As many as 70 percent of all people with ADHD will suffer symptoms of depression and/or anxiety at some point in their lives. So are ADHD and Depression Linked? The answer is yes.
What’s the Connection between ADHD and Depression?
First, the bad news: ADHD and depression often go hand in hand. Depression is estimated to be 2.7 times more prevalent among adults with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) than among the general adult population.
Now, the good news: Effective remedies for depression are readily available, and they work just as well for adults with ADHD as they do for others. If you think you have the condition, there is no need to suffer.
ADHD and Primary Depression
Some adults with ADHD become depressed for no obvious reason — the condition strikes even in the absence of unpleasant life circumstances or events (difficulties at work or in school, job loss, relationship problems, chronic illness, and so on). Risk for this form of depression, known as primary depression, seems to be largely inherited and may be tied to hypersensitivity.
ADHD and Secondary Depression
In other cases, depression arises as a direct consequence of the chronic frustration and disappointment of living with untreated or poorly managed ADHD. By some estimates, 25 percent of adults with the disorder haven’t gotten appropriate treatment. Such cases of depression are said to be secondary to ADHD.
Sometimes these comorbid conditions arise independently of ADHD. Yet they can also be the result of the chronic stress and discouragement that come from living with ADHD. In women with ADHD, sad, anxious feelings — as well as ADHD symptoms — tend to increase during the pre-menstrual phase. Symptoms also tend to flare up in the years leading up to and during menopause.
What are the symptoms?
ADHD is an umbrella term for a wide range of symptoms. There are three main types of the condition:
Predominantly inattentive type:
You might have this type of ADHD if you have trouble paying attention, struggle to organize your thoughts, and get distracted easily.
Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type:
You might have this type of ADHD if you frequently feel restless, interrupt or blurt out information, and find it difficult to stay still.
If you have a combination of the two types described above, you have combination type ADHD.
Depression can also 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
What’s the best way for adults with ADHD to overcome anxiety or depression?
We, of course, highly recommend our drug-free services for those that suffer from all sorts of symptoms caused by improper brain function by boosting the brain to its functional best with neurofeedback and proper nutrition. Neurofeedback is a research-proven way to improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is quite sophisticated, the process is simple, painless, and noninvasive.
In addition to our highly effective services, certain changes in your lifestyle can go a long way toward alleviating anxiety and depression. We recommend these 3 simple steps…
Get More Sleep
Many adults with ADHD have trouble falling asleep, and sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of the disorder. Sleeplessness reduces your ability to cope and leaves you feeling demoralized.
To improve your sleep patterns, go to bed at the same time every night, and avoid exercise and other stimulating activities for at least an hour before turning in. A hot shower or bath just before bedtime can also help. If sleep problems persist, consult a doctor.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Recent studies have shown that when children with ADHD spend more time in natural settings, their symptoms are less severe. I suspect that the same is true for adults, though it’s unclear precisely why adults with ADHD benefit from “green time.”
We recommend at least 30 minutes a day of green time. That’s easy to do on weekends. During the week, you might walk or bicycle to and from work. If that’s impractical, pick a scenic route for your commute. Eat lunch in a park. After work, take a walk.
Exercise Every Day
A daily workout does more than produce the natural mood-boosting compounds known as endorphins. It makes it easier to fall asleep at night, and more sleep means better moods. And if you go outside to exercise, you’ll be getting exposure to sunlight. For a triple benefit, try taking a daily 30-minute walk in a natural setting.
If you have ADHD, your chances of developing depression increase. If you suspect you’re experiencing depression, make an appointment with your doctor. They can help you identify the cause of your symptoms and recommend treatment, and we highly recommend our highly affective services! We observe the brain in action in real time. We feed this information back to the person and reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns.