Depression and ADHD in Children

How Do Depression and ADHD in Children Differ?

Oftentimes, it can be difficult for parents to tell the difference between symptoms of depression and symptoms of ADHD in children, especially when hyperactivity components of ADHD are not involved. There are, however, differences between the two. For example, some symptoms of depression that are not seen with ADHD include:
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, and being "slowed down"
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • A depressed mood
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feeling that bad things will happen
  • Talking more slowly.
On the other hand, some ADHD symptoms that are not typically seen with depression include feeling:
  • Disorganized
  • Overwhelmed
  • Anxious
  • Out of control.

ADHD, Depression, and Other Conditions

Research has shown that compared to children who just have ADHD, children with ADHD and depression tend to be more anxious and have a higher frequency of generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. They also appear to have even more impairment in social settings and at school. However, children with both depression and ADHD appear less likely to develop substance abuse, repeat a grade, or get suspended from school.
Recognizing Symptoms of ADHD

Depression in Children

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