ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a major medical condition affecting many. A person having this experiences a difference in their brain activity as well brain development. This leads to one‘s ability to be attentive, self-controlled, and sitting still. ADHD can show its adverse effects anywhere, at home or at school, and may even affect one’s relationships.
Kids, who have ADHD, already have a tough time navigating their condition and grasp it fully. So, it is only understandable if the condition is hard to cope with as well. And if they are hitting or on the verge of hitting puberty, it gets all the messier to manage their life with ADHD.
Can Untreated ADHD Lead To Depression In Children?
Depression has been a common pain for many families. And when it comes to the kids with ADHD, the condition surely takes its toll. So, we can even say that it can cause a major mental health condition to keep in check.
It is very important to determine the signs of depression early on in order to get your child proper help at the right time. We have brought to you some of the common symptoms that you should keep an eye out for and that will help you in preventing a major mental health condition for your child.
Symptoms Of Depression In Kids With ADHD
The following are the symptoms that should be worrisome for any parent with a child who has ADHD. A child does not always know what is going on with them. So, the responsibility comes to their guardians to give them the much-needed help to come out a healthy human on the other side of depression and ADHD.
- Prolonged Sadness
Life is full of ups and downs. Every single person on the planet goes through tough times. Some go through the downs more than others. There is nothing worth worrying about unless the sadness one is experiencing gets persistent and even worse over time. If you see your child experiencing something similar, then it is time that you seek an expert’s help. You may take them to a therapist who knows how to deal with kids who have such special conditions.
- Changed Eating Habits
People’s eating habits change when they are depressed. This does not only happen with people with ADHD but people with no other serious health issues as well. The most apparent signs of depression include conditions like overeating or going through the day without meals or skipping meals.
- Loss Of Interest
One of the most common signs of depression is the loss of interest. Mostly, children suffering from ADHD are more passionate about their hobbies and interests. No matter how challenging their regular life might be. However, when depression takes its toll on them, they may not even acknowledge the activities that brought them pleasure earlier. It just would not matter how much they used to enjoy those activities earlier.
- Changed Sleep Patterns
Kids with ADHD already have trouble sleeping. But, when ADHD is mixed with depression, it becomes all the more troublesome for the kid as well as the family. In case, you happen to observe a new pattern developing, for example, sleeping more than usual, then consider it a red flag. It is time then for you to take your child to an expert and at least get a diagnosis.
There are so many kids with ADHD, and a majority of them have a tough time maintaining relationships. Although this is not seemingly a behavior that raises concerns of the parents, it is however a serious issue. So, if your child seems like holding themselves back from their core relationships, then it is a warning sign for you. Hence, it is time to seek help before your child gets in more trouble.
- Risky Behaviour
Substances and alcohol can affect any child. And this is a likely happenstance that your kid might choose to try as well. With ADHD and other problems, the voice of judgment might get lost in the noises in the head. ADHD in combination with alcohol can be a risk factor when it comes to depression and may even push one off the verge of it. So, it becomes important to make your kid understand early on the risks associated with self-medicating and trying to escape the anxiety. Using substances is a big red flag that must be dealt with as soon as possible.
- Facing Difficulty At School
Children who have ADHD have a hard time at school. And when it comes to depression, the struggle only increases. You can even witness a dramatic lowering down of their grades. Some kids even do not wish to go to school. This is the time to take necessary action and seek help from a health care provider.
How Can Parents Help Their Kids Who Have ADHD?
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD and on top of its depression, it becomes crucial for the parents to help them any way they can. Thankfully, the following ways can be immensely helpful:
- Pay Attention
As parents, it comes as a basic duty to know everything you can about what discomforts your child. So, a good way to go is by learning everything you can about the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. You can follow the treatment that is recommended by your kid’s health care provider. Also, regular visits to their therapy session also helps with your better understanding.
- Do Not Forget The Medicines
Medicines are a huge part of treating anything. So, this should not come as a surprise if you have to take care of your kid’s medication with all seriousness. That being said, make sure you are following the doctor’s orders and providing your child with the proper dose of medicine and that too at the right time. It is also important to keep the medicines in a safe place.
- Help With School Work
Teachers can only do so much to help your child. So, it is your responsibility to keep checking in with the teachers and know about your child’s progress. For this, meeting them often, like once or twice a month is a must. You can also work together with the teachers to help your child with their educational development do well at school.
- Learn New Parenting Approaches
Kids with ADHD need some special care. And that means new approaches as well when it comes to your parenting style. You can Google up and see what approaches work the best for kids with ADHD and the worst as well. Instead of focusing on the negatives, you can talk to your child about the positives, their strengths, and qualities. One thing that works great is being open with your kid every step of the way and letting them know that you support them.
- Support Group Might Help
If you have a kid with ADHD, then know that you are not alone. You can get in touch with other parents for support and awareness. You can even join a support group for ADHD in order to get some necessary updates on several treatments and other related information.
- Talk Openly
Open talk and conversations are really the keys to understanding your kid and letting them know that you are there for them. You might want to give them some time to find their own pace to open up.
Parenting surely has its fun moments. But, there are those moments as well when you will have to experience the extreme downs. Although it is no fun to watch your kid suffer or experience even the minute difficulties, it is, however, important to be there for them. One more thing to keep in mind is to be patient and have hope. There are many who lose hope after a while, but that would not do anyone any good.
So, do not forget to keep your eyes open and be attentive towards your child. It is always better to catch a symptom of depression early on and get your child some help rather than letting your child suffer and despairing about it later.
Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.