A Mom dealing with Depression or ADD??

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Women & Girls A Mom dealing with Depression or ADD??

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #48829

      This topic of ADD is completely new to me. I’ve struggled and been treated for depression for 17 years. I’ve switched antidepressants and I’ve been off and on them this entire time. I have seasons where I’m doing a little better but becoming a mom 8 years ago really changed things for me.

      I am now a mom to 3 children. With each new child my symptoms got worse. All of the new responsibilities that come along with managing a home and kids have been too much for me. My antidepressant meds seem to not be helping me. Even the smallest everyday task is always “too much”. I use that phase all of the time to explain how I feel. Hearing my kids cry or whine, and just meeting their demands for the day is so overwhelming. I never understand how other moms do it. It seems so much harder for me than everyone else. I’m trying to survive the chaos of everyday life with kids.

      My counselor just mentioned to me a couple days ago that she thinks I may be ADD and that I should talk to my psychiatrist about this. That sounded absurd to me because I’m not hyperactive at all but actually the complete opposite. I have no energy to do anything. I hate loud noises and busy places. Peace and quiet is my best friend. I forget things all of the time, cant complete tasks, and the word OVERWHELMED just sums it all up. Have any of you moms experienced this?

      Im feeling hopeful again that maybe all of these years I’ve been misdiagnosed and I will finally get the help I really need! Definitely needing encouragement since this is a whole new concept to me.

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Joy.
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Penny Williams.
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #50383
      Penny Williams

      Women are commonly misdiagnosed with depression for years. You can certainly have ADHD without hyperactivity. The official term now is ADHD Inattentive Type, but it is most well known under it’s old diagnostic label, ADD.

      ADD vs. ADHD: What’s the Difference?

      Here’s a great online self-test for women and girls (ADHD often presents differently in females). You can take this self-test and see if ADHD is likely the right direction to go in. You can even print out your results and take them to your psychiatrist.

      [Self-Test] The ADHD Test for Women and Girls

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #57286

        Hi Joy –

        It sounds like you are asking yourself a lot of the same questions I have been. I was just diagnosed about a month ago, turning 40 this year, have 2 kids, and have been battling depression and anxiety for 20+ years.

        Learning I have ADHD has been so eye opening but also difficult to accept. I too struggle with being the mom society makes me believe I should be, and while I am trying to have compassion and understanding for why I am the way I am it is also hard some days.

        For me, the hyperactivity part is more about what’s going on in my brain. Sometimes I have several thoughts going on at once. And I think that’s where my anxiety comes from.

    • #51855

      Hi Joy

      Your are not alone. I just found this thread and Im surprised how little views and replies you have.
      I have a 3.5 year old and Im sox months pregnant. Im undergoing diagnosis and did the computer screen test and she seemed to think I have it as I have scored high inattention, impulsivity.

      I have the mundane, the routine and the boredom of regular life. I have tried anti depressants, as Im also very lethargic when faced with daily chores. I come from a busy life, I used to 100 miles an hour, martial arts, successful graphic designer with an constant urge to learn more and acheive more. I loved being so busy and feeling so important.
      I cant return to this carear, as I cant afford the childcare and dont want the guilt. I have very little friends, no one who understands at all. I still think im in some ways addicted to adrenaline, I loved all the silly, fun but very expensive experiences I have crammed in prior to children, everything from surfing to snowboardsing, to skydiving, if its fast I will love it.

      I still run a very small business doing kids parties, I love this but at six months pregnant, I know I have to wind down, and im dreading the last 2 months where I cant do it…>Will lose a massive sense of who I am..

      I try to be out and do things all the time with my three year old, but my emotions are ridiculous.

