Lots Of Women Get Depressed When They Also Battle Being Moms With ADD

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you’re a mom pulled in a million different directions — work, soccer practice, a dinner party, play dates — you’re not alone. There are plenty of moms out there who are depressed because they never can get through their “to do” lists.

As Lisa Sigell reports, there may be a reason you’re not getting to the bottom of that list and a reason you might have to write out so many lists in the first place.

Gina Overholt from Lakewood is the mother of a pre-schooler, a wife, and a full-time writer.

And like other women, she over commits herself to people and projects she doesn’t have time for.

Says Overholt, “I think if I were to draw myself it would be a person going after pretty shiny things. ‘Like, oh look at that! That’s so interesting, look at that.’ Then when I don’t follow through with it or it’s not so shiny and pretty when I realize how much work is involved, then I”m depressed about it. What a loser I am.”

Overholt says her lack of concentration has created challenges throughout her life.

She’s had some fender benders. She’s lost jobs over it. “Let’s just say I’ve been let go quite a few times!”

And within the last year a separation in her marriage from her husband of 14 years.

“Whether it is a factor or not,” she believes, “I could understand it would be difficult to be with somebody like me — who’s all over the place, who’s overcommitted because it’s over committing his time, too.”

She had trouble focusing when it also came time to parent their child. “Well, mommy might go by the office and see the computer and see that some emails have come in and start dinking around with the computer. And then daddy will see that [our son] is still not in his pajamas and his teeth aren’t brushed and kind of take over. ”

Gina’s inability to follow-up and follow through led to a depression. And then a startling diagnosis. Attention Deficit Disorder, increasingly being diagnosed in adults.

Sarah Ferman doesn’t treat Gina, but she is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Ferman believes moms like Gina are more common than we think.

Says Ferman, “You can go from activity to activity and feel like nothing got accomplished but you’ve been busy all day long!”

Moms who don’t have ADD simply know how to say “no” more often.

Ferman doesn’t just treat ADD, she once suffered with it. “Not that we’re not smart,” she maintains, “but executive functioning in how we organize, how we prioritize, how we can distinguish what’s going on, is how we remember and how we do things.”

Ferman says if you believe you have the disorder, see a doctor and have yourself checked for low iron, magnesium and anemia…all can be confused for ADD.

And once you have been diagnosed, consider therapy or a coach that specializes in treating the disorder. Whatever you do, Ferman says seek out support.

Overholt wholeheartedly agrees. “Instead of beating yourself up and looking at all the things you didn’t do, look at what you did accomplish and love yourself for that!”

For information about the groups Moms With ADD, click here.

For information about the disorder ADD in children and adults, click here.

To get a copy of  “Driven to Distraction,” what many consider the definitive book on ADD, clickhere.

  • Sharon Girulat

    As someone with over 40 years ‘up close and personal’ with ADD-affected persons, and others labeled so, who are NOT, this glossing over is very upsetting! Most mom’s and dad’s today, especially in LA Metro, are suffering from trying to do too much by themselves…period.. NO ADD or excuses needed. They need to learn to give, share, and care and create family ‘circles’ outside their home to provide relief to life’s difficulties, The ADD label should be reserved for those who are, as stated, clinically diagnosed; including poor handwriting, lack of muscle coordination, etc… ADD means NOTHING coordinates, not just the mind or things others see. Yes, losing jobs, etc may be a factor, but let’s not jump to ‘every mom who is ‘distracted’ is ADD. NOT so and we don’t need more over-diagnosed. In fact, we need the people looking at everything to ‘connect the dots’…don’t shut them down. Priorities need to be made in different situations. SO, just be careful. And, yes, if ADD is suspected, stop the artificial colors and flavors, and citric acids, for starters. If that helps, in 72 hours….then change the diet, presume that was it and get back to ‘life’.

    • J

      I agree with Sharon. The title of this article is rather misleading. These are not cases of ADD…simply a matter of mothers needing to learn how to say “No” and exercise that “No” muscle.

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/09/lots-of-women-get-depressed-when-they-also-battle-being-moms-with-add/ Lots Of Women Get Depressed When They Also Battle Being Moms With ADD | Los Angeles for Me

    […] If you’re a mom pulled in a million different directions — work, soccer practice, a dinner party, play dates — you’re not alone. There are plenty of moms out there who are depressed because they never can get through their “to do” lists. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • Timothy McGarry

    cryin’ a river here…

  • jenn

    its not that these women have ADD, the writer stated it loud and clear, women overcommit themselves and as a result, they don’t have enough time to do everything and become frustrated. Simplify your life. Stop making excuses and simplify. A persons diet can be a huge player in what is making them disorganized. If diet is lacking, the brain doesn’t function properly, now add in lack of sleep and endless “to do” lists, one might feel overwhelmed and get down on themselves. Taking a medication for ADD will only mask the underlying problems. We have to get to the root of our problems, not mask them with medical diagnoses and pills.

  • Michael

    Your writer does not know the clinical or even the common definition of depression.

  • Doc Holiday

    Women typically over commit to activities that make no change in their life or physical presentation (they follow their emotions). Then when they are worn out for the day they go look at a large overweight person in the mirror reflection. Quit committing to PTA and your friends drama about a divorce she chose and hop on a bike or a treadmill and take care of your body. Have your alone time and push yourself to be a better person. It will increase your brain function help you focus and increase energy. It will dramatically improve your sex drive and function. Then next time you look in the mirror down the road you will smile back at yourself if you follow this advice. Don’t take any pill unless its a vitamin or you will regret it. Don’t tell me you don’t have anytime because you are most likely watching TV 12+ hrs a week. Throw that idiot box in the trash and save yourself 100.00 a month.

  • http://adhdspecialists.com/adhdblog/adhd-parents/women-adhd-add-get-depressed/ ADHD Specialists Blog | Are You Ane Of Those Women Who Gets Depressed When They Also Battle Being Moms With ADD/ADHD?

    […] As Lisa Sigell reports, there may be a reason you’re not getting to the bottom … […]

  • RK

    I wonder how many cases of ADD go untreated due to the sufferers knowing they will have to run the gauntlet of vociferous cynics. This young woman’s honesty will doubtless give others suffering from these symptoms the freedom to discuss their challenges with medical professionals and make the determination as to whether they have ADD and what should be done to improve the quality of their lives.

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  • Mark Melentjev
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