No mental health disorders exist in a vacuum. Almost all of them are connected in one way or another. For people struggling with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression, these connections can be quite obvious. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we are interested in what they are and how they are inextricably linked.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood and includes a number of hallmarks. Those with the disorder may find that they have trouble concentrating on certain subjects, become bored easily, or miss details while attempting to accomplish tasks. They may also find that their minds feel overstimulated, that they are fidgety, and that they always have too much energy in a given situation.
How Is ADHD Treated?
The standard treatment for ADHD is often a combination of talk therapy and medication. Medication will help to create a baseline for people to regulate their emotions and focus their attention. Talk therapy will allow them to begin exploring their own personal narrative and explore different ways to address their behaviors in a healthy and productive manner.
What Is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder has a variety of origins. This can include imbalances in a person’s brain chemistry. They may also be living with the long-lasting effects of a traumatic past that have left them in a depressive state.
This type of disorder brings a variety of issues, including the following:
- Lack of appetite
- Low energy levels
- Problems with concentration
- Poor self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts
There are also other issues that may arise. However, for people with major depressive disorder, the main issue is that they are unhappy and have trouble trying to get out of their deep depressive state.
How Is Major Depressive Disorder Treated?
People with depressive disorders are often treated in much the same way as those with ADHD. Through medication and talk therapy, a person can find themselves in a much better place both mentally and emotionally. For those with persistent depression, there may be issues with altered brain chemistry that medications can either solve or begin to solve.
Talk therapy plays a vital role in the treatment of major depressive disorders. Any treatment that includes medication must also include a talk therapy component. For people with depression, one of the hardest pieces may be finding their voice and understanding that there are sympathetic people who want to help. Therapy will allow them to begin this journey and start providing them with helpful techniques to deal with possible scenarios.
Therapists understand that each individual has their own story and their own thoughts and fears. In this way, each person is given specific care. There is no catchall treatment narrative which means that everyone is helped in the way that best suits them.
How Do These Two Disorders Affect Each Other?
For people with either of these disorders, the odds of having the other can be high. One of the primary connections is brain chemistry. Both of these disorders are thought not only to be affected by brain chemistry but, in turn, continue to have an effect on brain chemistry.
Parting the Clouds
When the proper medication is administered, some of the more profound aspects of ADHD can be quelled. People may begin to feel clouds parting in their minds, with their ability to concentrate and focus becoming far more profound. In this way, they may also begin to feel less depression on a day-to-day basis. The worry and instability of having ADHD will begin to lessen, leading to a better outlook and a more balanced mentality, both physically and emotionally.
Realizing the Link
Research shows that adults with ADHD are nearly three times more likely to have a depressive disorder compared to their non-ADHD counterparts. If ADHD is not addressed in childhood, adults are more likely to feel guilt and low-self confidence. This can lead to self-doubt that follows them through higher education and into the workforce.
When adults are diagnosed with ADHD or major depression, medical professionals will often screen for other issues. They may find that a person’s depression is actually undiagnosed ADHD. This revelation may act in the same way as a person finally confronting a decades-old traumatic memory. There is a healing that can begin to take place as they are able to come to terms with what may have been a background specter their entire lives.
An ADHD Diagnosis Is Never Too Late
Some people may believe that since they have reached adulthood, there is no reason to get tested for ADHD. However, it is not just a disorder that affects school-aged children. Also, the link between ADHD and depression can be profound. Adults may find a sense of relief knowing that they were not “lazy” or “slow” growing up. This can create a new level of self-worth that had not existed before. With that self-worth comes confidence that can help to dispel a portion of their depression.
At West Coast Recovery Centers, we believe that following an adult diagnosis of ADHD, people can begin to understand and deal with other tangential issues. ADHD and depression are insidious and create problems throughout people’s lives. When an individual is finally given the blueprint for their own mental health, it can be a game changer for their well-being.
While at the forefront of outpatient recovery care, West Coast Recovery Centers is aware of the link between ADHD and depression. This link is not just a simple statistic. However, when a person has a depressive disorder, they are statistically more likely to have ADHD, which often affects how they take in information. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we understand that this must be taken into account during the treatment process. Considering the fact that recovery is a learning process and each person learns in their own way, we aim to individualize care in the most effective way possible. To learn more about our approach and our program, call us today at (760) 492-6509.