View Full Version : Depression, ADD or Both?

05-23-06, 09:11 PM
I'm lost and exhausted mentally and emotionally. I've been diagnosed with depression and social anxiety, but wasn't diagnosed until I was in college when it got the worst. Since then they put me on Zoloft which seemed to work the first year then I got steadily worst. Then it was Wellbutrin that didn't do anything. Then it was Remeron and now Lexapro. My parents think the medication is bad for me that its actually worse for me as crazy as it sounds. They believe I'm just a weak person that cope with the tasks of daily living. I've gotten the lecture that everybody has ups and downs on several occasions.

But I'm confused as to what's making me so ADD like. I've had depression on and off since I was an adolescent. The same with the anxiety but thats persistant. I've always had problems with concentration. I've never liked reading because I can go pages reading without picking up anything and then realize I was daydreaming.

Since my grades plunged Junior year I took a semester off, and have lived off the money I made playing poker online.

Heres the things that make me think I'm inattentive ADD.

I have problems with conversations and keeping interest.
Reading is a problem.
Since I moved into a big city I've accumulated $350 in parking tickets because I forget to move my car for street cleaning. The other time I didn't see the no left turn sign.
I've left the oven on overnight twice this last week. Oh and when I worked at restaurant I burned the bread on several occasions.
I'm known to space out while I eat and get so focused I make wierd stare. Something that my siblings seem to think is funny.
I killled all my fish in my aquarium because I forgot to add the dechlorinator.

I can't keep my life on track because I can't concentrate hard enough on anything. I've given up on having any hobbies because in the end I lose all interest in them. My doctor wants me to get rid of the depression first before I get evaluated for ADD. This totally makes sense but I'm impatient and part of the reason why I'm depressed is because I'm so forgetful and out of touch with the present.

Ok so my question is how do you seperate whats caused by being depressed vs whats caused by ADD vs what is personal weakness?

05-23-06, 10:42 PM
Welcome to the forums, outofstep,

We are not medical professionals, but...

ADD is a developmental attention disorder and appears early in life, moreso for males. The absolute symptoms don't simply appear at the age of 20. Depression and anxiety tend to appear later as stress increases. Depression causes ADD-like symptoms and ADD tends to trigger depression and anxiety (to complicate matters). It's important to find what came first.

People with ADD tend to have a lag in social and emotional maturity by about 30%. Developmental issues seem common around these parts.

Even though the absolute symptoms do not have late onset, the relative symptoms (how it affects your life) may. For example, you may have been extremely disorganized as a child, but it may not have affected grades for some time in the future (possibly late in the future).

CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder, considered LD by some) may also mimic ADD. People with CAPD tend to have problems attending to auditory stimuli for extended periods and may have problems with reading and spelling. They may also have a high sensitivity to noise, causing distraction.

As far as "personal weakness", I wouldn't know. It sounds like nomenclature for "just because".

05-23-06, 11:19 PM
Hi outofstep.

I was going to send a similar post. I have had anxiety and depression for at least 10 or more years. My son is being treated for Add and two different shrinks suggested I get tested. Add can contribute to anxiety and depression, on the other hand, depression and anxiety can look like add.

So I am going to go get tested, but I am trying to remember back to my childhood to see if these problems started back then

Right now, I am totally scattered, people talking to me frustrate me because they distract me from my thoughts, I am irritable and disorganized both internally and with tasks. I am making mistakes and forgetting things. The list goes on. All of which could be depression. I have taken Lexapro and it does help, but I am off it because of side effects, but think I need to go on something again.

So my thought is when did it all begin? I think that there were some indicators early, but not enough that I had any real problems, I coped pretty well. All through school, college and some grad school, I never read a text book, too boring, I got through by skimming what I needed. But I was a "B" or "B-" student and always though I just didn't care enough to put much effort in

I have always felt that socially I don't quite connect, I had plenty of friends, but felt I was somewhat on the fringe. People sometimes react in ways that indicate I was insensitive when I know I did not mean it. Again, I guess I always thought that I just wasn't that nice because I forget to do all the nice things that friends do. Not much for small talk.

The impatience, irratibilty, and indecision were always there, but not to the degree it is now. and that runs in the family anyway. I now have many more stressors, work, kids, grown up life.

Anyway, my point is look to your history and get tested. My parents, too get weird about the medicine, but they don't know what I feel. And they don't have to walk in my shoes. The medicine helps, and I know I need that right now. I really don't want my kids to grow up thinking their mom is annoyed by them. I thought I was handling it well and the other day a lady at work told me I sometimes get hostile. I know I do inside, but thought no one knew that.

My question is to those who were not diagnosed until adults, when you look back did any of you cope okay with just a few indicators. Or was it obvious that things weren't right?

It seems like there are plenty of people not diagnosed until late in life. Why is that?

05-25-06, 08:12 PM
I'm 47 and was just diagnosed this week. I never heard of adult add and just thought ADHD was all about hyperactive kids. Over life I think we are adaptable beings so we do the best we can with how we are - not knowing any better. Yes I knew I was a procrastinator, forgetful, irritable, anxious, moody, slow reader, socially malfunctioning - but I learned to live with it.

It was by chance that I asked my mothers psych why I always wake up feeling hung-over and can't get out of bed. Thinking back I took an afternoon session of kindergarten because of this. He said it could be ADD and suggested I read "Driven to Distraction" which was an eye-opening revelation to me. I knew I was on to something when the book suggested looking back at any experience we may have had using cocaine recreationally. I had 2 experiences with it and I remember feeling calmness, alert, and focused on it - not high at all. It's similar in nature to the stims used to treat ADHD. So I was pretty sure ADD meds would be beneficial. When I tried Concerta this week it was a breakthrough for me. I became more social - enjoyed conversations, reading became easier, I was calmer, and more confident. I felt like I could cope with life's activities on a much easier level.

So like they say hindsight is 20-20... looking back now with what I've learned about ADD - it all makes sense. But until you are educated about the condition it's very difficult to know anything is "wrong".

05-29-06, 02:21 PM
Then it was Wellbutrin that didn't do anything. Then it was Remeron and now Lexapro. My parents think the medication is bad for me that its actually worse for me as crazy as it sounds. They believe I'm just a weak person that cope with the tasks of daily living. I've gotten the lecture that everybody has ups and downs on several occasions.

Key words being up AND downs not one flat line “UGGGGG” besides if the symptoms are impairing they need to be checked out by another doctor(sorry but doen’t sound like you are getting any where with this one) . ADD can cause depression or one can have both however if the ADD isn’t treated and the level of functioning does not get better or becomes worse then the depression will not go any where.

Your chances are best if you consult a doctor who has experience in adult ADD!

Please keep us posted.