New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Depression and ADHD

The rut of all ruts, and the hopelessness that follows

I have been struggling with depression for about 11 years, and went undiagnosed for ADHD until about 7 months ago. I take adderall and Lexapro, but have been on about 5 different antidepressants with little/no help from them. When i first started adderall, It was like I was a superwoman. I could think clearly, I was kinder and enthusiastic, and I could actually start/finish things. I remember going into class the first time taking adderall and walking out of it like “Holy cow, this is what school is like for normal people?” things seemed to be going well, but recently my problem is that my depression has became unbearable, I have spiraled down into complete hopelessness and no motivation to even pick up a piece of paper on the ground if i drop it. I have been extremely impulsive and self-destructive.. Even with taking adderall, I’ll just become a focused depressed person who has no control over my own mind. I look to others for happiness and have no self-awareness, I am only 20 years old, but really been talking to my doctor about the possibility of having borderline personality disorder. I have been suicidal from the lack of feeling inside myself besides sadness. I feel as if I almost want to be depressed, I can tell myself,“just be productive, do your priorities so you will no longer worry.” I can see clearly if i just get going and help myself my life will be better. But I rather lay in bed and wonder why I have to be me. I am in such a rut and I have no idea how to get out of it because I can’t start nor stick with things to attempt to get better. Has anyone else ever had this problem? How has one gotten past that and moved forward in life?


I just saw another thread here at Additudemag and honestly, they were just talking about a side effect of Adderall and suicidal thoughts.

Call the pharmacist and your doctor. I’ll bet it’s your medication.

It will take a bit to adjust your meds and it’s possible to adjust them. Don’t give up. Hang in there.

Posted by chrisd on Nov 27, 2013 at 4:06am

“I look to others for happiness and have no self-awareness”

That’s the key right there, and it’s insanely difficult to truly embrace it, to truly rely on yourself to be happy.
Becaus it would a whole lot easier if someone came and took us out of our hole.
I was lucky enough to only go trhough a mild depression for about 10-12 years, only I went undiagnosed all that time. It ended last year, with a truly bad month where I didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to eat, and so on. What triggered it was a fight with some of my best friends at the time.
But it was that fight what made me realise how I was the only one responsible for my happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I trust people very easily by nature (comes with the impulssiveness of ADHD I guess). And I learnt who my true friends were and I hang out witht them from time to time. But most of the time, I’m at home, finally feeling good about myself.

Being diagnosed with ADHD (early this year), and then learning about it and my comorbid (Essential Tremors) helped a lot. By understanding how they worked, I found motivation in going up against them.
Which in turn motivated me to pick stuff I liked, that I had dropped. My drawing being the most important one. I stopped drawing because “I would never be good enough” and because my hands shake when I draw/write/etc. I’m drawing again, and plan dedicating to it. Drawing is like giving a symbolic middle finger to my Tremors.

Don’t despair, don’t let go of hope and feel free to look for help and support on this site. It is filled with wonderful people who will do what they can to help you.

Posted by Nacho on Nov 27, 2013 at 6:16am


In answer to your question:

“How has one gotten past that and moved forward in life?”

Yes, it happens… The problem you are facing is that you are 20 and you don’t know that good things can come from bad.  Time has simply not yet given you the opportunity to see that happen.  The fact that you are in school is really a good thing… embrace that, at least as much as you can right now.  That education will provide huge dividends going forward.

Although I am earning less than a third of my previous salary, I am enjoying what I am doing (teaching) and where I am doing it (Micronesia).  I was previously a City Manager in the a$$ end of Alaska and it got so bad ...  Well, you know how bad it can get. A drunk, dysfunctional population, 20 hours of dark and months of subzero weather hammered me like a sledge.

Moral to this story… you must trust that it can get better - for it can.. and it does.  Your job, and it’s a tough one, is build a foundation where that ‘better’ can take root.  Your education can be that foundation. 

A thought.  Exercise of any type can get the endorphins moving in your brain.  It helps with both ADHD and depression.  It also gets you out seeing things and people outside of a classroom environment.

As mentioned in previous posts… do see that doc and relay your feelings.

Your post resonates.  I have been in your neighborhood…  It’s no fun but it can and does change.  You have a plan and are doing it (school).  As much as you can, acknowledge that!  You may not know it but there are others who look at what you do and mentally tip their hat in respect.

Hang tough.


Posted by LakeLife on Nov 27, 2013 at 9:10pm

What Bruce says is true.

It is difficult to see how things can change when we lack the years. I’m 22 and I’m amazed at how things changed so… much. In the span of a year and a half, I’m better than ever, and constantly going up.

Things can and will get better, hang on to that thought. But do everything you can to get there, small step by small step.
Don’t get discouraged by failure and celebrate every small victory. Enjoy the time it only took you to say “get out of bed already” 5 times instead of 6.

Stay strong and have faith.

Posted by Nacho on Nov 28, 2013 at 12:37am

There is wisdom in this thread. Please absorb as much as you can from others who have been where you are. You made the effort to reach out. That took energy and courage! But you did it! I echo the suggestions of Nacho and Bruce - celebrate every step forward, especially that first one, no matter how small it feels. And movement - exercise is the main thing that got me through decades of undiagnosed ADD and haphazardly treated depression, that and finally landing on the right combination of meds. Hang in there. You are worth it.

Posted by HR3 on Nov 28, 2013 at 10:52am

p.s. - I urge you to find some way to get some talk therapy going as soon as you can. Being “extremely impulsive and self-destructive” and “suicidal” as we head into holidays isn’t a good combo. Been there done that!  Finding someone who knows what kind of questions to ask and how to give you positive action steps will make a world of difference.

Posted by HR3 on Nov 28, 2013 at 11:06am

amandapandaz, You have lots of wonderful advice here already. I just wanted to add the suicide hotline in case you need it.


Hang in there!

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 29, 2013 at 8:46pm

Thank you all so much, it means the world to me that so many of you reached out to me. I will try my hardest to stay strong, knowing that I’m not alone helps a million times more. Thank you all again smile

Posted by amandapandaz on Dec 04, 2013 at 7:03am

smile and remmeber, this community will be your safety net any time you need it.

Posted by Nacho on Dec 04, 2013 at 7:19am

Amanda, another really good supportive network is  Click on “community”, then “forums”.  There will be a large selection of groups to post to, including ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.  The group represents lots of people who are now struggling or have done so in the past. God bless.

Posted by Sherry468 on Dec 05, 2013 at 1:55am

Amanda - while I don’t have sage advice I think the fact that you recognized a need for support is really a great step - being vulnerable enough to put it out there is a serious demonstration of courage!

Posted by Beth D on Jan 26, 2014 at 2:07am

What can make the depression severe is that with adhd, the depressing thoughts. are elevated…just constant depressing thoughts…i totally understand and know what your going through…don’t forget the anxiety along with that…

Posted by rocket on Feb 09, 2014 at 11:23pm

Think about it…its almost ti say a hyper depressed state…know. that this will pass..u need to tell ur doc asap so u can get better help..when u do u willl look bk at this like it was a bad dream

Posted by rocket on Feb 09, 2014 at 11:31pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions