Depression and anxiety, and oppositional defiant disorder are problems that seemingly don’t have much to do with ADHD, tend to go along with the ADHD child. Depression is huge. The sadness is huge and a lot of time just difficult to figure out. Sadness for a child can be as much as being frustrated yelling and not want to go to school in the morning because they are depressed.
Young kids can get depressed. Sadness and depression can come along with the teenage boy not meeting the expectations of the parent and all of a sudden they are so depressed it's debilitating. Again, these kids need help. They don't need us chastising them, saying why don't you just work harder, because that tends to be what we as parents do. We think the answer is just to work harder, but this compounds the depression.
Boys get depressed if they're not going to go to the next level, they get depressed if they're not making the grades. Remember everything revolves around the peer group. For teenage boys, it’s about making sure that they are as good as everyone else, and advancing. For girls, it’s socialization that matters. If they aren’t able to socialize and fit in with a group, they can very much become withdrawn, down, and depressed.
Anxiety and depression tend to go hand in hand. We do a lot of treating of depression and sometimes need medication for that. It's not to be afraid of medication, but these kids need the help. I have had more kids with anxiety and depression needing treatment with medication than I have ever had before in my life of working in medicine. It's not to be fearful. A lot of times it's just short term so that we can reconnect the brain and get the chemicals working well within the brain, but it's very important.
Remember depression revolves around friendship, grades, and the need to be understood. These kids need help, and they may need counseling. They certainly need to see a professional. If your child is feeling down, get them in to a provider. At our office, we do a depression scale on every child that comes in, and nearly every adolescent has something they are unhappy about. Now that doesn’t mean they are totally depressed, but it does mean that we need to help them and help them get through whatever issues they are wrestling with.
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