ADHD and Depression

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ADHD and Depression - 25% with ADHD are also Depressed

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ADHD comes in several different types, and depending on what parts of the brain are impacted there are different symptoms. One of the more common sub-types is ADHD with symptoms of Depression. As many as 25% of those diagnosed with ADHD are also depressed. This is due to the limbic system being overly active in this type of ADHD.

As with other types of ADHD we use characters from the Winnie the Pooh stories in the Hundred Acre Wood to describe a particular type of ADHD. In this type the character of Eeyore is the perfect example of ADHD with Depression.

"Thanks for Noticin' Me" says Eeyore. He walks slowly. He looks sad. He doesn't accomplish much. He's just glad to be noticed. This is Eeyore, the stuffed donkey who is so often in need of his tail being pinned back on.

Those with this depressive type of ADHD are often:

  • Inattentive
  • Have a chronic sadness or low-grade depression
  • Seem to be negative, or apathetic
  • Have low energy levels
  • They just do not seem to care
  • They often feel worthless, or helpless, or hopeless.

Teenagers and Depression: What Parents Need to Know

From the ADD ADHD Information Library, and Doug Cowan, Psy.D., clinical editor. Many teenagers suffer from depression, and many diagnosed with ADHD also have depression. It is important for parents to understand depression in teenagers, ...

This type of ADHD is called "Limbic System ADHD" by Daniel Amen. And for good reason. SPECT scans show that when the brain is at rest, there is increased activity deep in the limbic system, in parts of the brain called the thalamus and hypothalamus. There is also decreased activity in the underside of the pre-frontal cortex.

When the brain is placed under a work load, as during a homework assignment, nothing changes. The over-active limbic system remains over-active, and the under-active pre-frontal cortex remains under-active.

many with ADHD are also depressedThis type of ADHD looks very much like a combination of ADHD and Depression.

Some have suggested that up to 25% of children with ADHD are also depressed or suffer from a mild depression called Dysthymic disorder. This may impact females more than males.

Alternative Treatment Strategies for Limbic System ADHD

  • For best results use our Eating Program along with the nutraceuticals recommended below. You must have a good eating program. You cannot eat junk and get feeling better.
  • We also strongly recommend using Essential Fatty Acid supplementation while using the nutraceuticals below. We no longer recommend fish oils as they may contain mercury. A combination of Flax Seed oils and Primrose oils are recommended.

Experts recommend DL-Phenylalyne (up to 600 mg per day for adults), 5-HTP, and B Vitamins and St. John's Wort (up to 600 mg per day for adults). We know how to make that work, and what we recommend includes what the experts recommend, plus even more powerful ingredients.

We recommend for Limbic System, or Eeyore style ADHD the following for adults. Children may be able to take less.

  • ATTEND for ADHD symptoms, take 2 capsules per day.

    The ATTEND contains GABA, DL-Phenylalyne, Ginko, Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extracts, 5-HTP, pregnenolone, DMAE, and more. See the ATTEND ingredients list.

  • EXTRESS for symptoms of impulsivity, temper, restlessness, and anxiety take 2 capsules per day. The EXTRESS contains GABA, DL-PA, 5-HTP, and St. John's Wort, and is a good mood stabilizer.
  • DEPREX for symptoms of worry and depression, take 2 capsules per day. This is a very good product for the symptoms of depression, and has few or no side-effects. But if the depression is severe - go to a doctor today - right now! Only use alternative treatments for mild to moderate situations.

    The DEPREX contains more GABA, and just 2 capsules of DEPREX contain 320 mg of St. John's Wort and 420 mg of DL-Phenylalyne. It can be a good alternative to antidepressants.

With anyone who is showing symptoms of depression, please consult with a physician, and please consider that depression is a very serious condition in children, teens, or adults

Consult your doctor in ADHD and depression.

Back to "Different Types of ADHD" index

This book section: The Different Types of ADHD

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a counselor to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource at His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you.

Counselor counseling Tehachapi for ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 972-5953

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