View Full Version : Depression often comorbid with ADD

03-05-03, 09:53 AM
Depression is often found in ADD/ADHD individuals that have been misdiagnosed or not diagnosed with ADD/ADHD for years. Over time, the constant pain and frustration takes its toll on a person. When they DO get diagnosed properly...sometimes that's even more depressing. For me, I was misdiagnosed when I was in kindergarten. I was never told of the diagnosis, and was verbally berated by my parents and teachers for years: "If only you would just apply yourself" "Just try harder" etc.

When I was finally diagnosed at the age of 24, all the pain and frustration just overwhelmed me. It was a good feeling to know that I wasn't crazy after all, but it became quite depressing for me, knowing that all my childhood pain and anguish could have been avoided....that I could have enjoyed my childhood, instead of emerging with a very low self-esteem.

Years of therapy and new medications have certainly helped, but my childhood experiences certainly have had a long-term effect on my relationship with my family, my romantic relationship, etc.

04-01-04, 05:44 PM
Hugs Big,

To tell some one with AD/ADHD "TO just try harder" only Makes them more Scattered & IS THE WORST THING ANYONE CAN DO...
I'm jerking back tears here Big, as I was diagnosed in elementary school (don't remember when but had to be 1,2,3 grade area). I was put on Ritalin, I asked my mom WHY was I not treated but that 1 year, she said I got better & didn't need it. I couldn't stay in my seat in school apparently & she even told me of my running up on stage at a play once at about age 4 or 5. Well, we moved ALOT being in the military, I think the teachers must have been good there at that school and caught it & helped me with a special teacher to read...I can remember sitting with her one on one sounding out words in a book..(I don't remember alot of my childhood). So in high school I could read words but i couldn't remember what i had just read & it was so bad my eyes were all over the page... I learned to compensate to read in college at age 26....I rewrote all my notes from class and used lots of colored pencils, markers, and highlighters...Books in my house have entire pages underlined so i can stay focused on the sentence while I read....Hugs again, I got a lot of grief too...I even told Doctors I was On Ritalin as a kid from my early 20's on & they would respond..."OH that goes away!"...I got re-diagnosed around age 35....I feel like I have to convince some doctors that "I DO HAVE IT".... I saw my family Doc yesterday & was all in prepare mode to defend that I DO HAVE ADHD & he knows I do have it & believes me. Sigh* I actually fell some better when I see Him as I feel validated & not judged. He told me once when I said, I wish I didn't have adhd, I was really down on myself, that's it's a birth defect NOT a character flaw......I just have an immature nervous system & I AM OK!


11-01-04, 10:48 AM
Big, my hat is always off to you for being BIG and being on this site. I am ADD diagnosed at age 39. My adopted daughter is 4 and has ADHD and ODD. I am having a lot of trouble with daughters ODD and her siblings are copying her bad behavior. They are ages 5 and 3. I was so depressed this week-end that I only got out of bed twice. My husband had to take care of the kids. I slept ALL weekend. I am on Effexor 150 for depression but it does not work. I have tried Prozac too. Do you have any suggestions on meds?

03-18-05, 03:23 AM
I'm like you, except I suffered depression from at least the age of 2. You may have read in my intro that I was taken to a hospital for tests to see why I cried ALL the time. My parents thought I must be in some kind of pain. The doctors concluded that I was just very intelligent and was frustrated by my inability to yet communicate that. The doctors weren't so far off, were they? I am grateful that they at least validated my psychic pain. My mother always encouraged me to do my art or music or crafts or anything at all that made me quiet and peaceful.
But I just always thought I was depressed (because it was so obvious to me) and that I had migraines (I did have my first remembered one at age 4).
Then, at 51, about 6 months ago, I stumbled upon a test for ADD (I was researching tests for a Sociology class where the students had to locate a 'real' personality test after which to model their own). The questions jumped off the screen at me as if to say, 'Hey, this is you, take notice!'
Suddenly the memories of humiliation due to my inability to contain my actions had a reason. And also most of my depression.

