Many people living with ADHD will also experience depression during their lives. Understanding the link between the two diagnoses and learning how to manage them together lead you to better treatment outcomes.
The Link Between ADHD And Depression
For some people, their ADHD is the root cause of their depression. People living with ADHD often struggle with many aspects of everyday life — schedules, work, school, bills, and relationships. Anyone dealing with reoccurring issues in these areas may be at risk of developing depression. A person living with ADHD may regularly encounter these issues and be at higher risk of developing depression as a result.
In addition, sometimes ADHD will mask itself as depression. It's important to note if the symptoms of your depression are constant. If certain activities can rapidly pull you from your slump, you may be dealing with ADHD and not depression.
Strategies For Managing ADHD And Depression
If you're dealing with both ADHD and depression, it's critical to take steps to manage both. Thankfully, there are several strategies you can utilize to manage your symptoms:
- Self-Care. Self-care is the foundation of your well-being. Making sure you eat, shower, and sleep can lessen symptoms of both depression and ADHD.
- Mindfulness. Mindfulness is being aware of why you do what you do. Being able to acknowledge what thoughts and feelings are motivation your behaviors is the first step to change.
- Break Things Down. If you're struggling with being too overwhelmed, break things down to their smallest steps. For example, instead of freezing with dread over going to work, focus on just sitting up in bed and then tackle the next step.
- Medication. Depending on your symptoms, medication may help manage your symptoms by providing more focus to tackle everyday tasks.
At first, tackling all of these strategies at once may feel overwhelming, but you can start with one skill and develop the others later. Each skill you master will help to reduce your symptoms.
How Therapy Can Help
If you need help mastering new coping strategies, therapy is another crucial strategy that will help treat and manage both ADHD and depression. In addition, a therapist provides an essential outside perspective that can provide insights into your depression treatment strategies.
Your therapist may treat you using DBT or CBT therapy techniques to help manage ADHD or depression symptoms. These treatment methods focus on retraining some of your behaviors and developing better coping skills.
If you suspect you're dealing with ADHD and depression, you should reach out to a therapist. Your therapist will work with you to develop a plan of action that's unique to your situation and provide you with the support you need.