First, does Adderall cause depression?
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant, and it contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. In people with ADHD, it can reduce symptoms of hyperactivity and improve focus and concentration. It’s also sometimes used to treat narcolepsy.
When someone takes Adderall, it affects certain brain neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
In people without ADHD, there’s often a high experienced, particularly when they take higher doses of Adderall and that’s why this is a commonly abused drug. When you take Adderall, and you don’t have ADHD you may feel a pleasurable sense of euphoria, energy, increased focus and concentration and a great sense of self-confidence. There are also negative side effects including anxiety, nausea, headache, and changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
As the effects of Adderall wear off, it can cause a crash or symptoms of withdrawal. It’s somewhat similar to what happens when someone takes cocaine and then the effects wear off. Symptoms of a crash from Adderall can include sleep problems, sluggishness, and in many cases, depression.
Adderall is a stimulant, and since it alters brain neurotransmitters, when you come off it, it can cause mood disorders like depression. Other mood-related symptoms of an Adderall crash can include extreme hunger, cravings for more Adderall and irritability. Some people also experience symptoms related to depression like fatigue, unhappiness, panic attacks and feelings of emptiness.
When someone is prescribed Adderall for ADHD, the risk of Adderall causing depression is one of the reasons their physician will begin them on the smallest effective dose and go up from there slowly until the desired results are felt. This can help minimize some of the crash and withdrawal symptoms of the drug. It can also be helpful to take Adderall at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than all at once, and the extended-release version of the drug tends to have a gentler comedown period too.
So, does Adderall cause depression? It can, and in particular when the effects are wearing off.
This can be difficult for people to manage and they may want to use more Adderall as a way to fend off the depression that occurs, which is how an addiction can develop.