ADHD and Depression
ADHD can be highly challenging to cope with as the condition can lead to a host of problems that can wreak havoc on so many critical areas of a person’s life. From creating strained personal and professional relationships compounded by communication difficulties to neglected business and financial responsibilities, ADHD that is untreated or treated ineffectively can be devastating to the one dealing with the disorder as well as to those surrounding him or her. Not only can strains in these life areas be overwhelming, but the condition of ADHD is often coupled with additional disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality and/or other psychiatric disorders. Failing to manage all of these challenges can have catastrophic consequences for a person who may be losing hope that their life will ever improve, get easier or more enjoyable, which could lead them to ponder a potentially deadly question: Is it all worth it?
In its simplest terms, suicide is the death of hope, and it is most important for a person dealing with ADHD to understand that hope is real. That treatment and therapy works—it is effective most of the time in helping people regain control of their lives and function productively, supporting healthy relationships and communication while helping to build organizational skills and habits to ensure more productive and responsible work and life skills practices. It is also critical for individuals to have an active and involved support system comprised of family, friends and professionals prepared to watch for signs and symptoms if things start spinning out of control and intervention plans in place to help walk in and offer additional supports when needed.
What is of utmost importance is that the people surrounding someone who isn’t coping well with their ADHD issues well understand that there is a stark difference between who the person is and the support they need versus the behaviors and nature associated with the disorder. Knowing that behaviors and actions are not personal or a mere display of irresponsibility or carelessness but are instead a direct result of a psychological condition is powerful in helping to ensure that support systems remain in place when they are needed most. Below is a list of signs and symptoms for loved ones to watch for to know when it’s time to intervene and offer additional support.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
- Increased neglect of adult living skills: Personal hygiene, household chores, bill payment, mail and clutter piling up, etc.
- Increased social withdraw: Spending less time with family and friends and finding excuses to avoid gatherings and social situations
- Extreme financial hardship: not enough food in the house, rental eviction, home foreclosure, automobile repossession, payday advance loans, gambling, etc.
- Extreme professional difficulties: missed deadlines, missed meetings, disciplinary actions, frequent tardiness and absences, job termination, etc.
- Extreme relationship problems: marital separation, divorce, social service/child protective investigations
- Legal issues: lawsuits, financial judgments, criminal charges, tickets, etc.
- Signs of Suicidal Ideations: increased depression, saying goodbye, obsession with themes on death, giving away things, avoiding activities that were enjoyable, avoiding close relationships, failure to take care of critical responsibilities, self-injuring, increase in use of alcohol or other drugs, participating in risky behaviors such as random unprotected sex or daredevil-like activities, sudden lightening of mood with no discernible reason, etc.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, no matter what is causing it, please seek help from friends, family, mental health counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or your medical doctor. Services, programs and support groups may also be available in your community at low to no cost.
If you or someone you know is contemplating taking their own life or harming themselves, please seek emergency help immediately. You may contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.