EXPERT: Nelson M. Handal, M.D., DFAPA
Adults with ADHD are up to six times more likely than are their neurotypical peers to have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which is characterized by extreme sadness, loss of interest, and mania. Not only is MDD more prevalent in adults with ADHD, but the disorder can have an outsized effect on women and girls who have both conditions. MDD is associated with an earlier age of onset, a longer duration, more severe impairment, a higher rate of suicidality, and a greater likelihood of requiring psychiatric hospitalization in girls with ADHD.
When treating depression in patients with ADHD, it is critical for clinicians to recognize a patient’s feelings of worthlessness, which, as one study points out, were directly related to suicidal thoughts and planning in adolescents.
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