Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

28/M been suffering from persistent depressive disorder for almost 10 years and my untreated ADHD makes it worse.

Community Member

So when I was a child (8yo) living in South Africa, I was diagnosed with ADD. Started taking medication but can't really remember the effects on me except making me sleepy. I moved to Australia when I was 12yo and my parents never continued to treat my ADHD. Naturally I started slipping up at school, it affected my relationships with family, friends and partners. It affected my work and studies. Basically anything that requires time and maintenance, it all would fall apart or be done to a very poor and minimal effort.

In the last 2 years my depression has been even more awful due to personal life and I can't help but think my ADHD makes it worse (it definitely doesn't benefit me). I've tried treating my depression with medication nothing seemed to work. The only time I was truly happy was when I was eating healthy and exercising but thanks to my ADHD that only last a solid 2-3 months and started going downhill gradually till I just gave up. Recently I've been off depression medication and seeing a psychiatrist to get treated for my ADHD, but because of other health concerns and my depression and mood, my psychiatrist wants me to get it under control first before I can start any stimulants for my ADHD.

What I am trying to get to is, if my ADHD is treated will things start getting better? I having a loving partner of 1 year now, a 2 year old daughter and have long life goals and career goals I'd like to complete. But my biggest worry is that eventually I will just give up on it all and just slip back into old depressive habits.

Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help keep me motivated and patient to the progress? Currently I am supposed to be kick starting my healthy eating and exercise plans but I'm really not feeling it right now, and if I can't even kick start this simple thin, what's going to happen with my future plans?

3 Replies 3

Hi Badger Badger Mushroom,
Welcome to the forum!
It sounds like you have taken a lot of positive steps recently in approaching some of the issues that you are worried about, but feel as though you won’t make solid progress unless you are treated simultaneously for ADHD. We acknowledge the difficulty of treating multiple issues at once and the complexity of managing differing doctors’ expectations and approaches to treatment.
Have you been able to share your thoughts with your psychiatrist in terms of how you view your current treatment? Or perhaps what you want your goals for treatment to be?
We want to acknowledge the difficulty of changing one’s lifestyle. It can be exceedingly hard to start new activities and expect ourselves to stick with them permanently for a long period of time without strife. Often with change comes natural periods of engagement and disengagement with activities that we haven’t formed into solid habits yet. So, compassion and kindness to oneself and allowing oneself to follow these patterns without too much discouragement can be helpful.
If you are looking for some basic ideas here to help kick start your plans and maintain them during COVID-times, we do offer some tips here:
Please feel free to keep us updated on how your progress though this and welcome again.

Community Member

I am a 61 year old male. Recently I was diagnosed ADHD which assisted me greatly in gaining a better understanding of past behaviours including multiple partners, careers, depression and anxiety.

I am now in need of assistance in trying to reframe my past and gaining a better understanding of my condition.

15 years ago saw a clinical physiatrist for depression & anxiety, who after 2 years of Psychoanalysis diagnosed me with a cluster b personality disorder. ADHD was not on his radar.

Personality disorders have impacted all aspects of my life, including social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural functioning. Nor was ADHD on the radar of my GP of over 20years. Through my online research of ADHD over the last few months, I have discovered personality disorders can be easily confused with adult ADHD and share some similar-looking symptoms with ADHD. There is much information from the United States about ADHD and its treatment.

I was prescribed SSRI's by my treating psychiatrist at the time, which where not effective. I discontinued treatment. My understanding of ADHD is a issue with low levels of a neurotransmitter dopamine, whose first line of treatment are a psychostimulant. Mood and personality disorders have been reported to melt away with proper treatment for ADHD with a psychostimulant. I have generally found Clinicians poorly informed about ADHD and in my instance, misdiagnosed. This led me to self medicate with a stimulant. I practice mindfulness which I learnt in my early 20's to help cope. Yoga and a good diet where also helpful. I have been sober for nearly 2 years now, and going strong.

Sydney University have a fantastic online course on Comorbidity Guidelines at NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use.

Unfortunately, I have not found a clinician who follows these guidelines. There is much stigma and misunderstanding surrounding ADHD and its first line treatment with psychostimulants. I have lost trust in the professional opinions of many clinicians, who seem to be misinformed and expensive in the way they charge for their services.

I would also like assistance with reframing my past with this diagnosis of ADHD. Not sure where to turn too.

Hi Andy12,

It’s so good to hear you’ve made progress with this diagnosis, although we can understand how difficult it must be to look back with this new perspective. We’re glad you have shared this here, as many people will relate to these issues.

This is a really supportive and safe environment, filled with incredibly kind, open people, who are glad to have you here. We hope it can help you to work through and reframe some of these things. Do feel free to create your own thread if you think it would be helpful, it might be easier for other community members to spot and respond to your post that way.

Please remember to reach out to the Beyond Blue helpline at any point you feel like talking things through, on 1300 22 4636, or via webchat.

Kind regards,

Sophie M