When Adult ADHD Is Combined With Other Psychiatric Conditions


At the Atlanta Center for Adult ADHD, significant importance is placed on identifying other psychiatric conditions that influence affect diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. The 2007 National Co-Morbidity Replication Study (NCRS) found that adults 18 to 44 years of age with ADHD experienced higher rates of major depression (18.6% vs 7.8% in non-ADHD adults), bipolar disorder (19.4% vs 3.1% in non-ADHD adults), and dysthymia (12.8% vs 1.9% in non-ADHD adults). Depression may result in part from untreated ADHD due to situational/adjustment factors and mild mood depression (dysthymia) often improves considerably when ADHD is treated with a stimulant medication alone.  For major depression in adult ADHD patients, bupoprion is often a good option since it can treat both conditions simultaneously. Since bupoprion is typically not as “robust” as stimulants in treating ADHD, stimulant medications often can used as well (with periodic monitoring of blood pressure/pulse).  Medications used to treat ADHD may cause worsening of manic symptoms in bipolar patients and must be used cautiously. In adult adhd, anxiety often improves considerably when stimulant medications are used as patients are able to better cope with anxiety-provoking thoughts and situations. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) for generalized anxiety disorder may be used along with stimulant medications. Counseling, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is usually very helpful in treating all of the above conditions. For more information on the Atlanta Center for Adult ADHD, please visit www.Atlanta-ADHD.com.