Warning Signs of Depression in AADC Deficiency Caregivers

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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Being the parent or caregiver of a patient with a chronic disease such as aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency can be an exhausting and stressful job.

Stress can be a contributing cause of anxiety and depression, among other problems. It is important for parents and caregivers to practice self-care in order to maintain their health.

Following are a few warning signs of depression. If you think you might have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options.

Feelings of hopelessness or despair

Feeling down from time to time is normal, but if you are feeling hopeless and despairing most of the time, it may be a sign of depression. Some people with depression don’t feel like they’re down; it may just feel like the world has gone flat and colorless.

Loss of interest in hobbies

If hobbies or interests that were important and enjoyable to you now feel like chores, or if it’s hard to connect with friends and family, you may be showing signs of depression.

Weight and appetite changes

Rapid changes in weight — either loss or gain — can be indicative that something else is wrong. Depression may cause some people to lose their appetite. Foods that you once enjoyed may not taste good, or you might not feel hungry, even if you haven’t eaten. In contrast, some people with depression have an increased appetite for unhealthy or “comfort” foods.

Sleep changes

Depression can cause people to have insomnia or difficulty falling or staying asleep. Others may have difficulty waking up and facing the day. If it feels like life takes much more effort than it should, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

Mood changes

Feelings of agitation or restlessness, as well as the constant feeling of being in danger of losing your temper over minor things, can be signs of depression.

Guilt or self-loathing

Another sign of depression is feeling guilty for no reason. If you are constantly putting yourself down, either internally or when talking to other people, you may be showing signs of depression.

Concentration problems

Trouble focusing or concentrating on problems or tasks, or difficulty  remembering things, can be signs of depression. It might be that you just have much more to keep track of, but if you find that you often have trouble remembering things, it might be a sign of depression.

Aches or pains

Depression also can cause physical symptoms. For some people, this may include issues like increased back problems, stomach pains, or just generally feeling achy and ill. Some people with depression have flu-like symptoms.

Feeling suicidal

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. If you have been having suicidal thoughts, seek help as soon as possible. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support by phone, text, or online chat.


Last updated: Oct. 9, 2019


AADC News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.