Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Is Depression A Factor In Children With ADD?


I would like to know if children that suffer from this disorder may also go on to have problems with depression as they get into thier teen years and so on and if so what can they or thier parents do to help them?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

An important question was written to me about children with ADD and whether or not they experience depression. The answer is yes, children with ADD can experience depression. The reason for the depression usually has to do with the difficulties these youngsters have with school performance and socialization. Difficulties concentrating on reading and on classroom activities often result in low grades. This combined with problems socializing with other children and experiencing social rejection creates plenty of opportunities for children and teenagers with ADD to experience depression.

There are the two approaches for the treatment of children and adolescents with ADD:

1. Medication to help improve concentration.

2. Coaching or behavioral therapy so that skills for: focusing attention, organizing notebooks and homework, keeping a calendar so as to remember to do things, acquiring listening skills and social interaction, can all be learned.

3. While a lot of this could help reduce depression in these children for those who need medication treatment, there are the anti depressants used in conjunction with ADD medication. However, this is controversial as there is evidence that some children experience suicidal thoughts as a result of using anti depressant medication. While the numbers of children who experienced this problem is rare it does exist and makes the decision to prescribe anti depressants to children and adolescents a serious one.

What parents need to do is be certain that the treating psychiatrist who is medicating the child for ADD is aware of the depression so that the next steps can be discussed and planned.

If a child is not being treated for ADD then they should be evaluated for the condition by a psychologist and referred for the appropriate therapy. In addition, the referral should me made to a psychiatrist who specializes in the medical treatment of ADD, including depression.


More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand