Adderall Depression | Does Adderall Cause Depression?
Adderall and depression are two concepts that are related to one another in a couple of different ways. People often wonder what the links are between Adderall and depression.
To provide a general overview of Adderall and depression in relation to one another, first Adderall is sometimes used as an off-label depression treatment, but there’s also the fact that Adderall can cause depression in some people.
The following provides an overview of both of these topics.
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.
In a small percentage of children who are prescribed Adderall for ADHD, they may also seem depressed or dysphoric, and these symptoms usually subside when they stop taking the medication.
Because Adderall changes the chemistry of your brain, you may react differently to its effects, and mood-related side effects are common with many prescription medications.
The use of stimulants like Adderall has previously been thought of as a helpful treatment for depression, particularly depression resistant to other treatments. However, this has largely gone out of favor.
The FDA doesn’t approve Adderall as a depression treatment, although that doesn’t mean that some physicians don’t use psychostimulants like Adderall for this purpose.
There is some research showing that Adderall depression treatment can be effective in some cases, but this is something that should only be directed by a doctor. No one should ever attempt to self-medicate their depression using Adderall because it can lead to severe side effects and even increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
First, it should be again emphasized that Adderall for depression is never a first-line treatment, and it would likely only be used in someone with depression who was resistant to many other treatments used first. Adderall has a higher risk profile than other antidepressants, and there are quite a few potential side effects.
However, the Adderall for depression dosages would need to be low to begin with, and carefully it could be raised to achieve the desired results. Taking excessive doses of Adderall can lead to a range of problems including the potential for paranoia and hallucinations, particularly in people predisposed to certain mood disorders.
Adderall may help depression in some cases, but it can also cause depression. Adderall isn’t approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression, and it’s not a first-line treatment option either because the risk of this drug is higher than antidepressants.
No one should try to self-medicate using Adderall for depression because it can lead to serious symptoms and increased mood disorders, as well as increased depression if dosing isn’t done correctly.
Have more questions about Adderall abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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