Adderall for depression(Guide)

In this brief guide, we will define what Adderall is, its side effects, the dosage of Adderall for adults.

You will also learn why it is recommended to use Adderall for depression and some reasons against using it, you will also learn how to treat depression and co-occurring Adderall abuse.

Do People use Adderall for Depression?

Adderall isn’t an antidepressant, but it’s sometimes used off-label to treat depression that doesn’t respond to other treatments.

As you will see below in the article, it isn’t that helpful using Adderall for Depression.

In some cases, it just doesn’t work.

What is Adderall?

Adderall belongs to a class of medications called stimulants. It is a prescription medication that contains two drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

It’s commonly used to treat ADHD. It’s also used to treat narcolepsy.

According to some studies, 75-80 percent of children with ADHD see improved symptoms using Adderall.

Adderall improves attention, improves focus and reduces impulsive behaviours. 

Adderall is also effective for people with narcolepsy, although there is not much-related research available to support its use here.

Anyways it isn’t that much recommended to use Adderall for depression, because it may bring further depression.

Adderall for depression comes in two forms:

  • Adderall oral tablet,
  • Adderall XR extended-release oral capsule

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Attention!

Adderall for depression can cause psychological or physical dependence and has the potential for abuse and misuse.

There are special regulations that determine how controlled substances are prescribed and dispensed.

According to those regulations, you must get a new prescription from your doctor for each refill.

Side effects of Adderall

Adderall has the following side effects:

  • Anxiety,
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness,
  • Nausea,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Lack of appetite,
  • Insomnia,
  • Stomach pain,
  • Constipation,
  • Weight loss,
  • Hyperactivity,
  • Feeling jittery or “on edge”.

According to some reports men who abuse amphetamines like Adderall, may experience erectile dysfunction, also increases or decreases in sexual desire.

Some people who used Adderall reported hair loss.

Adderall for Depression: Can Adderall lead to Depression?

According to the FDA, Adderall can lead to depression, which means that it is not a good idea to use Adderall for depression.

Based on this, in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration has not approved Adderall as a treatment for depression.

A 1999 study published in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, showed that taking both antidepressants and psychostimulants like Adderall reduced symptoms of depression. 

However, the study included just 65 participants, which makes it unreliable. So you should not use Adderall for depression without further research.

The Child Mind Institute states that about 5 percent of children prescribed Adderall deal with depression after using it by recommended doses. 

Adults should not use Adderall for depression either, the reason is that they can experience depression too, once the effects of Adderall fade.

Depression can be considered an Adderall withdrawal symptom. If someone suddenly stops using Adderall, he/she can get depressed.

Prescription stimulants and Adderall are used to treat ADHD rather than depression. 

If you suffer from depression you should talk to a medical professional who will tell you about proper treatments for depression and will help you to treat it.

It is not a good idea to do self-medication with Adderall to reduce symptoms of depression, as it can increase an individual’s tolerance to the drug.

An increased tolerance can cause people to take more of the drug to feel its effects.

While the drug can stimulate the central nervous system, Adderall is addictive and can harm a person’s health.

People who abuse substances can develop a drug addiction.

Adderall Dosage for Adults With Depression

Adderall dosage for adults with depression depends on individual factors. The factors that influence an Adderall dosage for adults with depression include:

  • Genetic factors, including a person’s metabolism,
  • The individual’s history of taking prescription stimulants,
  • The existence of additional mental health disorders(for example anxiety).

How to Get Help for Depression and Co-occurring Adderall Abuse

In the case of Adderall withdrawal, it is recommended to talk to a professional doctor. 

A medical professional can monitor you as you stop using the drug after extensive use.

This person can identify signs of suicidal ideations and depression. If needed, the doctor will recommend treatment.

People who have co-occurring disorders involving Adderall abuse and depression should receive treatment for both of them.

You should be aware of the fact that if you start treating one disorder without addressing the other can prevent a person’s chances of reaching recovery.

So start treatments for both: depression disorder and Adderall abuse disorder.

HOW TO TREAT ADDERALL ADDICTION

If the substance use disorder is severe, treatment for Adderall addiction usually involves inpatient treatment.

Outpatient rehabilitation may be an effective option for individuals who are dependent but are not addicted to Adderall. 

Here are the ways to treat Adderall addiction:

Enrol in supervised detox at a facility or hospitalization program:

  1. Get a medical evaluation and intake assessment,
  2. Start a tightening approach under medical supervision,
  3. Detox.

Start the abstinence maintenance phase at an inpatient centre or intensive outpatient program:

  • Start the intake and assessment process so that you get a unique treatment plan for your needs,
  • Attend individual and group psychotherapy sessions organized by licensed therapists,
  • Develop new skills learned through cognitive behavioural therapy.

