View Full Version : ADHD and depression+ a tough combo

05-07-06, 07:34 PM
It sucks being an ADHD'er with depression. Depression makes my ADHD worse and my depression makes ADHD worse.

Usually when I get sad, I start feeling better within a few hours. Like I cried my eyes out today. I am much better at not doing really stupid stuff like trying to hurt myself. I still will threaten it every now and then but I don't actually attempt it. I just hurt so bad sometimes I say I am going to hurt myself to get people to listen to me, a cry for help. I don't want to die but just want my situation to get better. The pain sometimes gets unbearable and I don't think straight.I know it is the wrong way to get support from people but I am so impulsive. By the time I figure out what I did or said is wrong it is too late.

Being ADHD means feeling embarrassed and ashamed a lot because I do things I really don't want to do without thinking first.It's not as bad as it used to be. Actually my situation has gotten better.

I don't think I would get depressed so much if I wasn't ADHD.

I had stopped taking my lexapro which was really dumb thing to do. I just started taking it again five days ago so it's not fully in my system yet, as it takes about 4-6 weeks( if I take it everyday) to see full benefits.

Does anyone else have this ADHD and depression comorbidity?

05-24-06, 11:16 AM
Hey Jett, I know exactly how you feel... I've been struggling with ADD (undiagnosed) for most of my life. In grade 4 it started off with a visit to the hearing specialist after my teacher said i wasn't listening... I did well in highschool even though i procrastinated and crammed. In university it all caught up to me thou. My depression was progressing throughout highschool until I started getting suicidal. My doc put me on Zoloft, which I took 150mg's of. I then went to see a psych about my ADD and he put me on Adderall XR 20mg's. When i first got the adderall i discontinued the Zoloft thinking I would no longer need it... BIG mistake. I started having problems with my thinking, but the biggest side was the nightmares that went on for 2 weeks after I stopped. I've since continued taking my Zoloft at 100mg's a day. I agree, this is a pretty ****ty combination, and I was at first worried about taking Zoloft and Adderall together because of potential sides... but its not that bad. Depression runs in my family as my mom has it, she is also ADD, and my dad has mood swings/ anger problems. I know I can't grow out of this, I just hope the intensity of the depression subsides. I am 21. Best of luck Jett :)

05-24-06, 01:06 PM
I also suffer from a an ADD/depression combination. On top of that I also have extreme anxiety. I understand what you're going through. Since starting my concerta I have stopped my Lexapro and Ativan, which i know sounds like a bad idea but I'm not sure if I should start again. I"m not nearly as depressed as I used to be and my depressive episodes seem to pass quicker, but ym anxiety is still a problem. When me depression was at it's worst (a year ago before starting concerta). i used to hurt myself as a way of emotional release. I didn;t want to die, i just wanted to have a physical pain that would go away faster and distract me from the emotional pain. I had a sense of relief. I know now that It was avery bad idea because if I llet it go I could have really done some damage. I still have nasty scars on my arms, which i don't want to have to wory about hiding but whenever I go out in public i know people are staring at them.

05-24-06, 01:14 PM
I didnt think it was possible to be an adult with ADHD without depression...

05-24-06, 01:20 PM
Yes, they are a tough combo. I'm not sure if I am depressed consistently but
I've taken anti-depressants and they have no anti-depression affect on me.

I think my depression comes from the constant battle to get things done and taking what seems to be 10 times longer than it should take.
Lately I feel like I'm behind on everything, don't care, panic, take my anti-anxiety meds to calm down, force myself to do things that must be done and start the cycle all over again.

05-24-06, 01:39 PM
I feel you Jett and I have had great luck with Zoloft. (just dont take it on an empty stomach. I am not taking any ADHD meds yet but was thinking that my depression might go away if the main thing that depresses got better myself ;)

We are in the same boat.

Zoloft makes me really happy and content I must say. Its nice

06-11-06, 01:20 PM
Is it harmful to take ADD meds and antidepressants in combo? would 1 be presumed to help with the other or do you feel the disorders / treatments are mutually exclusive?

