Attention Deficit Disorder medications do not appear to be a direct cause of depression or violent behavior.
However, the use of medication in individuals with ADD can unmask over-sensitivity, extreme intensity, or a low frustration tolerance that had been hidden by weak attention.
As these characteristics are uncovered in an individual with poor self-control and ineffective problem solving, they may make the person slightly more prone to violent outbursts or self-destructive acts. This is another reason that a person who is treated with medication for ADD must be followed closely and provided with strategies for more effective problem solving and self-control.
Moreover, some people with ADD seek help because they are overwhelmed by life and have become sad, depressed, and even suicidal.
Others can present with a history of violent temper outbursts often the outgrowth of poor self-control of impulsivity, intensity, and a low frustration tolerance.
Oftentimes, attempts to manage these behaviors with other medications such as antidepressants have been only partially effective.
For these two groups of people, accurately diagnosing and instituting proper medication use, coupled with other treatments can help them dramatically turn their lives around. In my experience, persistence of extreme dysfunctional behaviors in the face of proper medication and appropriate treatment suggests a need for more intensive psychiatric intervention.
Dr. Liden’s clinic, The Being Well Center, offers free resources for people working through the challenges of living with ADD and its related co-morbidities. Don’t miss the BWC resources page for free downloads and ideas that could help you or a friend today.