Home » ADHD » Blogs » Living with ADHD » ADHD And Depression

ADHD And Depression


Did you know that individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can also experience episodes of depression as well.  This article will describe the co-morbidity between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Depression.

ADHD And Depression

According to Additude Magazine, the following can be noted about the relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Depression:

About 30 percent of those with ADHD will experience a depressive episode at some time in their lives.  Depression can be independent of the ADHD, or it can result from ADHD symptoms.  ADHD has a significant impact on the course of depression.  Studies always find more depressive symptoms in ADHD individuals than in their non-ADHD counterparts.  Increased severity of ADHD symptoms is correlated with higher depressive symptoms.  When you have ADHD and depression, the symptoms of both conditions are worse than if you have had either disorder alone.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Depressive Epsiode

According to Additude Magazine, the following represent the symptoms of a depressive episode:

  • Persistent Sad Or Irritable Mood
    • When a person has ADHD alone, sadness or irritability is context-or environment specific.
  • Loss of Interest In Activities Once Enjoyed
    • With ADHD, it is common for someone to enjoy something intensely, and then grow bored with it, moving on to something new and more stimulating.  With depression, a person finds no enjoyment in anything.
  • Change in Appetite Or Body Weight
    • With depression, there might be weight gain or loss of 20 pounds or more.  With ADHD, loss of appetite is caused by hyperfocusing on another activity or related to stimulant treatment.
  • Sleeping Too Little Or Too Much
    • With depression, tiredness is unrelated to how much sleep you are getting night after night.  Many with ADHD do not sleep enough or sleep too much, but what qualifies sleeplessness as a depressive symptom is the episodic nature of it.
  • Physical Agitation Or Slowing
    • You doctor will want to know if the agitation is environmentally triggered or is something that feels internally caused.
  • Fatigue
    • Your doctor will want to know if your symptoms are caused by environmental or behavioral factors.
  • Feelings Of Worthlessness Or Inappropriate Guilt
    • Many with ADHD feel guilt over not getting something done in time.  With depression, this feels like a general sense of guilt and inadequacy.
  • Difficult Concentrating
    • Your doctor will want to know if the distractibility is due to distractions from external stimuli or internal stimuli.
  • Recurrent Thoughts Of Death Or Suicide
    • You should always consult with your doctor whether your thoughts are a result of ADHD-related struggles or not doesn’t matter.
  • Psychotic Features
    • Hearing voices, visual hallucinations, paranoia, and delusional thinking are signs of something beyond ADHD.


This article has provided readers with the correlation between ADHD and Depression.

Photo by shattered.art66

ADHD And Depression

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Walters, L. (2017). ADHD And Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Feb 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.