06-11-06, 03:17 PM
I am prescribed depression, anxiety and ADD medicine, altohugh I have stopped taking the depression medication since starting Concerta. I don't think they are dangerous. I think it's pretty common to treat the ADD but then have to treat the comorbids that have developed around it. You might not have to take the anti depressents forever, since the ADD might be the main problem.

Matt S.
06-12-06, 10:52 AM
No but I have ADHD hyperactive/impulsive type and Bipolar 2 predominantly hypomanic type and that can be hell without medication given that at least 5% of the time theres depression and the other times you either feel like you won the lottery or scattered and impatient... life sucks like that...

06-12-06, 01:43 PM
I find that what many doctors call depression may, in the case of ADD/ADHD, be more frsutration. Frustration at not being understood, at not being able to do things properly, at being overwhelmed.
So if one is given meds for depression and it is frustration, is this going to helP? I wonder..

06-12-06, 01:53 PM
There is a very high comorbidity of ADHD and depression. ADDers have something like 3 times the risk of having depression and 6 times the risk of having some other psychiatric diagnosis compared to non ADD folks. I have ADHD, anxiety, and depression, and you're right -- they make each other harder. I just started taking Prozac along with my Concerta and it seems to be helping. Hopefully when you medication gets back up to speed in your system things will be better for you.

Take care

02-04-07, 12:01 AM
I just recently got diagnosed with ADHD (non-hyperactive). For as long as I can remember, ive had depression (im 26 now). Finding out that the reason I have depression is most likely due to my ADD has made my depression worse. Im realizing how much havoc its wrecked in my life and Im so afraid that things wont ever get better. Im on zoloft and take ritalin but its not doing what i thought it would do for me. Now I feel letdown bc i had really high hopes that the meds would help me feel better. Im just hurting so bad inside and honestly dont know where to turn or what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

02-04-07, 02:17 AM
I just recently got diagnosed with ADHD (non-hyperactive). For as long as I can remember, ive had depression (im 26 now). Finding out that the reason I have depression is most likely due to my ADD has made my depression worse. Im realizing how much havoc its wrecked in my life and Im so afraid that things wont ever get better. Im on zoloft and take ritalin but its not doing what i thought it would do for me. Now I feel letdown bc i had really high hopes that the meds would help me feel better. Im just hurting so bad inside and honestly dont know where to turn or what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the Forum, dear!

You can find some answers and help here for sure. I'm glad you found us. I also have had depression for many, many years. I sent you a Private Message. You should also start a thread in the new members/introduction section. Good luck! ;)

02-04-07, 01:04 PM
Vanslyke18, have you been on the meds more than a month?

02-04-07, 05:07 PM
I would say that the majority of people diagnosed with depression have some type of attention disorder and vice versa. It's very difficult to isolate the two. The parts of the brain involved in mood are also involved in attention.

The gene/genes that predispose someone to adhd probably also predisposes one to depression and vice versa.

02-04-07, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the welcome!

I just started Strattera about a month ago-- I do not feel anything yet. I have become SO anti-social because of my up and down moods. I don't make plans anymore because I never know how I am going to feel. I have been in therapy for depression but never for ADHD. What type of therapy should I get into? The past few months just have been so hard for me and I feel that my motivation level is decreasing. I am just unsure what to do or where to seek help.

02-04-07, 10:16 PM
Strattera works well for some folks, but over all stimulent medication has a better track record. You might want to talk with your doctor about trying a long acting stimulent like Concerta, Adderall, Focalin, etc. Stimulents also have a mild anti depressant effect which might be helpful. Strattera was actually first developed as an anti depressant (tricyclic anti-depressants), but it wasn't terribley effective, but was found useful for some folks with ADD.

I hope you can also talk to a counselor who understands ADD in adults -- CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has been studied and found effective in treating both ADD and depression symptoms. Research has also found that exercise is as effective as Zoloft in combating depression. I know I personally have found it very helpful and it also improves my ADD symptoms.

