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Old 03-09-12, 08:18 PM
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Can depression really cause ADHD symptoms?

I've just looked at the revised DSM V list and I'm stunned once again by how well I fit each and every symptom in category A1 (the "inattentive" traits) and according to the new definitions, also 4-5 symptoms in category A2 (the hyperactive/impulsive traits). I've got the two problems with this self diagnosis:

1. How do I know that my subjective perception of the extent of how well I match the criteria isn't exaggerated?? I mean, maybe my problems are normal but I just perceive them to be bigger than they are? But they are disrupting my life, my work, even my relationship. So doesn't that mean that there is a disorder, whatever it may be??

2. My childhood < 12 years. I'm trying to apply the points retrospectively. Yes, I remember struggling with concentration unless I was highly motivated or interested. But it seems like I was motivated and interested enough to perform when it mattered. Sometimes, I just barely scraped by. But I did manage. And the intensity of each symptom was much lower.

So can it be ADHD or am I so desperate for help that I'm trying to will myself to have a disorder that is treatable? Because I have a problem. If it's not ADHD, what is it?

My GP thinks that all my ADHD like symptoms are caused by depression. I think, it's unlikely but it's possible. Some symptoms were present before the depression kicked in, but maybe they were just on the higher end of normal? Some indirect symptoms were extreme even then, like the restlessness and impulse control disorders (like skin picking), which I think were caused by restlessness. Excessive day dreaming. The eating disorder, the self harm, the addictive tendencies, the inability to commit, the constant chasing of stimulation, the insane thoughts. It all makes sense when viewed through the ADHD lens. But of course, it's possible that they were caused by something else. But what else? External stressors? Other mental health disorders?

I know, I should probably get assessed by a psychiatrist and trust that they'll be able to figure out what is normal, what is depression and what is ADHD. But what if they can't? And what if they get it wrong? It seems like the assessment is mainly based on my interpretation of my life. I wish there was a test that didn't rely on a subjective interview. I don't trust myself and I don't trust a psychiatrist to figure me out.

I've just started taking anti depressants. I thought, I'll give them a fair shot and see if they help with the ADHD symptoms. So far, they just seem to be making things worse but I've only been taking them for 2 weeks.

Sorry, for writing another novel. I guess, I'm just trying to clear my head though feedback would be much appreciated, of course.
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