Did you know that one out of four adults with ADHD suffer with depression? This is a higher rate than for the rest of the population. While depression it isn’t one of the primary symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity is or inattention, it is often present in an adult with ADHD life. Depression can have a mysterious cloak around it, however, it helps to know that there are two types. “Primary Depression” is hereditary and you can feel depressed without there being a trigger or reason why you are depressed. “Secondary Depression” is the result of a trigger, perhaps because you are struggling with ADHD, repeatedly feeling like a failure despite great efforts to live up to society’s standards of what is “normal.”

When you are feeling low and depressed, your normal habits are affected. You lose interest in things that were previously appealing to you. Sleeping seems like the most enticing activity in the world, or becomes a battlefield as you endure insomnia. Exercise gets pushed aside (it seems to take too much energy), and healthy meals are replaced with comfort food. You no longer pick up the phone to chat with friends because that too is not longer appealing, and you feel as if you have nothing interesting to say. Your home becomes cluttered and messy because even taking the garbage out becomes a huge task. Before you know it, you life has become work, TV and sleep.

If this describes you and it’s been over two weeks, you need to make an appointment with your doctor and explain how you are feeling. If you are on anti-depressants and you have taken a bit of a downward turn, visit your doctor again. It’s important they know how you are doing. As well as seeing a medical doctor, you might want to consider visiting a psychologist too. Talk therapy is a very powerful tool.

In addition to visiting medical staff, there are things you can do to make yourself feel more like your old self.

Nutrition has a powerful effect on your mood. While pizza will make you feel good for a night or two, its feel-good factor is short term. It is time to start replacing comfort food with some REAL feel-good food. If the thought of cooking yourself a healthy meal seems too complex, start small. Have a goal of eating one piece of fruit a day, then increase that to two.

Exercise is incredibly good for us, both mentally and physically. However, even if you were a gym bunny before, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting to be able to jump in where you were before. Start with a 30 minute walk a day. Walking is not only relatively painless, it helps you crave healthy food AND makes you feel good.

Next, get back to taking your supplements. If you only take one, choose Omega 3. It’s fabulous for your ADHD and it does wonders for your mood too.

Now take a peak in the mirror. Is there anything that will make you feel better? I know one man who had let his hair and beard grow really long and only washed them occasionally. When he shaved and had a haircut it affected his mood in a very positive way. What would your version of this be?

Have you let simple pleasures go? Like listening to music, doing a Sudoku puzzle, playing with your pet, etc. Create a list of all those things that you loved to do and then start to do one thing every day.

In terms of your environment, phase one, at the very least, take out the garbage. You deserve to live in a smell-free, hygienic place.

Phase two, move every piece of clutter on the floor UP. People who are depressed put things on the floor and this adds to depression. You don’t need to do anything with those belongings for now as long as they are on counter space, tables, etc. and not on the floor.

Phase three is to do 15 minutes of either housework or organizing every day. You will be amazed at how good you feel about yourself after you have done this, no matter how hard it was to start.

Once you have been doing these things, you will be ready to start socializing again. Being with people is key because we are social beings who thrive on human interactions. So reach out again to your friends. Chatting to people online might be fun, but you need to get out there and meet people in real life. Start slowly – a short visit is fine. Spending time with people who are fun for you is key. Don’t meet with people who drain your energy or make you feel guilty.

Don’t feel bad for “wasting” X number of days/weeks/months feeling depressed and not “doing” anything. That is not helpful and makes you feel worse. The main thing is that you are shifting things now.

When you have begun to implement these steps, even if you didn’t feel like it at the time, you will start to feel better, either directly afterwards or over time.

Try not to let symptoms of ADHD get to you. Remember, you are incredibly awesome, even on the days you don’t feel like you are and

The information in this article does not replace a medical intervention in anyway. When you are feeling depressed it’s imperative that you visit your doctor.

The information in this article does not replace a medical intervention in anyway. When you are feeling depressed it’s imperative that you visit your doctor.

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