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ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

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Old 02-19-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

I went to my dr. in November and started taking prozac for depression....Today I went to the dr, and we are going to stop taking the depression med. and start takng Ritalin for ADD. They both seem to have a lot of the same symptons, so how will I know which one I have and if I should take Ritalin, or prozac????

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Old 02-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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Re: ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

All mental illnesses cause attention problems. A friend of mine came home from Vietnam with PTSD and one less arm. His attention problems appear identical to mine. The causes are very different. It's difficult to concentrate when reliving the horrors of war. He did not have PTSD before Vietnam. I've had ADHD for as long as I can remember.

When did your symptoms first appear? Recently? Probably NOT ADHD. "Probably" because ADHD symptoms aren't always recognized early in life even though they were there. Did you experience a significant life event that appears linked to the onset of your symptoms? Probably NOT ADHD. ADHD symptoms that may have had little impact on high school performance can show up under the heavier load of college.

We are born with ADHD. "Life long" is one of its diagnostic criteria.

ADHD causes depression in the majority of its victims. Your doctor just might know his stuff. Treated your depression first and is now targeting your ADHD.


Old 03-10-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

It's possible to have both at once, but ADD and depression are two very different things.

If you're depressed, you're depressed. So sad and despairing it makes you sick.You might have wandering attention as a result of being depressed, but wandering attention doesn't make it ADD.

If you have ADD, there are whole checklists of "symptoms" (I put it in quotes because calling them symptoms sounds wrong to me--ADD is not an illness, it's a natural way of being), and enough of them will fit you for you to have an "Aha!" response. There are several subtypes of ADD, and a good checklist will accommodate all the subtypes. If one doesn't fit you, another might. That's something to watch for: most ADD checklists out there only check for one or two subtypes.

If you go through all that, including all the subtypes, and don't have the overwhelming sense that this is you, you're probably not ADD.

If you're looking to take medication for either condition, Prozac is not the only one for depression, and Ritalin is not the only one for ADD. Some people who genuinely have ADD do not respond well to Ritalin, and some people who are genuinely depressed do not respond well to Prozac. It sounds, the way you worded your post, like your doctor is acting on the assumption that whatever it is, it will go away if you throw medication at it, and here are the medications for those disorders.

That's sloppy medicine, to say the least. These might not be the right drugs for you, and medication might not even be right for you. If you do take medication, it should only be part of the picture.

If you do go on ADD medication, that's no reason to stop the Prozac. You can take both. Even if you do have ADD, that doesn't necessarily mean you're not also depressed. And Prozac has to be weaned off very, very gradually. If your doctor's not having you do that, don't stick with that doctor.


Last edited by mod-anon; 03-10-2010 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Please respect the privacy of other posters.

Old 03-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

How do you know? You see a doctor (preferable a psychiatrist) and s/he knows - they studied for many, many years so they know.

Dont try and second guess them, or decide what pills you want to take based on the net, give them a chance to do their job for you.

Old 03-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: ADD or Depression ? How do you know?

ive been asking myself the same question which one do I have... i think personally that they can very well come hand in hand... unfortunately. It's hard to tell which is a result of the other. I hope whatever you take works for you... Do you attend therapy or see a psychiatrist routinely also? Just curious, wanna know if that is something i would have to do.

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