    • #55776

      Hi so I’m not a mum but Ive just turned 19 and it’s been little over two years since i was diagnosed with ADD and started medication and I can relate to your feeling of being overwhelmed 100% my little brother exhibited early signs of having ADD, I’m talking around 3/4 at this time they were asked if they wanted any of their other children tested to see if they had ADD as well, I was around 11/12 by this stage and they said no there was no way I had it, I mean I had always not just done well in school but excelled and seemed to have no trouble with my memory as I could remember things from years ago. However over time I felt things get harder and harder I forgot what people had asked me to do which led to many fights with my parents. I would find myself zoning out in class then panicking when I realised I hadn’t been listening. Trying to keep myself organised was so hard and revising and trying to keep my attention on the page was more difficult with every year and set of exams, having to reread over and over because I hadn’t been taking the information in. Things reached breaking point in my lower 6th year my parents got me tutors and seemed to thing I just wasn’t trying but I was I was trying so hard and nothing was getting better. Thinking back I can honestly say during this time I was severally depressed, my brother who was being medicated was thriving in school top of his year group whereas I had slipped to the very bottom. Everything was so easy for my friends who I used to be on par with but now I worked harder than any of them stayed up late to put in the extra work to still do worse than them. I spent a lot of time frustrated and in tears cause I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, I even self harmed once because everything was just so overwhelming like you said and I just felt like I was failing. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me I was positive I would fail the year and what would happen to my future then, I tried to tell my friends how bad it was but they thought I was over reacting, they only believed me when it came to results day and I got two E’s and U, it was honestly the worst day of my life I had never felt so ashamed or at a loss for where my life was going I had never even got a D before. My mum and dad however unknown to me had organised for me to see that doctor who had asked them years ago if they wanted any other children tested. I went without much hope and told them I know I’m going to past the test it’s just me there’s no reason for my brain being so stupid but they made me go anyway and we had to fill out a questionnaire before hand and I was surprise at some of the questions and why they were relevant but also how they applied to me. “Do you tend to blurt out something without thinking about how it will affect others” yes, “do you have organisational problems” yes “do you find yourself zoning out” yes and so on, of course there were some that didn’t apply as it was a questionnaire for both ADD and ADHD and I was not hyperactive. But when my result from the tests came we went to the doctor again and he spoke to me by myself asking my about my school experience I told him how hard things had got and he called my mum and dad back in. He told them she 100% has ADD as well, I couldn’t believe it but as he explained it all it all made sense and I couldn’t help but cry. ADD and ADHD can have different symptoms in girls and sometimes be much harder to spot he also said that because I had been trying so hard for so long I had manage to mask my difficulties until finally it became too much this year and I just broke. He’d seen my school reports and looking at them all from P1 to lower sixth there was a slow decrease in my scores that he said would have been much more apparent if I hadn’t been working so hard to try to maintain them. My questionnaire and tests backed this up and I just couldn’t believe after all this time I had ADD too. I am now medicated, made the tough decision to resist the year without my friends and changed subjects to more coursework based subjects that didn’t relie on one exam on one day that my memory had to remember everything I’d learnt, now I’m in upper sixth finally I got 2 A’s last year and a C and I’m awaiting my final A level results next week with 5 university offers as well as an apprenticeship job offer with one of the leading accounting firms in the world. I know this was long but I really wanted to share my experience and hope it helps someone else, so please if you have one child diagonised test your others it doesn’t do any harm unless you don’t and leave it to get worse and also please if you have a daughter don’t dismiss that she could have ADD or ADHd because she doesn’t have the sterotypical symptoms. ADD and ADHD is not a sign of bad parenting and it didn’t mean I was stupid like I thought, my brain is just special, unique, it works differently and needs a little extra help at times to allow me to reach my full potential.

    • #56114

      Hi Joy. I could have written your letter. I’ve been on and off antidepressants for 25 years. When my daughter was nine we had her tested and she was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive. I could have been looking in the mirror. All her symptoms were mine. All the years of feeling stupid and out of place finally made sense. I think I did develop depression dealing with ADHD alone for so long. As I get older, anxiety has joined the group.

      I was a successful business owner and always worked hard. Change was my friend and challenges were something I had to prove to myself that I could meet. 12 years ago, when I had my first daughter, everything fell apart. I could not do it all. I had to sell my business. I tried working part time but I couldn’t even manage that. My kids are now 12 and 10 and I feel some relief. Today I take it one day at a time. I celebrate the small successes in my days. Some days are better than others. I’m trying new medications and it has been eye opening. Regular excercise makes a world of difference for me as well. Yoga is my favourite as the meditation forces my brain to slow down. There is a light at the end so remember to just breathe.

    • #56520

      Hypersensitivity is actually fairly common with ADD – so hating loud noises and busy places isn’t strange at all. In fact, I have found that I really struggle with trying to listen to people in situations that are loud — another way to think of it, there is a lot of distracting stimuli that can make it harder for us to shift our attention and focus!

      Others have mentioned the issues that women have with getting ADHD diagnosed.. when I was growing up, all three of my brothers (I have no sisters) were diagnosed with ADHD. I was doing okay in school, until I tried taking a couple of very challenging classes, which is when I struggled. And then just went back to easy classes. Point is, I wasn’t “like” my brothers, so it didn’t seem apparent to anyone that I had ADHD — I think it really clicked for me during graduate school, while I was also trying to work full time. Like you said, it seemed easier for everyone else.

      My heart broke as I read your post because I thought of my own mom — she has also struggled with depression her whole life, and if anyone had EVER suggested she might have ADHD, it would have changed her life. I have brought it up a few times — hey mom, all four of your kids have ADHD and it’s hereditary!! — but because a medical professional had never said anything about it to her, she never considered it. Now that she’s retired, it doesn’t matter as much — she barely has any responsibilities. But when I see her struggle with things, when she has to turn the car radio down to focus on parking correctly (just like me!), it just feels so obvious. If the comments here, and the quiz results, resonate with you, please find a local ADHD specialist! It could help you SO MUCH!

    • #56926

      Depression is many things like loss of interest, more than saddness its a pending gloom you cant shake. I am sure you know I too have depression, ptsd, anxiety.I hope and pray you find answers to the way you feel. Has anybody ever checked you for autism? They too are hypersensitive. Maybe even sensory processing disorder?

    • #58601

      This could absolutely be ADHD and not depression at all. Before ADHD meds, these things were a daily battle.

Viewing 7 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.