Webinars & Podcasts

“The ADHD-Depression Connection in Adults: Understanding the Link, Distinct Symptoms, and First-Line Treatments” [Video Replay & Podcast #272]

Access the video replay, listen to the podcast episode (#272), and download the slide presentation for this ADHD Experts webinar originally broadcast on March 26, 2019.

Episode Description

Every adult with ADHD should take note of these statistics: Thirty percent of individuals with ADHD have had a depressive episode, and if you have ADHD, your risk of developing depression is four times greater than it is for those without the disorder. Researchers have traced back this elevated rate of depression to four ADHD-specific risk factors: emotional dysregulation, executive function deficits, social problems, above-average impulsivity, and physical and sexual abuse.

The good news is that more treatment options exist today for managing depression, ranging from psychotherapy to pharmacological interventions. In addition, doctors are using promising new treatments for depression, including electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and the chemical ketamine, when conventional approaches fall short. Learning about these newer approaches and discussing them with your doctor may lead to treatment breakthroughs.

Listen and learn from Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., about:

  • The links between ADHD and depression
  • The most effective psychotherapies used to treat depression
  • First-line psychopharmacological treatments for depression
  • The latest treatment approaches for treatment-resistant depression

Watch the Video Replay

Enter your email address in the box above labeled “Video Replay + Slide Access” to watch the video replay (closed captions available) and download the slide presentation.

Download or Stream the Podcast Audio

Click the play button below to listen to this episode directly in your browser, click the symbol to download to listen later, or open in your podcasts app: Apple Podcasts; Google Podcasts; Stitcher; Spotify; iHeartRADIO.

More on Depression in Adults

Meet the Expert Speaker:

Dr. Roberto Olivardia is a clinical psychologist and lecturer in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Eating Disorders. He has spoken on numerous webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude, as well as the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD), the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders. He is also a member of the ADDitude ADHD Medical Review Panel.| See expert’s full bio »

Listener Testimonials

  • “Thank you for your time! Helpful and interesting – sounds like many people got different useful information from today’s webinar.”
  •  “Amazing work! Great professional speakers/lectures! Thank you so much for offering these webinars.”
  • “Thank you so much for tying ADHD and depression together and explaining some of the specific risk factors, comorbidity, and different types of therapy.”
  • “Fantastic Presentation By Dr. Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D.!  He ALWAYS gives an AMAZING training session every time! Thank you so much.”

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8 Comments & Reviews

  1. I was misdiagnosed with depression, treated with SSRI’s which kept me unable to control crying for 15 years. Eventually, sent to another specialist for treatment resistant depression. Given vyvanse. Miracle. I researched vyvanse to find out it was used for ADHD. I got off citalopram, clonazepam etc myself. Got diagnosed by a neurologist who understood ADHD 14 months ago. I do not have depression, vyvanse immediately alienates that kind of feeling. I am filled with rage, my career was ruined, my entire life ruined by this medical incompetence and I have no recourse.
    How many lives are being ruined by ignorant doctors? How can I get this information out? This abuse of girls/women has to stop.

    1. is_shepherd: Why did you go straight to abuse of “girls/women”????
      I’m a woman in my late 40s.
      I too was diagnosed with depression when I was 19 or 20. There were definitely signs before that age, but I got by. When I didn’t, I got help and was diagnosed.
      Then after personal and professional struggles and further counseling around 2000, the therapist I was seeing suggested that I test for ADD (not always ADHD at that time). Sure enough. Positive. As I and my siblings had suspected for many years on my own.
      The reality is that when we were school age or even in college, no one was regularly looking for ADHD in adults. They do the best they can with the knowledge/experience they have at the time.
      No one is dismissing you. No one is abusing you. It’s just a reality.
      And believe me, it has nothing to do with gender in general.
      I think if you let go of that unfounded anger, you might have more energy to continue on with your life and have successes from here on out.

      1. She went to women and girls because women and girls are woefully misdagnosed when it comes to ADHD. They don’t catch it when we’re little, and we get diagnosed with other mental health disorders as adults. I myself was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder for several years before I convinced my doctor to check me out for ADHD.

        Maybe abuse is the wrong word – but it’s a serious issue that affects women and girls of all ages. I know it affected me.

      2. You sound very judgemental and yet you are not a part of this other lady’s life where you could reasonably come to your conclusions on her situation. If you personally had a better experience and have absolute faith in the medical world, good for you, that’s not everyone’s experience. When you invalidate someone’s experience like that, it’s called gaslighting.

  2. .. for the upcoming depression webinar. I’ll try to keep this brief. 3 years ago my father passed, causing a severe depression I’m still fighting. I’ve tried every class of antidepressant, sometimes several in that class, with little to no effect. My primary care also diagnosed me with ADHD (at age 51), about a year ago-Adderall has been extremely helpful for focus, but I’m still depressed. I’ve been to a couple therapists and to put it briefly, they don’t know what to do with me. I understand what’s going on but am unable to move on. Everything is hollow, there’s no joy. A friend commented ‘the light has left your eyes’ that’s exactly how I feel. My primary care is amazing, but he’s run out of options. I’ve been on guanfacine a month, but not noticing any difference. I’ve tried honestly everything anyone has suggested, from salt lamps to a Spa vacation and don’t know where to turn. Even though I was diagnosed a little over a year ago I didn’t take the diagnosis of ADHD seriously until two or three months ago. Since then I’ve been researching it heavily and believe it may be keeping the depression around, but don’t know the next step. I’m searching for a therapist or psychiatrist specializing in ADHD in my area but this is an expensive option right now. Any advice for next steps?

    1. I highly recommend Johann Hari’s book / audiobook “Lost Connections Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions”, especially when a connection lost seems to have triggered your current circumstances. He also has some YouTube presentations describing his journey out of ineffective treatment as a young adult and toward effective solutions through wide ranging research with world experts.

      Having had a number of serious depression episodes over years, I see how Johann’s ideas completely explain what I experienced, both heading into depression and arising from it later.

  3. Although I suspect it is something that went undiagnosed for a quite a long time, I only recently explored the possibility that I might be dealing with ADHD. My PCP (GP to the best of my knowledge) confirmed the suspicion with a diagnosis. She confirmed a previous diagnosis of GAD and while she agreed with others that I do not show signs of Bi-polar disorder (there is a family history) she feels I have Cyclothymia. Can you provide information or resources that speak to any connection with Cyclothymia versus depression?

  4. @is_shepherd

    Most women are misdiagnosed with either depression and/or anxiety when in reality they have ADHD, or they legitimately have an anxiety disorder and/or depression. Anxiety disorders and depression are prevalent among people with ADHD. Most doctors are not trained to recognize ADHD. They are trained to recognize anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

    As far as genetic testing is concerned, I have a friend of mine who has anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, and she had genetic testing done, and she is doing much better since she’s had her medication changed. I no longer worry about her hurting herself anymore. She was also just recently diagnosed with ADHD. I’m so happy she has ended up getting the help she so desperately needed.

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