The Link Between ADHD And Depression

Updated February 17, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Audrey Kelly, LMFT

Most people are familiar with what ADHD is. It is a condition that is commonly diagnosed in adolescents. It is mostly associated with a child being overly hyper and having a poor attention span. The symptoms of ADHD are often noticed in school when a child is beginning to struggle with their coursework.


This isn't always the case, of course. Sometimes parents discover that their children have ADHD through other avenues. Children with ADHD can sometimes have difficulties staying still. They may fidget when they are in a seated position or move their hands in some way when they get too excited. There are other more subtle signs of ADHD that can help a child to get properly diagnosed too.

Something as simple as a child being easily distracted is often an indication that they have ADHD. There is no need to be alarmed if your child does have ADHD. This is a condition that is very treatable and can be managed effectively. You should also know that ADHD is not a condition that is strictly limited to children and teenagers. Some adults are diagnosed with adult ADHD later on in life.

Whether you are an adult with ADHD or if you have a child who has ADHD, you will also be interested to hear that there is a link between ADHD and depression. It might seem a bit unusual at first, but these two conditions have some things in common. People who have ADHD also seem to be more at risk for depression issues.

  • How Is ADHD Related To Depression?

ADHD and depression relate to each other in a couple of important ways. The first way that will be of interest to you is that people who have ADHD are ten times more likely to suffer from depression. This is a really unfortunate truth when you consider how many people are impacted by ADHD in the world. Knowing that they may also have to deal with depression problems is quite troublesome.

Also, many of the symptoms of ADHD can mask the symptoms of depression. Sometimes people who have ADHD may be suffering from depression, and it will go unnoticed. There are symptoms of ADHD that are also common symptoms that are associated with depression. When someone feels restless or has trouble sleeping, a doctor may assume it is an ADHD issue when it is related to depression.

Other symptoms that ADHD and depression have in common include mood swings, general fatigue, and appetite problems. All of these can be associated purely with ADHD, but it is possible that the onset of depression is causing them. It can be somewhat difficult to figure out what is going on and the fact that someone has ADHD may prevent them from getting treatment in the early stages of depression. This can certainly make things more difficult for someone who is having depressive thoughts.


People who are depressed aren't always great at communicating their feelings to others. Many people wind up bottling up their depressed feelings and letting them fester. This can wind up having a profoundly negative impact on their mental health.

Coping with both ADHD and depression problems at the same time can be difficult. For parents of children or teenagers with ADHD, it is important to keep an eye on them. Just doing your best to make sure that they are doing okay is going to be helpful. If you can recognize changes in behavior, then it may allow you to get them the proper treatment before depression becomes too big of a problem.

  • Other Depression Symptoms To Look Out For

There are many symptoms of depression that you can look out for. These symptoms may not manifest themselves right away, but you should be diligent to be on the safe side. One of the most common symptoms of depression is feeling sad. This can wind up evolving into feelings of hopelessness at the depression progresses.

When sadness is something that persists for a long period, that is when you may need to worry that someone is suffering from depression. Being sad on occasion is pretty normal overall, but when that sadness evolves into something deeper, that is when you have to be concerned about depression. It can potentially make a person feel empty inside. This can make it much more difficult than usual to live life.

ADHD depression won't be significantly different when compared to other types of depression. A patient may still develop symptoms such as irritability. They may snap at people over things that they normally would have sloughed off. Depression is also well-known for causing people to lose interest in activities that they used to love. If you notice someone is no longer drawing when his or her art used to mean a whole lot to them, it may be a sign of depression setting in.

Noticing these signs will allow you to seek treatment as soon as possible. Getting treated before depression becomes severe is going to be the best situation. Even when depression has become pretty bad, it will be possible to get help. Doctors will be able to treat ADHD depression in several different ways.

  • How Can ADHD Depression Be Treated?

ADHD depression can be treated in many different ways. The treatments for this type of depression aren't different from treating other types of depression. There are medications that people can take to alleviate depressive symptoms. Sometimes anti-anxiety medications are used when a patient is exhibiting anxious behaviors as well.


If the sleep patterns of the patient are irregular, then certain sleep aids may be prescribed. This isn't always the case, and it depends on the severity of the sleep irregularities. Mood stabilizers are commonly prescribed when the patient is suffering from outbursts of anger. These types of medications can help a patient to feel more even-keeled and should eliminate the outbursts.

Therapy is also something that can be very useful when someone is suffering from depression. Even though ADHD and depression are linked in some ways, the cause of this depression is likely some life event. Most people who suffer from depression wind up having a reason for it. If a child with ADHD is suffering from depression, it could be due to moving to a new city, changing schools, losing a pet, or any other type of issue that could be seen as traumatic.

No matter what age the person is who is suffering from ADHD depression, they will be able to get the proper treatment. Therapy can be very beneficial because it allows patients to figure out what the cause of their depression is. Sometimes the patients won't entirely know why they are feeling so sad, but therapy sessions can help them to recognize the problems and learn to cope.

Simply talking to a professional is often enough to make someone feel better. Depressed feelings are complex and powerful. Being able to release that burden instead of carrying it alone is significant. If you worry that you or someone close to you is suffering from depression, then you should not hesitate to reach out to get treatment.

Talking To Counselors Can Help Too

It may also be beneficial for you to look into talking to counselors. If you have some issues with depression that you need to address and you do not want to go to a therapist's office, you will still have options available to you. It is possible to seek counseling online so that you can conveniently get help. This allows you to talk to someone when you are feeling down, and you won't have to go to great lengths just to access this help.

If you visit today, then you can sign up to get the counseling that you want. You will be matched with a professional counselor that can help you to talk through your problems. No matter what type of depression or anxiety you are dealing with, they will be able to assist you. They have all of the proper training to know how to best deal with your depression, and they are compassionate professionals who care about helping people.

Many of these counselors have firsthand experience in dealing with depression. They will be more than happy to talk to you about what is going on in your life. If you need advice on how to cope, then they will be able to provide it. Those who simply need someone friendly to talk to on a rough day will also be able to make great use of this service.


Even family members of those who are suffering from depression can benefit from counseling. Seeing your loved one go through a tough time can be quite difficult. If you need to talk to someone about the experience and work through your feelings, then a counselor will always be available to chat. This is an optional service that you should not feel obligated to sign up for, but it can be worthwhile.

You and your family are not alone in the battle against depression. Rely on each other to get through trying times. The power of love can guide you through even the darkest days of depression. Professionals will also be ready to assist you whenever you need a helping hand. If you are feeling down and need to reach out to someone, please do not hesitate.

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