ADHD and depression : our 14 yo... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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ADHD and depression

artistmomMe profile image
12 Replies

our 14 yo daughter sees a therapist and is on 10 mg Lexapro and Vyvanse. But here we are again –– she won't get out of bed today and go to school. Does anyone else struggle with this? She did not give me an explanation she just won't get up. She has a 504 plan and the teachers are on board with extra time with assignments etc. She has great support including an EF coach 45 minutes a week.

She has missed many days of school simply by not getting out of bed. I suspect depression. Is anyone else experiencing this behavior? On the weekends she can easily sleep until 4 pm. I'd love suggestions or thoughts. Thanks!

12 Replies
sunsetnb profile image

Hi! I am a 21 year old who has depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I was on 25 mg of Prozac and 30mg of Vyvance for 9 months. Sometime with medication you have to find what's called the "therapeutic dose" meaning the entry level dosage ins't enough. I would talk to your Childs therapist and also the prescribing Dr. to see if they recommend increasing the dosage. The combination of ADHD and depression/ anxiety is so difficult and it takes so much time to find the perfect mix of combinations. Don't give up you are doing great Mom!!

artistmomMe profile image
artistmomMe in reply to sunsetnb

Thanks for your reply! We've tried Prozac and Zoloft (and perhaps another) and her psychiatrist seems to think the 10 mg Lexapro is working. I think the dose is too low and/or wrong. Again, thank you for replying. You give me hope that there may indeed be a solution out there that can help with what feels so awful some days.

sunsetnb profile image
sunsetnb in reply to artistmomMe

When and doubt ask and advocate for what your daughter needs! But, I hear and see you the process is grueling and will have so many ups and downs. I still go through waves and have since I was 13. Medications changes are so incredibly difficult but at least for me so so so worth it. Even now I am transitioning off of Prozac and onto Effexor and the process has been grueling to say the least. However, it is so worth it because I get my life back each time and I wish nothing more for your daughter. Don't give up you will get there and looking back I am so grateful for my mom and her constant support even now, being an adult (ish) she still is such a support system and I am so grateful for her! You are doing Amazing and I'm sure your daughter will thank you later!!! Don't hesitate to reach out for more questions or support! You are incredible!

Pattimum profile image

Maybe she has SAD (seasonal affective disorder) ‘winter depression" - the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter. You can get a special lamp that imitates real sun light and it basically treats it. Hospitals also have special rooms with those lamps and people suffering can have treatment there- sitting like 30 minutes in such therapy room. I bought this lamp for my husband because he mostly works from home- so he basically sits in a room with artificial sun light.

Otherwise I’d look up ‘Vyvanse crash’, you didn’t say how many years your daughter was on this medication but if she had to deal with ‘Vyvanse crash’ for years it just might have put too much stress on her body. Maybe ask your daughter’s doctor rather than adding antidepressants to Vyvanse to just swap. There are non stimulant ADHD meds that also help with depression- for example Qelbree, however I can’t say this from experience as Qelbree is new and not yet licensed in the UK. My son is on Atomoxetine and it also helps not only with ADHD but also improves mood and helps with anxiety (on stimulants he was very anxious but on Atomoxetine he doesn’t have anxiety at all).

anirush profile image

I have dealt with the ADHD depression combo with both my daughter and my grandson. Being motivated to get up is a big issue. Finding the right meds is too. My grandson has done well with Welbutrin and guanfacine combo. He is not on any ADHD medication. His psychiatrist says Welbutrin helps with ADHD and depression.

But everyone is different. Hope you are discussing this with her doctor.

katcald profile image

Your daughter sounds just like mine. (Now 17) She has struggled with depression and anxiety for years - been hospitalized twice (ages 13 and 15) for suicidal ideation (no attempts) had several psychiatrists, probably half a dozen therapists, and four different anti-depressants. At one point, we were told since the current anti-depressant wasn't working she wasn't suffering from depression and was taken off all medication!!! (which my husband loved b/c he is anti-med but that's another post.) She made it a few months before her second hospitalization. We knew she had ADHD but it didn't affect her behavior or grades so we were told to wait until the depression was under control to put her on ADHD meds. The school refusal got so bad, we transferred her to a pricey private school at her request but that was an expensive mistake. She dropped out of school in August, (got her GED thank god) quit her job in October, and then basically sat around the house "working on her mental health" (therapy twice a week.) During this time, I got the doctor to put her on Concerta. And he transitioned her from Prozac to Zoloft. (The transition/ramp up was TOUGH.) Then, about a month ago, something amazing happened. She came down to dinner and said "I need to figure out what I want to do with my life." She's always loved skin care and makeup so we enrolled her in beauty school. She started Monday and in 9 months will be ready to take the test for her Esthetician license. I am holding my breath that this sticks but it's been years since I've seen her this excited/animated about anything! Hang in there, and advocate for your daughter. Listen to her. If the medication isn't working, ask for a different one. It's a tough, tough, road but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

yogimomi profile image

My 10 yo has been prescribed Vyvanse and it works okay except that it makes her really sad and angry. I can absolutely notice a difference because we've switched her to the same dosage of Adderall and she is 100% different. She's motivated and gets things done. She's much more herself. I suggest trying a new ADHD medication. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed it but Vyvanse is not a right fit for my kiddo, works amazing for me - but not for her.

Fish1fish profile image
Fish1fish in reply to yogimomi

We took ours off vyvanse due to anger and constant irritability. Ends up that stimulants are not for her which her genetic profile confirms. Trying out non stimulant adhd meds atm.

Michigamer profile image

While I agree that sounds a lot like depression, I recommend you also look into/eliminate a sleep issue as the cause. I was on Lexapro for a year and was overwhelmingly sleepy to the point of taking disability. A sleep specialist diagnosed me with medication-induced REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. I went off Lexapro and got my life back. My psychiatrist didn’t even know what it was because it is uncommon, although my son’s psychiatrist had heard of it. In non-elderly it is usually due to SSRIs, SNRIs, and TACs. My 17 y.o. has a very hard time waking up despite going to bed early every night. I was a bit suspicious that the meds were causing it and put a Fitbit on him to monitor his sleep, but it turned out he was getting a good nights sleep and we were able to rule out the disorder.

Redpanda5 profile image

Yes, this can be a problem. Mine experienced school refusal so badly that we pulled her and enrolled her in an online school.

It has been suggested by a psychologist that she has a circadian sleep cycle disorder and we need to explore it more because she had a sleep doctor but he dismissed it and honestly wasn’t very helpful.

The good news is she is no longer experiencing the anxiety, crying and school refusal and is happy but she doesn’t come alive until evening and will sleep all day if I let her. Luckily the online school doesn’t care when she does her homework. They said she can do it at 1am if she wants. My point being, there can be several layers of things going on in addition to adhd and in our case, finding a new way to do school has given relief to the anxiety while we figure out the sleep issues.

NYCmom2 profile image
NYCmom2 in reply to Redpanda5

Agreed it’s worth looking into adjacent issues that could be exacerbating mood. In addition to sleep issues, having a quick blood test to check thyroid, vitamin deficiencies and Lyme especially if you live in regions where there are a lot of ticks.

Also, a check in with the Gyn to discuss PMDD and mood fluctuations possibly linked to menstruation cycles.

MumLuvBubs profile image

I would suggest having blood work done. Possibly she’s low on vitamin D or possibly something else going on in her body.

I myself was going through this type of exhaustion and found out I was extremely low on vitamin D and I was very dehydrated, though I didn’t feel I was. Adding vitamin D daily has definitely helped.

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