ADHD (Anxiety and Depression are Hidden Dangers)


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During the summer I visited a medical psychiatrist because I thought I was suffering from depression and anxiety. After several appointments and trials with medication she discovered that I had a mild case of ADD. I was tested for it as a kid, but the test showed I have symptoms of ADD but didn't actually have the disorder. I never bothered  me or caused any problems until recent years so I did not try to resolve it.   Despite learning what my problem was I still found it odd how an attention disorder felt so much like an emotional one, which is why this blog will be exactly about that. I hypothesize that there is both a correlation between ADD/ADHD and anxiety/depression and causation.

Based on my own experience and what I have learned from word of mouth through the years I full heartedly believe that ADD/ADHD can significantly contribute to someone having depression and/or anxiety. Sufferers of these disorders are known for having difficulty in school, having social problems, and being misunderstood. This can cause stress, pressure, low self-esteem and a slew of other problems. Furthermore, ADD/ADHD can affect the way we handle the mental and emotional strains mentioned earlier, which may result in something more serious. Although, there are possible third variables and unrelated reasons that could be a factor, such as, family issues, a traumatic experience, or other health concerns, I am sure that ADD/ADHD makes it harder to cope with or is a contributor to it.

All the information I found about ADD/ADHD about causing or correlating with anxiety and depression were in regard to adults with ADD or ADHD and stress, which indicates that it is something mainly affects adults, which would make sense since we have more responsibilities, than kids do. David Feifel, MD, PhD has had numerous ADHD patients who also have depression and/or anxiety. According to him, psychiatrists fail to give them proper treatment because they view it as independent circumstance rather than a secondary result of ADHD. Dr. Feifel says the difference between someone who is independently suffering from both and those who have anxiety and/or depression as a consequence of one of the disorders is as followed. People with depression secondary to ADHD will often tell him that they are depressed because they are not able to accomplish things that they think they should have accomplished. Similarly, people with anxiety secondary to ADHD are anxious about their productivity, whereas people with pure clinical depression and anxiety feelings are about existential matters and they are numerous. I think this is intriguing because Dr. Feifel's analysis separates anxiety and depression that emanates from ADHD from he norm and almost makes it its own diagnosis.

Help Guide has a detailed article about Adult ADD/ADHD, in which there is a whole section about the emotional symptoms, but it was mostly just a list and most of the article was generic info about ADD/ADHD. I also saw a lot of discussion forums about the subject. Plenty of people wrote on their struggle but there was not much on any definite solution. This shows that there is a considerable connection between the two problems but no specific solution for it.

Anxiety and depression caused by ADD or ADHD is growing problem or is a problem that simply has not been studied enough. If the latter is true I do not understand why this is with all the knowledge and treatments that exist for the subjects. My best guess is Dr. Feifel's remark, "psychiatrists who see patients with clinical depression or clinical anxiety automatically assume that those are the primary disorders that require our priority in terms of treatment". I think that psychiatrist and attention disorder specialist should work together to find ways to specially fix this issue.

 

2 Comments

Hi Tyrus,
As ADD/ADHD are increasing, I think that research on the subject should also increase. There are still many things that we don't understand about this disorder. For example, I believe that this disorder is being over diagnosed. I think that it's becoming an excuse for children who are just being kids and don't show an interest in school or other things. I also think that there are other treatments to these disorders such as therapy other than prescription drugs which are creating a huge problem by being sold to other people.

Good blog post! I enjoyed what you wrote about because one of my best friends has ADHD, and this made the study even more interesting. Solving this issue is an important problem. Here is an article on the connection between ADHD drugs and child development:

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-medications-and-child-growth

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