“Do I Have ADHD or Depression?”: The Surprising Symptom Overlaps

 

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At surface level, one might not see the similarities between the two mental conditions. Depression, connotedly, makes people less energetic, while ADHD has a connotation of making people “too” energetic. They seem like polar opposites. Yet, with the symptom overlaps, you might be asking yourself, “Do I have ADHD or depression?” The answer could be “both.”

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Stats on ADHD and Depression

Adults with ADHD are more likely to develop depression, studies show – 2.7 times more likely to be exact. This makes sense when one considers how isolated someone can feel because of their differing abilities. Because of the overlapping symptoms (detailed later in the article), it can be difficult to discern whether or not depression is present in an individual. ADHD can disguise it.

Social interactions and commitments may become burdensome for those with ADHD due to their unique struggles with focus, impulsivity, and organization. Consequently, this can lead to feelings of isolation, a common shared symptom with depression. They often perceive themselves as different from others, enhancing feelings of loneliness and exacerbating the manifestation of depressive symptoms alongside ADHD.

Furthermore, delineating ADHD from depression can be a monumental task due to overlapping symptoms. For instance, both ADHD and depression can result in difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and overwhelming fatigue. Unfortunately, the presence of ADHD can sometimes overshadow or camouflage the signs of depression, making it hard for clinicians – and even the individuals themselves – to recognize that depression is also present and needs to be addressed.

Symptoms of ADHD

You know yourself better than anyone. Think back on your daily activities and compare your actions to the list below. If you have trouble remembering your actions during the day, consider starting a mindfulness journal to help you with this exercise. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience if you have ADD or ADHD:

  • Inability to focus
  • Frequent Distractions
  • Excess energy
  • Fidgetiness
  • Disorganization
  • Forgetfulness (May impact personal hygiene)
  • Decline in performance in work or school
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Problems connecting with other people
  • Digestion problems
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms of Depression

With depression, your symptoms may seem easier to spot than ADHD (unless you have both, in which case ADHD can disguise depression). Here are some of the symptoms you may experience if you have depression:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or passions
  • Disconnection from others
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Restlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Digestion problems
  • Change in appetite or weight fluctuation
  • Trouble focusing

The Overlapping Symptoms

If one considers all of the above symptoms, the overlaps are fairly apparent. Both people with ADHD and depression experience a change in appetite, troubles sleeping, restlessness, disconnection from others, forgetfulness and trouble focusing – just to highlight a few of the similarities.

So, Do I Have ADHD or Depression?

Regardless of the overlapping bullets, no online article will replace the expert advice and guidance of a doctor. Make an appointment with your general physician, talk to them about your symptoms and see what they advise.

Holistic Approaches to ADHD and Depression

Whether you have ADHD or depression, there are some holistic approaches that could help in either case. For example, changing your diet may calm or ignite certain neurotransmitters in your brain that could quell some of your symptoms. Regularly scheduled exercise – at least twice a week, for 30-minute intervals – has also been known to alleviate some symptoms. It can even help with symptoms you didn’t even know you had!

If you’re ready to take your physical and mental health to the next level, reach out to the personal trainers at Special Strong. Whether you enjoy working out one-on-one or in a group setting, we’ve got something for everyone. Schedule your consultation with a personal trainer today.

Symptoms of Depression

With depression, your symptoms may seem easier to spot than ADHD (unless you have both, in which case ADHD can disguise depression). Here are some of the symptoms you may experience if you have depression:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or passions
  • Disconnection from others
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Restlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Digestion problems
  • Change in appetite or weight fluctuation
  • Trouble focusing

The Overlapping Symptoms

If one considers all of the above symptoms, the overlaps are fairly apparent. Both people with ADHD and depression experience a change in appetite, troubles sleeping, restlessness, disconnection from others, forgetfulness and trouble focusing – just to highlight a few of the similarities.

So, Do I Have ADHD or Depression?

Regardless of the overlapping bullets, no online article will replace the expert advice and guidance of a doctor. Make an appointment with your general physician, talk to them about your symptoms and see what they advise.

Navigating the Differences Between ADHD and Depression

Understanding the nuances between ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and depression is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management. While both conditions can share some overlapping symptoms, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

ADHD:

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can interfere with daily functioning. Individuals with ADHD may struggle with staying focused, following through on tasks, and regulating their energy levels.

Depression:

Depression, on the other hand, is a mood disorder that goes beyond occasional feelings of sadness. It involves persistent feelings of hopelessness, low energy, changes in sleep and appetite, and a diminished interest in activities once enjoyed.

Coexistence and Comorbidity:

Moreover, it’s crucial to recognize that ADHD and depression can coexist, thereby leading to additional challenges in diagnosis and management. Furthermore, understanding the distinct features of each condition is essential for healthcare professionals to provide targeted interventions and support.

In conclusion, while ADHD and depression may share some symptomatology, a careful examination of the specific nature of symptoms, onset, and duration can aid in distinguishing between the two. In order to ensure accurate diagnosis and develop tailored treatment plans, seeking professional evaluation is crucial. Additionally, it can also help individuals experiencing these mental health challenges to better understand their condition and receive the support they need.

Holistic Approaches to ADHD and Depression

Whether you have ADHD or depression, there are some holistic approaches that could help in either case. For example, changing your diet may calm or ignite certain neurotransmitters in your brain that could quell some of your symptoms. Regularly scheduled exercise – at least twice a week, for 30-minute intervals – has also been known to alleviate some symptoms. It can even help with symptoms you didn’t even know you had!

If you’re ready to take your physical and mental health to the next level, reach out to the personal trainers at Special Strong. Whether you enjoy working out one-on-one or in a group setting, we’ve got something for everyone. Schedule your consultation with a personal trainer today. 

 

 

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