One thing I haven't seen discussed is brain damage as a cause. I did fall on my head when I was 2. Everyone here seems to only want to believe the hereditary cause. I am guessing it can be either or both.

Any way, Big, I have great empathy for you.

Oh, and my daughter was watching Sex and the City reruns last night. I don't suppose your name is related to that Mr. Big? LOL Maybe someday you will be A Rich Mr. Big. ;)

03-25-05, 11:15 PM
By: Sosninity: One thing I haven't seen discussed is brain damage as a cause. I did fall on my head when I was 2. Everyone here seems to only want to believe the hereditary cause. I am guessing it can be either or both.

You know, it is funny that you mention this, because I have been thinking more and more about my childhood here in the past few weeks. Depression, and Desperation are things that I am VERY familiar with. In regards to your addressing brain damage:

When I was 4 years old, I fell out of a 3 story hay loft, onto solid concrete and had a massive skull fracture. I was flown to a hospital who had at the time the leading Neuro Surgeon in the world. (He is still very well known today). He told my parents that there was really little that he could do, but that he would do what he could to stabilize my injuries in surgery, but not to be expectant of a good recoverey...if a recovery at all. They said the surgery would last anywhere from 23-26 hours and they would have 6 different teams of surgeons Dr. Kachmann being first and formost on the teams.

I was in a coma, had severe swelling of my brain, and was to put it honestly, "A dying little girl". They rushed me into surgery, and my parents began praying, as well as all of the members of our local church. Prayer chains were lighting up all over the state of Indiana, and people started a candle light vigil in the front entrance of the hospital.

Twenty six minutes after they rushed me in for surgery...the surgeon came out to tell my parents how things went. 26 MINUTES! (Obviously I did pretty darn good...I am here). My mother thought that he was coming to tell them that her baby, her only girl had just died. She started screaming...crying out to God...and asking WHY!...Then she started running through the hallway to meet up with the surgeon. He caught her just and she collapsed in his arms. They got her to a chair, and he held my mother and my daddies hands, and he just stared at them. He asked them to walk to the front entrance of the hospital with them, and my mother just kept saying, I WANT TO HOLD HER...where is she...I need to see her body!

Dr. Kachmann walked them down the corridor and led them to the front entrance where HUNDREDS of people were standing with candles. He looked at them both and he said. "Your baby girl is alive and well, you can see her in about 20 minutes, we are not sure yet weather any brain damage took place, but rest assured, she will walk out of this hospital very soon." My daddy cried, and my mother sobbed. He sat them down and explained how things went in the OR.

What they had planned to do was to go in and use a small vacuum to vacuum out all of the tiny pieces of bone fragment, and replace it with a steel plate that they would form to the normal size of my skull. (On X-Ray, my head looked like you took an egg shell, removed the contents, and stepped on the shell repetedly, grinding your foot a few times). When they opened my head, he explained that he had the vacuuming instrument in his hand, when he looked down and saw something...he said that he did not know what made him do it, but he picked up a tiny screwdriver like instrument from the instrument table placed it into a gaping hole in my skull, and gently pulled up.

EVERY PIECE OF MY SKULL WENT RIGHT BACK INTO PLACE. They ran more tests, x rays, etc. And sewed me up. All of what was supposed to take up to 26 hours, took a mere 26 minutes. Dr. Kachmann, said to my parents, "Most Doctors do not believe in anything that is not scientificlly proven, we dont believe in miracles, or the power of prayer. However; I am on my way to the hospital Chapel right now if you would care to join me later!"

Now, I shared that so that this would make since. When I was about 7 years old, I started behaving badly in class etc. All classic ADD signs, but I can also remember being VERY VERY Depressed. The teachers at that time, insisted that my parents have me tested because there was something "WRONG" with me. And I was treated like there was something WRONG with me, something like what seemed to a 7 year old to be like the bluonic plague. So, we went to the doctor, and my parents demanded that I be sent for evaluation to Riley Children's Hospital here in Indiana. They set up that appt. and off we went.

