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Dr says ADD caused by depression?


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Dr said my ADD could be caused by depression and prescribed zoloft instead of another add med. I dont want to be on a depression med anymore becuase I feel much better when I am off them, but this sounds very bizarro to me and I am getting confused with what is wrong with me in the first place.

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Some of the symptoms of ADD can also be symptoms of ADD. Lack of concentration, loss of ability to focus on the task at hand, memory issues, learning issues....

Generally, though, if the symptoms are caused by depression and are alleviated when the depression is treated, then you're probably not ADD.

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Dr said my ADD could be caused by depression and prescribed zoloft instead of another add med. I dont want to be on a depression med anymore becuase I feel much better when I am off them, but this sounds very bizarro to me and I am getting confused with what is wrong with me in the first place.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

ADD shares symptoms with some forms of depression, but isn't caused by

depression. Both have symptoms that overlap a bewildering number of

other psychiatric/psychologic/medical problems (many of which are quite rare)

If the ADD symptoms predate the onset of depression - specifically, back to

childhood - I'd say your doctor is incorrect. But if they mostly coincide,

it could be all or mostly depression.  There's even a chance that there's

an evolving medical problem underlying both the ADD and depression symptom

sets... But you have to get the depression under control or the ADD meds won't

be terribly useful. 

Moreover, of the 6 subtypes of AD(H)D that the Amen Clinic uses for classification,

one of them is improved by SSRIs like Prozac and made worse by stimulants.

(And there are some forms of depression that respond very poorly to SSRIs

but not too badly to stimulants. Go figure.)

I guess it would be best to see how far the Zoloft gets you. If you're feeling OK

and still a mobile localized center of chaos and confusion, you'd have a good

case for asking to back on Ritalin or Adderall.

As to feeling better off "depression medications" - which ones have you tried?

There's a lot more than just SSRIs and Wellbutrin, although some of them come

with a greater side effect risk.

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Guest LizMoonstar

I was told basically that ADD can cause depression, depression can cause ADD-like problems, coping with ADD can cause OCD-like problems and bipolar-like problems, and all of the above can cause schizophrenic symptoms.  After some trial and error including lithium, celexa, and lexapro, I was treated with prozac/xanax/ritalin, and all of the above got better, so they assume it was ADD, but they basically said, diagnosis is a tricky thing and the more important part than finding a name is finding treatments that help.

so it's entirely possible your stuff is all related, and that a different antidepressant will help.

oh, and hi, i'm new ;)

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and all of the above can cause schizophrenic symptoms.

Psychosis from depression or ADHD? That's the part I would never agree with.

As far as the rest is concerned - I'd agree - depression can mimic ADHD (they are both related to screwed up prefrontal cortex) and ADHD can cause secondary depression (it's hard not to get depressed when everyone hates you or laughs at you) or anxiety (which may be a coping mechanism too - learning to use anxiety as a motivation tool or to use emotional memory to remember not to cross the street during the red light).

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I can honestly say that I was confused out of my mind at the responses. I cant figure most of this stuff out and my head hurts trying to do so. But anyway I have been off Anti-Dep for about 3mos and my depression has improved but I still have problems focusing on many things at once. I was only depressed when I was having probles at work, and soon as i went on disability that cloud has lifted. So I dont see how she says depression may be causing the add.  I personally feel like the add causes depression. aaaargh I'm confused.

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Guest LizMoonstar

and all of the above can cause schizophrenic symptoms.

Psychosis from depression or ADHD? That's the part I would never agree with.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i wouldn't have either if I hadn't had it.

Well, to be more specific, originally they thought I was having psychotic symptoms.  I was convinced there were invisible monsters in my house, and that Ann Coulter was coming to kill me.  However, once they realised that I knew these things weren't real and that I was still terrified of them, in a way especially because they weren't real, they started looking at bipolar, anxiety, and finally ADD. 

As I understand it, it's more of an extreme version of an overactive imagination than actual psychosis.  However, I think for me it's related in with the fact that I have trouble distinguishing between what's happening in my mind and what's happening outside in reality (I dream vividly and have trouble knowing if it really happened, I often don't know if I've told someone something or just 'rehearsed' it, etc.)

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So I dont see how she says depression may be causing the add.  I personally feel like the add causes depression. aaaargh I'm confused.

It won't cause ADD, it can only give the same symptoms - poor concentration/attention span, crappy memory, impulsivity, clumsiness, motivation problems, sometimes irritability and hyperactivity/agitation too.

But if you had ADD first, and then depression (like in my case), it's a different story.

Some antidepressants may help both with depression and with ADD. Those include Cymbalta, Effexor, Strattera and - especially - Wellbutrin (also some other, old meds you don't want to take if you were at risk of suicide - ever).

They aren't "controlled substances", so your doctor is less likely to object against prescribing them, but they don't work for everyone.

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Depression-related memory and motivation problems can continue long after the mood improves, so it's not a great indicator. But still you're probably right about ADHD and not depression causing your attentional problems.

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