Monday, May 6, 2013

ADHD Teenagers and Depression

I want to tell you about two teenagers, they were confidant in different areas of their lives. One can sand in front of a group with confidant embracing the excitement and have fun with what he is doing. The other is shy, nervous would rather be in the group of spectators and not in the spot light.

Depression was not a part of who they where, then puberty hit and signs of depression seem to manifest overnight. Trouble with grades, disconnecting with friends and not paying attention to teachers or parents are a warning that something is wrong. What does ADHD have to do with depression? These conditions may go hand in hand if your child has ADHD depending on the diagnoses. It is devastating to your child and they don't understand it either.

Teens are sometimes labeled lazy, especially when they show high intelligence, confidence in sports and excitement about taking leadership roles. This describes the first child. As a teen you switch class everyday and when it came to school work there was no balance and the grade suffered. The parents could see that the teen was not lazy. Confidence in all areas of life were affected and the focused was not there in maintaining grades or anything else.

Setting goals and supporting teens in areas that they struggling is frustrating. As they work on the grades that had slipped bringing them up, the grades that where great fell below average. Tutors, parents, and the teen felt the frustration. Searching for answers is not easy and teens just don't know why they are struggling. Depression, frustration and ADHD were a part of the school year. An Educational Therapist explained how ADHD can have a variety of unexplained symptoms and behaviors. Meeting with the teens and evaluating them he thought they should seek the help of a psychiatrist to get a diagnosis and possibly medication. When a child looks at you and says something is not right and I want you to help me. You will do anything.

Diagnosed with ADHD and depression the next question was, is the ADHD causing the depression or is the depression causing the ADHD? Only one way to find out five months of therapy did not help in this teens life or school work, so the next step was to try medication.The medication for ADHD is like turning on a switch. The teens went from failing to the honor roll in one marking period. The first teen maintained his grades, learned to drive, passed written test and yet still did not show excitement in doing so well.

Depression took over; the teen was doing well but could not find joy in anything. Started medication for depression and is in therapy. This teen has depression and ADHD.

The other teen who has been in learning support since kindergarten was struggling more than ever, struggling to stay on task. Hours to do home work that should have only taken forty-five minutes. Happy go lucky even though this teens grades where average but below grade level. This teen would just shut down and not care about school or doing anything else is he struggling with ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed and is now on medication. He does not have depression.

Medication has helped these teens in ways the parents could not. They are now doing well and are happy. The symptoms they had are very different and depending on your child you may see a variety of behaviors that can only be helped and treated by a psychiatrist. When you see that your child is struggling with depression it may relate to ADHD, only a Psychiatrist should diagnose and prescribe medication monitoring them regularly.

No one knows your child like you. Signs that he or she is struggling because they seem lazy and are showing signs of depression is not "just being a teenager". Work with the school, a therapist and if needed find a Psychiatrist that works with children. The teens are thriving and the parents know they are getting the tools that will lead them to adulthood with confidence and a clear understanding in how to manage their mental health.

In quietness and in trusting confidence I find strength. ISAIAH 30:15

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