.

Combined Type

The Combined Type means that the person has symptoms from both types, while the Predominantly Inattentive Type means that the person only has symptoms of the first type. People usually go through a series of stages before they receive an accurate diagnosis for either type (Types of ADHD). Someone who is diagnosed with primary inattentiveness might be told they have ADD or some other disorder (Types of ADHD). Since there is still some debate among experts.

Types of ADHD vary in severity. Usually, with medication, most people can adjust to dealing with this disorder. Sometimes there is a possibility that if you don’t take your medication correctly it could cause an overdose with serious consequences. Types of ADHD are different for everyone who has them, but they are all manageable if taken seriously and properly dealt with.

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ADHD Fact Sheet

ADHD Overview

A long-term disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and trouble paying focus. ADHD frequently manifests in early childhood and can last into adulthood. Low self-esteem, problematic relationships, and challenges at school or at work may all be impacted. Limited attention and hyperactivity are symptoms. Talk therapy and medication are used as treatments.

ADHD Symptoms

  • Behavioral: Aggression, excitement, fidgeting, hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, a lack of self-control, or a pattern of repeatedly repeating words or actions.
  • Cognitive: short attention span, forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, absentmindedness, or other cognitive symptoms.
  • Mood: Feelings of hostility, worry, boredom, enthusiasm, or mood swings
  • Also common: Depression and learning disabilities are also frequent.

ADHD Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

ADHD Statistics

The CDC analyzes data from parent surveys and medical claims to comprehend how attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed and treated (ADHD). Depending on the source, estimates for diagnosis and therapy can differ.

6 Million

The estimated number of children aged 3–17 years ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national survey of parents, is 6 million (9.8%) using data from 2016-2019. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


A national parent survey from 2016 reported on medication and behavior treatment for children 2–17 years of age with current ADHD 62% were taking ADHD medication

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

15 Million

ADHD affects an estimated 15 million people in America.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

At the We Level Up FL mental health facility, we provide the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. 
Can ADHD cause anxiety and depression? Depression and anxiety may be more common in people with ADHD because of how their brains are built. This may result in ADHD with anxiety and depression.

Adult ADHD and Depression – ADHD and Depression in Adults

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Your emotions, conduct, and learning processes may all be impacted. ADHD is frequently identified in children, and many people continue to exhibit symptoms well into adulthood. You can take action to manage your ADHD if you have it. Your doctor might suggest behavioral therapy, counseling, or other therapies in addition to drugs.

Unusually many kids and adults with ADHD also struggle with depression. For instance, University of Chicago researchers discovered that teenagers with ADHD are 10 times more likely than those without ADHD to experience depression. Adults with ADHD may also suffer from a major depressive disorder.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you believe you may have depression and ADHD overlap. They could aid in identifying your symptoms. They can also assist you in creating a personalized treatment plan.

Can You Have ADHD and Depression?

Can you have depression and ADHD? It can be challenging to diagnose and treat depression and ADHD because they share many symptoms. For instance, the inability to concentrate is a symptom of both depression and ADHD.

Additionally, medications for ADHD symptoms may interfere with your sleep or eating patterns, both of which can be indicators of depression. Hyperactivity and irritability in kids might be signs of melancholy in addition to ADHD.

When persons with ADHD struggle with their symptoms, it can cause depression. Adults may experience problems at work, while kids may struggle at school or with playmates. Deep feelings of hopelessness and other symptoms of depression may result from that.

Both conditions appear to be related to your family history, however, doctors are unsure of what causes either one. Frequently, a parent or other family member also suffers from depression or ADHD.

ADHD and Depression Symptoms

Depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness
  • Frequent feelings of anxiety, irritability, restlessness, or frustration
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue

The signs of ADHD and depression might coexist in some cases. The two conditions may be difficult to distinguish as a result. For instance, both depression and ADHD can manifest as restlessness and boredom. Sometimes the side effects of medication for depression and ADHD might also resemble symptoms of depression. Some ADHD medicines may result in:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness

If you suspect you might be depressed, make an appointment with your doctor. They can help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

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Can ADHD Cause Depression and Anxiety? Untreated ADHD and Depression – ADHD Depression and Anxiety

ADHD vs depression and anxiety: ADHD frequently co-occurs with other conditions, which is referred to as co-morbidity. Depression and anxiety may be more common in people with ADHD because of how their brains are built. Any form of mental health disease that is left untreated and undetected is likely to deteriorate, resulting in worsened symptoms, and perhaps even setting off other problems like anxiety and depression (ADHD anxiety and depression).

Anxiety depression and ADHD: People with ADHD are more likely to perform risky actions. These risks may have unforeseen repercussions, such as relationship, family, and financial difficulties as well as troubles at work and resulting in depression anxiety, and ADHD altogether.

ADHD and anxiety and depression: Those who have ADHD tend to be more impulsive than average. Due to the fact that people with ADHD sometimes behave without fully considering the effects of their choices, problems might finally become too much for the person, which can create anxiety and melancholy. Alcohol usage, in particular, has been connected to ADHD. Alcoholism and substance abuse raise a person’s likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression (ADHD and depression anxiety).

Difference Between ADHD and Depression

Difference between depression and ADHD: Since ADHD is a neurological disorder, it starts in childhood and lasts the rest of your life. People with ADHD may have what is known as an executive function deficit: they find it difficult to follow through on tasks and easily lose their organization, forgetting appointments and misplacing their belongings.

There is more to depression than just sadness or the blues. Many patients have recurrent episodes, which may persist for weeks, months, or even longer. Going to work or school, maintaining your personal cleanliness, and eating a nutritious diet can be difficult when you’re depressed, people with these conditions often ask themselves “how to clean your room with ADHD and depression?” or related everyday activities. When it is severe and accompanied by suicidal thoughts, it is also a life-threatening condition.

Comorbid Depression and ADHD Risk Factors

If you have ADHD, you are more likely to experience ADHD and depression comorbidity due to a number of risk factors, this also applies to ADHD and seasonal depression.


If you’re a male, you have a higher chance of developing ADHD. But according to University of Chicago studies, women are more prone to experience despair when they have ADHD. Compared to men, women with ADHD are more likely to experience depression.

ADHD type

The University of Chicago researchers also discovered that those with mostly inattentive or mixed forms of ADHD are more likely to suffer from depression than those with the hyperactive-impulsive kind.

Maternal health history

Your likelihood of having depression is also influenced by your mother’s mental health. Researchers observed that mothers who experienced depression or serotonin impairment during pregnancy were more likely to deliver kids who were later identified as having ADHD, depression, or both. More study is required. However, these findings imply that reduced serotonin function can have an impact on the fetus’s developing brain and culminate in symptoms like ADHD.

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ADHD and Depression Treatment

Both diseases are often treated with a combination of ADHD and depression medication and therapy sessions. What condition is giving you the most trouble may determine how you begin. For instance, if ADHD is contributing to stress, treating it first may help remove one of the factors that contribute to depression.

Stimulants that increase the brain’s focus- and thinking-related neurotransmitters are frequently used to treat ADHD, those are medication for ADHD and depression. They can assist with symptoms while you’re at work or school, but they can also reduce your appetite, give you headaches, or interfere with your sleep.

Some supplements for ADHD and depression don’t include stimulants and don’t have the same adverse effects as stimulants. Yet they might not function as rapidly. Your doctor might prescribe a mix of stimulant and non-stimulant medications.

Antidepressants may be recommended by your doctor to treat depression (depression and ADHD medication). These may have negative effects, such as suicidal thoughts, and require many weeks to start working. While taking them, parents should keep a watchful eye on kids, especially teenagers.

In addition to stimulants, antidepressants may be used to treat the symptoms of ADHD alone or in conjunction with other medications to treat both diseases.

ADHD symptoms that go untreated can significantly affect a person's daily life.
ADHD symptoms that go untreated can significantly affect a person’s daily life.

What Is The Best Medication for ADHD and Depression? ADHD and Depression Medication for Adults

What drugs might your doctor recommend to you? The best antidepressant for ADHD and depression (best medication for anxiety depression and adhd) is different for everyone. The choices that may be presented to you are listed below:

ADHD and depression medication combination: Stimulants

Patients may be prescribed stimulants like Adderall for ADHD and depression (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine). The chemicals in the brain that help with focus are increased by stimulants. However, they may also cause adverse reactions like lack of appetite or insomnia.

Medication for ADHD Anxiety and Depression: Non-stimulants

Non-stimulants such as Strattera (atomoxetine) may also be prescribed for ADHD.

ADHD Medication and Depression: Antidepressants

For depression, doctors may give antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin (bupropion), which also eases the symptoms of ADHD. It may take several weeks before you can tell whether or not an antidepressant is effective.

CBD for Depression and ADHD

Anxiety and depression are two of the many co-occurring illnesses that ADHD is frequently linked to. CBD may assist those who also have ADHD by easing their symptoms of anxiety and despair since it has shown promise as a potential treatment for a number of mental health issues.

Natural Supplements for ADHD and Depression

These are the most popular natural supplements for ADHD and depression and natural remedies for depression and ADHD for mitigating symptoms:

  • Omega-3s.
  • Zinc.
  • Iron.
  • Magnesium.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Melatonin.


While therapy for depression may focus on recognizing and replacing negative ideas and behaviors, psychotherapy for ADHD tries to improve focus and boost self-esteem (which may also be helpful for ADHD).

In a study of 77 adults with ADHD, it was shown that those who had had intensive psychotherapy and exhibited less ruminative thinking were more resistant to depressive episodes.

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We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time.

Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. 

A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment.

At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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