Hello: My name is jackie and please help me. First, I’m going to give you some background on my history so you can better help me.

I’ve always been somewhat depressed through my teen yrs, I had lots of friends but i seemed to be down all the time. Anyway, my grades in high school were like B’s and i went to college and it was alot harder and i was finding hard to study and get interested in anything. I always cramped the night before a test, and one night i my college friend gave me this pill and told me to take it cuz it will help me study for the test tomorrow. so i took it, and i was able to study and focus, and i didnt feel as depressed. So i wanted them all the time. So i found ways to get the pills and i took one a day for three yrs there after. i never abused them. But after 3 yrs I stopped taking them, and I also developed a herion habit for about a yr.

I am sober now like 8mths and I feel so depressed and i am never motivated to do anything. I just got a new job,not motivated, and in training..and I cant focus or concentrate during training. I have these weird feelings that creep up sometimes simes when im feeling good, they come up and i just get this feeling that makes me feel real down all of a sudden, and it happens pretty frequently ,prolly everyday at least. Please help me out..thanks.

A. Hello Jackie. You may be dealing with two potential problems: attention deficit disorder (ADD) and depression. You would have to be evaluated by a mental health professional to know whether or not these possibilities are correct.

You state that you took ‘a pill’ for three years. It helped with concentration but you did not mention the name of the pill. Do you know what it was? Was it a prescription drug? My first thought was that it may have been a type of ADHD medication. If so, this would be useful information to report to a mental health professional during an evaluation. It could help a physician or mental health professional to diagnose your potential problem. It may also help to determine which prescription drug may be the most effective.

What should your plan of action be? Try to determine the medication you took that helped with concentration. Even if it turns out to have been an illegal drug, this information is still informative. Also, make an appointment to see a mental health professional for an evaluation. At the appointment, be detailed about your symptoms. No detail is unimportant. Make a list of questions that you want to ask during the evaluation. Inquire about the possibility of medication and psychotherapy. The combination of medication and psychotherapy are usually both required in the treatment of most mental health conditions.

I would also encourage you to read about ADD and depression. Comprehensive information regarding ADD and depression can be found on the Psych Central website (follow the underlined links above). It is a good place to begin your education. This ADD questionnaire may also be informative. Please take care. I wish you well.

Kristina Randle