Take care,

02-05-07, 01:03 AM
Thanks for everyones replies. Im going to a new dr on wed. for therapy. (also looking for a new meds dr b/c my current psych isnt working out) I pray and hope that he can help me with my negativity and self esteem issues.
thanks again for everyones support-ill post soon

02-05-07, 05:59 PM
I hope it goes well with the new doctor!

Take care,

02-05-07, 06:12 PM
Yes i have this problem at the momment, since i stopped self medicating, i have gone down hill! the crying has just started where i cry for nothing, some might say it's the baby, i'm carrying but i know what depression feels like, i have been here many times before.

I don't know what i'm going to do, because what can they give you while your pregnant!
I know it's only going to get worse, usually by now if i start to feel like this, i would of been off to my doctor for the help!
I knew it was going to come because iv'e been off medication for about 9 months now!

I keep having my partner saying just hang on, but how much more hanging can someone do untill they drop?

Anyway guy's thanks for letting me get that off my chest! :o :(

02-05-07, 06:21 PM
Hey xstarchildx,

Can you walk and get some exercise at this stage of your pregnancy? I'm not saying it's a cure all, but it might lessen the depression. In a head to head study they did with Zoloft, exercise won, when it came to combating depression. Talk to your doctor and see what he suggests. Would one of those special lights that help combat Seasonal Effective Disorder help? They help raise your serotonin level I understand. Take care of yourself, gal!


02-05-07, 06:58 PM
Hiya Scattered! Thankyou for replying, yeah walking not really doing much! I'm pretty big now and i'm getting sciatica, so that's slowing me down, i went swimming last week with a friend and that did help but got a cold on my chest and that's effecting my asthma!, so i'm not winning anything i try at the momment, i sound like a right case.

02-05-07, 07:40 PM
Their are many options available to a doctor treating a pregnant woman. I suggest you talk to your doctor a.s.a.p.

02-05-07, 08:05 PM
I'd definately talk to my doctor. You might ask him if Omega III fatty acids might help -- if memory serves they're not only helpful in combating depression (I just read a couple of good articles on that) but are also good for the baby's brain development. You just need to be sure to get a source were impurities are removed, because the fetus is very vulnerable to mercury and other contaminates.

Sorry the swimming didn't work out, because of the cold. Hope you're better soon!

Take care,

02-06-07, 07:08 AM
Thanks nzkiwi and Scattered, i will make an appointment with my doctor! and mention omega 3.

02-28-07, 04:03 PM
Hey xstar, you are not alone. I had a pregnancy like that. The doc didn't take me seriously-it was so hard. I hope your doctor listens to you and finds a treatment that will help you. Plus, please watch for post-partum depression too-that is a true crisis when you love that little one and just can't cope.

I am not pregnant, but relapsing with depression because of the high stress of the last 2 months. The other problem is that i have not been on any anti-d's for 6 months. I really need to stay on them all the time since I have had such severe depression in the past.

Seeing my doc tomorrow. Let's walk through this together OK? I will stop wishing I could just die in my sleep and not hurt anymore and you promise to not hurt yourself or the baby ok? This is bio-chemical, not crazy. So let's hold on. I hate crying all the time-for nothing and everything.

Keep us updated ok? I will too.

03-03-07, 02:32 AM
On Lexapro 10mg. I am a lot sicker than I realized. This disorder has a sneaky way to it, you don't see until things get pretty bad.

I wonder if the esteem and other issues of having ADD or other comorbids make it hard to distinguish our own opinion of ourselves and recognizing a real and serious health problem. I thought I was just having severe anxiety-but that was not the whole picture.

Lexapro treats both depression and anxiety and has a good track record with fewer side-effects than the other depression meds I have taken.

Now to get better. Stick with xstar-you haven't posted, if you read this please post and let me know how you are doing!


03-03-07, 02:35 PM


03-03-07, 02:37 PM
Thanks Dorm! I will definitely do that. Maybe if I had, I would not have gotten so sick!