Put a plan in place for aftercare during the post-treatment phase:

  • Continue treatment at an outpatient program,
  • Take part in self-help groups,
  • Don’t stop, keep ongoing individual and group psychotherapy,
  • Utilize additional services if needed.

How to treat Depression?

Depression treatment can involve cognitive behavioural therapy and Medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Medications used to treat depression include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, antidepressants.

But do not forget that some antidepressants are addictive.

Here are the treatments for depression:

  • Lifestyle changes – 

Make sure you get enough sleep, do regular exercises, eat well, change your life to reduce stress.

  • Psychotherapy 

More common methods of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

  • Attend to an individual or group therapy

In individual therapy, you build a strong relationship with the therapist and may feel more comfortable to share some private, sensitive information with one person than with a group.

Another advantage of individual therapy is that you get individualized attention.

What about group therapy? the advantage is that you have a chance to listen to others’ experiences about going through the same struggles which can validate your experiences.

You can get tips from people who overcame depression and people who are still struggling to find a solution.

  • Medication – 

Antidepressants can help to get rid of some of the symptoms of depression, but they don’t cure depression fully and are usually not a long-term solution.

User reviews for Adderall

45-54 Female on Treatment for 6 months – 1 year (Patient)

“I am a 48 y.o university professor, – after years of frustration and depression because of my procrastination habits and, as I described it, a lack of engagement between my brain and my body. I finally went into therapy just over a year ago at the urging of my wife and was diagnosed with ADHD. I started taking Adderall about 8 months ago. I have found that Adderall is very effective at helping me to focus and listen. It helps me to be more deliberate in my actions, I’m not just drifting through the day. In my classroom, I have found that I can listen to myself better and not be distracted by those students who give me that ‘I’m so bored’ look. One of the most interesting effects I’ve found is that I now actually hear and listen to the lyrics of songs! – never did that before. Looking back at my life, all the way to when I was 6 years old I now recognize the symptoms that had always been there. I feel that the treatment is working for me, but as my doctor says, the worst part is that I’m 48 and have only now finally taken care of a life-long problem. I take 30 mg. (15 mg standard 2 x a day). I did feel the side effects for about the first two or three days (teeth grinding and dry mouth) but they subsided and I don’t have any issues with that now. I’ve lost a few pounds, but I love to eat and once I start eating, my appetite is fine. I know that I’ll have to continue with this, probably for the rest of my life, but I think of it as a simple compound that my body chemistry is simply missing – so it helps me a lot. Finally, I would say to those of you suffering horrible side effects, stop, and get another opinion! If the side effects are that bad, then you probably have a different problem. Amphetamines are an important drug that can work well for those who need it, but if you don’t, you are abusing it. I thought that it would be like the speed we experimented with in high school, but it’s not. It is an essential part of my life now, stigma or not.”

25-34 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) 

“I am a mental health therapist, and reading these reviews of Adderall makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I am also taking Adderall, and know in my heart that I am addicted, and struggle with knowing this every day. With not wanting to refill my script, but knowing that the addict in me will call my doctor and get a refill. Knowing that I will become emotionless and cold, sleepless and edgy, but with a clean house and unhappy children who don’t understand why their mom is so tense and angry. I know that I will start having to take Zanax and Ambien to calm down at night and that the divide between my husband and I will grow bigger. This medication helped me at first, it felt like legal meth. Because that is what it is. The sad thing is, I was working in the substance abuse field when I began by Adderall a journey. I am not saying that everyone will experience what I am going through, but my sister also has the same problems. While I thought we would be having cookouts and taking our kids to the park, instead we are swapping scripts and pills and cleaning tips. I caution everyone who is thinking about taking this drug to consider whether they can do it responsibly and their family history of addiction. Reading these other reviews makes me feel much less alone, but also very sad that so many people are having these problems. I realize that I may need help to get off of it, but that is very hard when you work in the field that I do and your professional reputation is on the line. I use up my script in less than two weeks, and then have two weeks without it. The two weeks w/out it are so much better, but the addict in me never listens. Every month I think I can do it responsibly. I just wonder, when is it gonna be too much? I know the saying one is too many and a thousand is never enough. In my case, that is so true. Please be careful.”

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion

In this brief guide we discussed the basics about Adderall and informed that even though it’s used, Adderall can lead to depression, which means that you shouldn’t use Adderall for depression.

We also mentioned the treatments for Adderall abuse and depression. 

Please ask any questions or write your opinion about the article in the comments section below.

Recommended books and sources:

  1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
  2. Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope
  3. On Speed: From Benzedrine to Adderall 
  4. Ritalin and Adderall (Dangerous Drugs)
  5. The Amphetamine Debate: The Use of Adderall, Ritalin and Related Drugs for Behavior Modification, Neuroenhancement and Anti-Aging Purposes (McFarland Health Topics)

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

  1. Adderall addiction and treatment
  2. HFNE Anxiety help
  3. HFNE Depression help 
  4. How Adderall affect Depression?

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