Is Xanax for Depression or Does Xanax Cause Depression?

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs in the U.S., and depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders, so is there any relationship between Xanax and depression?

Some common questions people have about Xanax and depression include:

  • Is Xanax for depression?
  • Does Xanax cause depression?
  • Can Xanax make depression worse?

Below are answers to these questions and general information about possible relationships between Xanax and depression.

Xanax and Depression | Is Xanax for Depression or Does Xanax Cause Depression?
Before looking at the relationship between Xanax and depression, and answering “is Xanax for depression or does Xanax cause depression,” it’s useful to define depression.

Depression is a mental health condition that creates symptoms including lethargy and lack of interest, feelings of worthlessness, and a sense of being disinterested in life, including work, school, and relationships. It’s not uncommon to experience depression, and it’s estimated that nearly 16 million Americans had a major depressive episode in 2013. Some of the factors that contribute to depression include chemical imbalances and hormone imbalances, as well as the side effects of certain substances.

Something that’s important to understand when looking at the links between Xanax and depression is the fact that many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety or suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Xanax is a benzodiazepine prescription drug that’s given to patients who suffer from conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

This means that someone who has anxiety may also have depression, therefore they may be taking Xanax.

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines available, and it acts as a depressant. It essentially calms the activity of the brain to reduce symptoms of anxiety, which are caused by too much activity happening in the brain.

All of these are key facts to know when you’re looking at Xanax and depression.

More than likely just because of how commonly Xanax is prescribed, along with the high occurrence of depression among so many people, there’s a misconception that Xanax is for depression, and this is not true. Xanax actually acts as a depressant of the central nervous system.

However, because anxiety and depression occur simultaneously in many people, they may be taking Xanax and not realize that it can actually cause depression or increase depressive symptoms.

One of the top symptoms of using Xanax in many people is depression or symptoms of depression. If you already suffer from depression and then you take Xanax, particularly for more than a few weeks, it can make your symptoms significantly worse.

Also, people with depression may want to self-medicate, which is common when you suffer from a mental health disorder. That can lead to the recreational use of Xanax, which is likely going to worsen your symptoms.

With Xanax and depression, not only can the general symptoms of depression become worse, but it can also lead to an increased risk of suicide. According to PBS, when looking at overdose deaths, benzodiazepines like Xanax were a contributing factor in 30 percent of these situations.

People who use Xanax may also use other substances, such as alcohol or opioids. They may have a polydrug abuse problem, and they may want to combine substances to heighten the effects.

This is problematic for a few different reasons. The first is related to Xanax and depression. Opioids and alcohol are also depressants, so when they’re paired with Xanax, depression can being to appear, or become worse.

Also, when substances are combined, it increases the chances of an overdose or death occurring.

A big part of understanding Xanax and depression is knowing how this benzo works. With depression, your brain and body have an imbalance of the chemical serotonin. When you’re depressed your brain activity tends to be lower than someone who isn’t depressed, and that depressed brain activity is what leads to the symptoms of depression like lethargy and a lack of energy.

Xanax works by blocking the activity of the neurons in your brain and depressing your central nervous system, and this is the exact opposite effect of what you need when you have depression.

The effects of Xanax on the brain are similar to the effects of depression, so in that sense, yes Xanax can cause depression, at least temporarily.

If you already have depression and take Xanax, your brain activity will be further depressed, and your symptoms will likely get worse. If your brain slows down too much, the impacts can be very dangerous and can even include damage to the organs. With Xanax and depression, specific symptoms that may worsen with the use of this drug include sleep disturbances, a lack of motivation, lethargy, problems with concentration, irritability, feelings of worthlessness and appetite problems.

In some people, the relationship between Xanax and depression may occur when they’re withdrawing from the drug. If you’ve used Xanax for a long period of time and your body has become dependent on it, and then you stop taking it suddenly, you go through withdrawal. One of the primary symptoms of Xanax withdrawal is depression, so this is just one more way Xanax can cause or worsen depression.

It’s not uncommon for the treatment of abuse of Xanax and depression to happen simultaneously, but it’s important to go to a facility that understands dual diagnosis and how complicated these conditions can be. It’s also important to understand that with Xanax and depression, this drug should not be used as a treatment in most cases, and it can make things worse or even create symptoms of depression.

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