ADHD and Depression: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management

To most people, depression means feeling blue or down in the dumps. This is an almost universal experience for people with ADHD. At some point in their lives, they feel down due to the frustration and demoralization of trying to fit into a neurotypical world that makes little effort to understand or accept them. Often this is called secondary, or reactive, depression.

It must be emphasized, however, that “reactive depression” is a normal experience and not something that has gone wrong. It is an accurate perception of how hard and frustrating it is to have ADHD, especially if it is not being treated.

via ADHD and Depression: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management.

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Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression

(HealthDay News) — Autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may all share common genetic risk factors, a new study says.

In this largest study of its kind, researchers spotted gene variations governing brain function that may raise the risk for these often devastating mental woes. In the future, these gene variants might become key targets for prevention or treatment, the scientists said.

"This study, for the first time, shows that there are specific genetic variants that influence a range of childhood and adult-onset psychiatric disorders that we think of as clinically different," said lead researcher Dr. Jordan Smoller, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

via Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression.

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ADHD – Hyper in a Meeting

I’m in a meeting at work (actually, a presentation) and I’m noting, as usual, how still most people (okay, pretty much everyone in the room) are compared to me. The word “still” rarely applies to me, but it’s most noticeable in situations like this. I shift position, jiggle my knee, twirl a lock of hair, pick at my nails.

I look around the room. Most of the attendees are sitting with their hands folded, either in their lap or on the table. Okay, I’ll try that. I fold my hands on my writing pad.

Just sitting here. Calmly.
Calm.
Calm.
Less calm.
Less and less calm.
Feeling hyper.

Okay, how long did I last? Maybe a minute, tops. Crud. I just can’t do it. How do other people manage? They look so still and peaceful. I’m envious.

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ADHD Rates Soar in U.S. Kids: Study

(HealthDay News) — The number of U.S. children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) jumped nearly 22 percent in a recent four-year period, meaning nearly one in every 10 kids is now diagnosed with the disorder, U.S. health officials report.

“Based on our parent surveys, there has been an increase in parent-reported ADHD diagnosis among their children,” said lead author Susanna Visser of the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

via HealthDay Articles.

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Aggressive Kids With ADHD May Not Need Antipsychotic Meds

HealthDay News — More and more children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD who act out aggressively are being given antipsychotic drugs in addition to stimulant medications to help control their volatile outbursts.It’s a trend that many parents and child mental health professionals find worrisome.However, a new study by researchers at New York’s Stony Brook University School of Medicine suggests that, with careful tweaking, use of stimulant medication alone can significantly reduce or eliminate aggressive behavior in at least half of these children.

via HealthDay Articles.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in School-Age Children

Image: Carnation, Lilly, Lilly, Rose by John Singer Sargent
Carnation, Lilly, Lilly, Rose by John Singer Sargent

Introduction

“You’re lazy.” “You’re stupid.” “I know you could do better in school if you just tried.” “Why can’t you calm down?” Although most children hear at least one of these questions and/or comments at one time or another, children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD, AD/HD or ADD) hear them all the time – from parents, peers, teachers, even strangers. In the past, children with this disorder have been labeled by their parents and teachers as troublemakers or underachievers, by their peers as weird. Teenagers who have ADD often indulge in criminal behavior or drug and alcohol abuse. The medical community used to label them as brain-damaged.

Children with ADD lack some of life’s essential coping skills. They can’t pay attention, can’t sit still and have trouble fitting into the structure of their school and family. They may be forgetful, disorganized, impulsive, and hyperactive.

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Does my son have ADHD?

Around January this year, my husband and I got the dreaded summons from our son’s kindergarten teacher to meet with her about a problem with Lawrence. It was not a complete surprise – she had told us that she had some concerns. Lawrence was having some mild behavioral problems, in that he was having trouble conforming to the classroom structure.

I knew what she was talking about. I had observed him myself in class, when I took the morning off to help with the Halloween party. He ran everywhere in the room instead of walking. Unlike most of the other children (there were a couple of boys who acted like him), he fidgeted and talked out of turn.

There was some good news. He was that he was doing well academically (and in fact his grades even improved as the school year went on). The only area he was having a problem in was handwriting. He was far behind the other children. Incidentally, my husband and I both had problems with our handwriting in school.

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