ADHD and Depression

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by VagabondDreamer, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    My son is 6 years old and started kindergarten this year. I have suspected he has ADHD since he was 3 or 4. The last month or so I have noticed a change in my child. He is obsessed with death and dying, and has sang me songs that include "I'm going to die while I'm still a child." He has a very high energy level, so I'm just not sure if he is depressed or not. I can't really tell if he has a loss of interest in activities because he's so all over the place. He has been playing flag football though and has not wanted to play the last two games because he "was sick." I have a strong history of depression myself. (He school is currently doing evaluations for IEP)

    Does anyone have a child this young who is ADHD and diagnosed with depression? It hard trying to find information about this for children this young. Not sure what to look for.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    If you suspect ADHD, have you taken him to a Child Psychiatrist? If you have read about depression in children like I have, one thing I noticed is that in children, because they don't have the communication skills yet, depression actually displays as anger, aggression, "meanness", etc. It could also be that if he does have ADHD and it is not being treated, his extremely overactive brain is on overload. OR it could be that he has simply found a new "interest" or has been around someone else who has this "interest".

    I guess I wouldn't be too concerned about what he is saying. If it does bother you, maybe you should calmly in a curious voice ask him "Where did you hear that one? I've never heard you say that before." Start a friendly, calm "fishing trip" to see if you can find out where this is all coming from.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think the advice you got was spot on. Chances are he heard those phrases from somewhere. on the other hand, in my humble opinion, it is important not to react personally to bizarre statements as it just gets filed away in youngsters heads as affirmation of the idea...or more commonly as an attention getter. Using casual dialogue you may find that he is worried about some issue, may have been a target of unkind remarks etc. Other children can be cruel at that young age and it's possible one made a comment that is causing him worry. Who identified him as ADHD and is providing services/
    It's also possible that he is aware of your depression issues and may be mirroring. DDD
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    "If I die young, bury me in sun, lay me down on a bed of roses" this is a line from a current popular song. There are a few others out there, so it's possible he's picking up such thoughts from songs. Does he ride the bus to school? Some bus drivers play the radio, and this song has been on one of my local "family friendly" stations.

    It's possible that he's just "sick" of flag football. Does he play well? Does he get and follow the rules? Team sports can be very difficult for kids with ADHD.

    TeDo is right about how depression can manifest in kids. It can also manifest in a more traditional way with extreme sadness and loss of interest which in kid speak may be boredom.

    My DD1 spent 2 years crying herself to sleep and occasionally wishing she was dead. I thought it was depression. For her it was more anxiety pushing her into depression. She'd have intrusive thoughts because she could not sleep, these thoughts would make her worry and upset resulting in a depressed manifestation. She now takes melatonin at night resulting in very little time for intrusive thoughts to enter, and now little or no depressive manifestation. She still suffers from some daytime boredom, but not even close to the extent of when she was younger.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Is he on medication now? Has anything been recently added or removed? We learned the hard way that an ADHD medication + an antidepressant = psycho. It wasn't pretty.
  6. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    No, he is not on any medication. I am trying to get some type of evaluation done, so I can take it to his pediatrician. Seems impossible to get anyone to help us sometimes. We recently enrolled in a counseling service where the therapist comes to our home and goes to the school. They are able to do some evaluating as well as the school. It is taking forever to get started. We had an intake appointment but no sessions yet. If I can't get anything accomplished in the next couple weeks, I think I am going to look into scheduling him an appointment elsewhere.

    The songs that he was singing were ones he made up. He frequently picks up his guitar and just starts singing things he's made up. He put a toy gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger a little bit ago. Tried to find out where he saw that, but I know he hasn't seen any movie or TV shows with that. He said he didn't see it anywhere, he just "learned" it. He said, "I guess I'm just a moron."
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    If he doesn't have an IEP, make the formal request in writing ASAP, that puts them on a deadline to start screening him. Forget the pediatrician, find a psychiatrist.
  8. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    They are working on the IEP. I signed the consent for the evaluations, and I have a conference scheduled with a group of people at his school in about a month. I am highly considering saying to hell with the pediatrician. I have voiced several concerns over the last couple years and he brushed us off. You're right, I will have to find a child psychiatrist soon, I think.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Our pediatrician was useless for it. Ditto her first psychiatrist. Second one is an improvement but I've lost faith in finding a decent one with compatible office hours within driving distance that accepts our insurance. Seems "Dr. X is a great doctor" has a much lesser meaning here than it did back home and back when. :(
    If you can land a neuropsychologist that understands and tests, go for that. I had to go with a psychologist for testing (I liked him, he "got it") and a neuropsychologist here is pretty much just an Rx doctor. *sigh*

    I wish you better luck!
  10. VagabondDreamer

    VagabondDreamer New Member

    GREEEAATT. Sounds like I am in for a real treat! I was very close yesterday to walking into our local psychiatric hospital for both him and I. He's been so clingy this weekend, and I've just wanted to be alone. So it's been tough. I think I will call our children's hospital behavioral department here and make an appointment. Hopefully they can get us in quickly (skeptical).
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Well, hopefully they'll see him, that's a good starting place, and they should have a list of names to refer you to if they can't.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Children can be depressed. I was depressed for as far back as I could remember and was obsessed with death and dying and it had nothing to do with songs I heard or ADHD. I would think the depression would be more serious than the ADHD, which I probably also would have been diagnosed with had they diagnosed ANYTHING back then.

    I think it is a very good idea to get him diagnosed ASAP. It is no fun to lose your childhood to depression/anxiety/feelings of hopelessness. If you can get him in to see a neuropsychologist that would be great. If not, I'd take him to see a child psychiatrist (the guy with the MD).

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    He sounds so lucky to have you. I think it really is hard to tell. it could be that they are feeding eachother. Depression makes it so hard to concentrate. It could look like adhd maybe? He could have so much going on. Certainly having adhd and your brain not being as still as you want along with the typical consequences that they suffer daily from teh behaviors they do so much more frequently could lead to depression. Or it could just all be biological... I think you are doing the right thing to search for more evaluations and dump the pediatrician. Can you find a developmental pediatrician? You might have better luck getting support and referrals from this kind of pediatrician.

    Keep pushing for the evaluations, neuropsychologist etc. great ideas... keep in touch, you are definately not alone in this.