I saw a Doctor who was from Africa. I don't remember a lot about the visit. But I do remember that the doctor was GREAT BIG...To me he looked like a GIANT. I even told my parents afterwards that I wasnt scared of him cause he looked like a GIANT PIECE OF DARK CHOCOLATE! He had a very strange accent and the nurses had to translate everything for my parents, I was able to understand him very well. His english was great, but his accent was kinda quirky!

He told my parents that he beleived and that I did test "positive" in several areas, that I had a SLIGHT case of ADD. He however refused to medicate me. He told my parents that it was MOST LIKLEY caused by my HEAD INJURY that i suffered at the age of 4...but that medicating me with Ritalin would only cause me to lose my creativity and imagination. And that I was so imaginative and creative that he felt that it would destroy my self worth, and ability to function. (God love that man).

LOTS of doctors now say that there is in no way a link to head injuries and ADD. I am still not so sure. There is not a family history in my family of ADD, either diagnosed, or from what I observe, undiagnosed. But hey, if this is the worst thing that I get from that entire ordeal, I must say, I am ON HELL OF A LUCKY WOMAN!

I did want to make another note about the depression issues. There are so many things going through my mind at this present point in my life, that I just cant seem to stop THINKING about it all at once. I am sorry if this post is LONG drawn out, boring and all that stuff...I cant seem to focus. And I know that I am very depressed. Extremely depressed.

Andrew, (Biggy ;) ) I want you to know how very special you are to so many people. You do amazing work, and have managed to accomplish what I consider a "MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH" in helping people to EMOTIANALLY deal with their ADD. WHAT A GOD SEND that you are, not just to me, but to the entire ADD community! First and foremost, youa re wonderful, terriffic, and special. There is an infinate realm of happiness and solace out there for you, and I hope with every fiberof my being that you find that realm, and lavish in it!

I also want to say...I am sorry that you had such a rough childhood. I am sorry, and hope that you make peace with it very soon.

God Bless...."Don't tell God how big your problem is...Tell the problem how BIG your GOD is!

03-25-05, 11:16 PM
HOLY MOTHER OF ADAM...that is a HUMONGOUS POST...I am soooooo sorry...but ya know...I feel a tiny smidge better...I think!

04-04-05, 01:19 AM
latesha, that was a great post! I love the doctor in your story of the incident. And the paragraph breaks made it very readable. Not boring at all. I can picture the scene where the doctor shows your parents the candle-light vigil.

Like the good doctor in your story, I was concerned about being changed by medication. But my overactive creativity has always been a little too much, even for me. And it just seemed like this was the last opportunity I would have to try medication, given my age. So I started medicating recently, primarily because my job was on the chopping block. I have a boss who is not well-suited to people like us, but it's just not a good time to find another job right now.

The medication does not seem to work as intended. I have also long suspected something in my biochemistry is atypical. But combined with my new-found knowledge of ADHD, the medication helps me step back and see myself in my environment--instead of just trying to step back from my environment via various methods of escape.

I see myself as very immature socially. As an adult, I always looked a lot younger than I was. But now, past 50, I see it was not just my physicality, but rather my "youthful" personality. Though I could still pass for 45 or younger, adults of that age do not act like pre-teens emotionally. Fortunately I work with young adults, who enjoy my "youthful" mannerisms.

I also seem to be noticing that some of the distractions I willingly follow to escape an unpleaseant turn of conversation. For instance, "Oh, look at that beautiful flower!" when my teen-age daughter is in a snit. It worked well when they were babies and could be distracted from crying in frustration over something they couldn't have.

ADD works well in lots of situations. Maybe we are the normal ones, and the rest of the people just happen to be in power at the moment.

Sorry to go off on a tangent.