Thank you for being a friend.

03-04-07, 01:44 AM


03-06-07, 12:22 PM
Ok, The weight loss is getting to be too much-I have not been this thin since jr. high? I am eating better but will keep a food diary and foods I can eat in small amounts but have high calorie counts. Protein is essential to prevent muscle breakdown. I actually feel like eating and can get through a small meal now several times a day. Making and eating my favorite foods too. I have lost about 15lbs since Jan 2nd. Way to much. After trying to lose weight for 12 years this is not the way to go. I need to gain 10lbs to be at a healthy weight. I will look like a super model soon if this keeps up-yuck!

So off to start a Depression/anxiety journal so I really get a good picture of what is going on physically and mentally. Will help my doc see what is happening too.

Trying to walk as many days as possible too. Maybe add some free weights to build muscle gradually.

03-06-07, 01:52 PM
id say that your useing more eneygt than your takeing in raddmomo.... that would partly expaine the wghit loss an deps how much sleep your geting will have an impart if your wight has sudley tropd off then better to go see doc to make shore things ok....and hormones will have an feeeft an cos the meds your on might make in harder to put whight on.....meny things but my advice bester to see doc an chat to them an do the dirity ofve eveything you eat an drink.....all best m8 be safe


03-06-07, 02:18 PM
Thanks dorm,

I forgot to mention he does know about my weight and we will see how this goes by my next visit very soon. Have had blood work and all done-all negatives. Depression is a huge cause-the exercise seems to make me hungrier.

Appreciate the advice, thanks again.---ME

03-06-07, 03:21 PM
your very wellcome raddmom allways happuy to help let me know how things go thanks

an yeh id imgaine the depioasssin,,,

is bad at this time

dormy x

03-06-07, 04:17 PM
I have eaten very well today! Normal food intake! Meds are helping a lot. Lexapro is kicking in pretty fast-a real godsend!

Going to bake some muffins tonight Dorm-back to baking-after a long break! Must be getting better!

Take care and hope you can smell the wonderful aromas. Will have a cuppa tea with them too and think of you.


03-07-07, 04:34 PM
sounds like your on the uppppppppppp raddmom hope you injoy wish i could smell them but i dont have only smell....4things an the nice food you say is not one them but i knw there tast good yummy ehhehe you have to send me the respiy so i can make them lol,,,,,glade on the up remeber meds come an go but freinds are there 4 meds ofve all be well raddmom

bb dormy xx

03-07-07, 05:01 PM
Thanks Dorm. First week is good, ways to go, but this is a great start! I am not crying all the time-no tears at all yesterday! Thinking is clearer too.

The muffin lady! I make scones too! Love them! And biscuits, and sweet rolls, and bread.....

03-07-07, 08:41 PM
repiy for all then raddmomo lol glade your doing goood thats the way to be each dauy take ti as it comes your geting there an you feel more stsable in time

thinking ofve you at this hard time

dormy xx

03-11-07, 04:53 PM
I find the Adderall is lifting my depression, and helping a lot with the eating disorder that has dogged me since I was 13. It's like I have a time machine - I can sense spaces in time that weren't there for me before, that my brain kicks in during now and questions "WHY are you reaching for the donut? Will that donut help you get what you really, really want?", whereas before Adderall and hypnosis, that thought came long after I'd eaten the box of 'em, and ofcourse I'd feel like a total failure and loser for being so weak and unproductive, and not being stronger for the people who love me and need me to not hurt myself like that.

I did the hypnosis first, and it helped a lot, but it didn't quite solve things; that was before the thought of ADD crossed my brain, and learning about the connection between that and eating disorders was like a big ol' lightbulb going off over my head. And of course, being in the thrall of an obsession/compulsion like that for years is very depressing.

I've lost a little bit of weight on Adderall this month, a couple pounds, which I can certainly spare. It's not a weight-loss program; I'll have to actually diet and exercise, but now I can see that as a possibility. I just might be able to get control of my life, now. Wow.