ADHD and Depression
When you have ADHD, it always comes with what are called comorbidities; other conditions like anxiety, learning disabilities, and yes, the beast of depression.
Aren’t we lucky?
Oh, and not just one.
ADHD is generous. We get a lot. Too many, in fact.
ADHD can be difficult to live with, all by itself.
And many of the other conditions that come along with it can make things worse.
In my opinion, depression and anxiety are two of the worst.
Sure, there are medications for depression, but you have to find the right one. And don’t assume that it’s going to work for the rest of your life.
Even if it does work, there will still be times when it just won’t be enough.
So what I thought I would do is to give you some ideas and some tools to have on hand: before, during, and after depression hits.
Obviously, once you are aware that you may be prone to depression, you need to see a doctor.
I’ve tried dealing with mine with natural methods, and it just doesn’t work, although there is one thing that I do recommend (courtesy of my doctor) that you could supplement.
And depression can be dangerous; people have taken their lives because of it. You don’t want to mess around. Just see the doctor and work with them on finding the right treatment for you.
Sometimes the doctor might recommend therapy, and that’s OK.
Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of; it can actually be very helpful. And for most people, it’s a short term thing.
Outside of those things, you might want to start paying closer attention to when you get depressed.
For some, the winter months, when it’s so dark and gray outside, are hard.
For others, a certain time of year might trigger depression. The holidays, for instance.
One July, I was feeling especially down and couldn’t figure out why until I really looked at the calendar. My mother passed away on July 24 many years ago, and so now, if I start feeling bad around then, I know why. And more importantly, I can prepare ahead of time.
Actually being in the throes of depression can feel like it will never end. And sometimes “the end” is all we can think about. (Be aware, now, that if you feel that way, you need help immediately – in the moment. Don’t be afraid to get it.)
It’s also important to realize that it will end, and probably sooner than you think.
Sometimes a bad bout of depression can last for a week or more; sometimes just a few hours.
The long ones signal a need for professional help, but there are things to help you get through the not so bad ones:
- Even though you may not feel like it, getting out of the house can often help. It doesn’t have to be around people, sometimes just being outside helps.
- Sometimes being around people does help, even if you think it won’t.
- Moving helps. I know the tendency is to want to take a nap, but that often creates more problems than it solves. Take a walk, or dance in the house.
- Enjoy a good old fashioned carb fest, or binge on some chocolate, if that’s your thing. No alcohol, please.
- Watch a movie, maybe a funny one.
After you get through a period of depression, you might want to make note of it in your planner or journal. The dates could be important, as well as how long it lasted. And if you can rate the severity, that might come in handy at some point.
If something helped (or didn’t), make a note of that too. That doesn’t mean it will or won’t work the next time, but if you see a pattern after a while, that can help you weed out what’s definitely not working at least.
Make a note of other things too, like the medication you’re taking – and not just the one for depression. Note the weather, how you were sleeping, what was happening.
And for further, reading, here’s a quiz about depression. Maybe it can give you some more insight into your own.