ADHD and Depression: What’s the Connection?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a brain disorder that involves inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness or a combination of these symptoms. It is usually diagnosed in childhood, and it can last into adulthood.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects brain development and it can be diagnosed from 3 to 6 years of age. Children with ADHD often display hyperactivity and impulse action, and some may have trouble paying attention in school.

As they get older, the symptoms may become more prominent, making academic achievement difficult. Adolescents may find relationships difficult, display antisocial behaviors, and experience inattention and impulsivity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11 percent of American children aged 4 to17 years live with ADHD. In 2011, around 6.4 million children in the United States were diagnosed with ADHD.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 50 percent of children with ADHD in the U.S. still have the condition as adults. This represents about 4 percent of the adult population, or 8 million American adults.

What are ADHD and depression?

People with ADHD may be more likely than others to have another type of anxiety or mental health illness such as depression.

[boy with ADHD crying]

Children with ADHD may also experience depression.

Depression is a common yet serious mood disorder. It affects a person’s feeling, thinking, and actions. It can cause strong feelings of sadness, loneliness, and a lack of interest in life activities.


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