Attention Deficit and DepressionSun, May 17th 2009
My 19 (20 soon) year old son's problem requires a long explanation. He has periodically throughout his life had small times of depression (low mood). He had a lot of energy as a child, but as a young adult no longer shows any signs of hyperactivity. He is very bright. Graduated from high school in the top 5% of his class. School comes easy to him when the material is easy for him - which it often was in high school. When it was difficult he sought my help and I drilled him and helped him with study sheet outlines. His first semester of college was not good (grades). His second semester was horrible (he gave up after having a flu). He was very very depressed, but refused to go for counseling - he just wanted to come home and get his head back on straight. It took weeks, but he was soon himself again (he worked and was around a lot of people his age and had a good summer). He came home and attended community college and did real well first semester. Second semester he wanted to return to his college, but we did not have the money without loans so asked him to do one more semester at home. He did awful (again gave up). He makes excuses, but also has shared that he was struggling with a lot of things in his head (not wanting to be here, not knowing anyone in his classes, etc.). He made similar excuses for his poor performance while away at school (did not like roomate, etc.). I have come to the conclusion that he struggles with his thoughts and that when he has a lot on his mind, he can't concentrate. He seems to have trouble adjusting to new situations and people - and almost becomes immobilized and unable to function (except he has always gotten to work on time). He wants to go to college, he wants to do well, and he is very upset about how things have gone. He does not seem to be able to help himself (doesn't want his parents' advice). He has agreed to go for an evaluation to see if he has ADD. I am going to try to get an appointment for him. Hopefully, I can get him in before he goes back to school. He struggles with anger (not violent, just gets mad easily and even with his peers), is very sensitive, and does not like to talk about how he feels and what is going on in his head. Do you have any thoughts on this situation?
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.