The peculiar thing about depression is that its symptoms can often disguise themselves as other ailments. For instance, you might think you’re simply fatigued or suffering a few bodily aches, but these could be signs of a bigger problem – especially if you’ve been feeling a bit down lately.
Experts claim that up to 70% of those with ADHD will be treated for depression at some point in their lives. Further, adults with ADHD are 2.7 times more likely to face depression. The combination can make it difficult to differentiate one from the other. The good news is that if you think you might be depressed, there are steps you can take to feel whole again.
Know the Signs
Most people are pretty familiar with the major signs of depression:
- Appetite changes
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Uncontrollable negative thoughts
But there are less obvious signs you should also be on the lookout for:
- Feeling like something is off but having difficulty identifying just what
- Inability to concentrate
- Laughing or crying at inappropriate times
- Using excessive socializing as an escape from your thoughts
The sooner you recognize these signs – both the typical and less obvious – the sooner you’ll be able to take the next step towards recovery.
Keep a Journal
This is especially important for those already suffering from ADHD. Because it gets tricky to differentiate what symptoms are attributed to your existing condition and what symptoms may be caused by depression, it’s important to keep a detailed record of everything you’re thinking and feeling.
Keeping a journal can:
- Act as an emotional outlet
- Help with a diagnosis should you seek outside help
- Help a health professional know exactly what you’re going through to provide accurate insight and diagnosis
- Keep a record of any physical ailments (you never know when they might be relevant to your diagnosis)
Seeking professional help can make all the difference in your recovery. If you have ADHD, it’s critical that you let your doctor know so that you can receive proper treatment.
If you want to go it alone first, whether it be for personal or financial reasons, there are alternatives to getting professional help:
- Take an online course that will teach you ways to cope with your depression
- Try mood-lifting apps
to make your rough days brighter and productivity apps to stay on top of your ADHD
- Do your research – study up on both ADHD and depression to gain a better understanding and sense of control
- Join an online ADHD community to speak with other ADHD adults, gain helpful insight, and find an understanding support system
- Consider getting a service dog who can help break negative thought patterns by providing comforting friendship and a sense of purpose
- Never hesitate to seek help elsewhere if you’re still having trouble
- Get plenty of exercise – swimming is a great option because it is a great cardio workout and also has a meditative quality that can help keep you calm. That said, if you think swimming laps sounds boring, don’t hesitate to incorporate a pool game into your routine. Any time in the pool is going to be great exercise.
Whichever route you choose, know that depression is a beatable illness, even if you’re already living with ADHD. Whether you have ADHD, depression, or both, there’s no need to suffer. Take action now so you can look forward to a healthier tomorrow.
Whatever you’re going through, please know that there is always somewhere there willing to listen to you and to help.
In the U.K you can call The Samaritans on 116 123
In America you can call The Samaritans on 1 (800) 273-TALK
Other countries can call a Be frienders Worldwide volunteer near you.
If you have any further resources please add them in the comments