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The ADHD - Depression link

People with ADHD often have difficulty with Executive Functions. Planning, organising and completing tasks are not areas they excel in. Even though they try their very best not to forget things, sometimes they just can’t get it right. Repeatedly letting themselves and others down leads to feelings of worthlessness, that no matter how hard they try people are still left disappointed.

They make a commitment to try better next time and start to plan their time – even sometimes excessively in an effort at not letting anything slip. But this approach quickly leads to feelings of overwhelm as they are unable to prioritise effectively and can’t seem to commit the right amount of energy to tasks and burn out from their efforts.

Finding a “niche” of interest people with ADHD will dive in and learn as much as they can, while they are interested in it. However, when it comes to being able to communicate this knowledge with others, retrieve it from the memory store and articulate it, they often fall short, jumbling facts and having a hard time presenting information in a coherent manner, leaving their listener a bit confused and underwhelmed by their efforts.

In social settings, people with ADHD may try hard to be themselves and to not let everything get them down, however they may then act in a way that is “over the top” and eventually isolate themselves as people don’t always want to be around this type of energy. This constant cycle of trying hard and falling short leads to low self-esteem as the person starts to believe that they are incapable of living up to the expectations placed on them. They start to believe they are worthless and unreliable and that they should rather not try in the first place. Over time this is bound to lead to symptoms of depression. Adults who have walked a long road with untreated ADHD, learn to formulate habits to hide what is really going on, damaging relationships along the way. By not getting a handle on what is going on in your child’s brain and helping them effectively, we run the risk of them developing other comorbid psychological problems and developing habits that are damaging and hard to break. Often the first step in the process is to acknowledge that your child is struggling – this takes the pressure off of them to perform to certain expectations and allows them to slip up from time to time. While using a diagnosis as an excuse is never a good idea, approaching the situation from a place of understanding can go a long way in the healing process. Making a decision on treatments will also empower the individual to take charge in an effective way, one that shows results and rebuilds their self-esteem. A Quantitative EEG should be the first step in identifying what is really going on in your individual child’s brain and can guide you in making the most appropriate treatment decisions for your child and your family. Neurofeedback therapy will empower your child to control their own brainwave activity, resulting in improved focus, concentration and motivation.

There is no quick fix, or one size fits all treatment – but the sooner you can start your child on a path to healing and coping, the more comorbid conditions you can avoid!

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