In this guide, we will discuss why does Adderall make me Depressed.
About a million people all over the world are fighting depression every day. Finding a suitable treatment for our depression can be a very tough and strenuous process. Seeking help from a mental health professional is of utmost importance while trying to choose the correct treatment option. When it comes to Adderall, being a stimulant, it has been used as an off-label treatment option but has also been seen as a cause of depression. So it can be said that in some cases Adderall makes people Depressed.
Adderall makes me depressed
People who take Adderall for AHDH or narcolepsy are at a high risk of having depression after continuous use. The medical industry stresses the fact that severe depression can occur in individuals who overuse Adderall and then abruptly stop taking the medicine. An individual is also likely to experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop the usage of Adderall. The crash can be very hard on individuals causing a lot of sadness and mood swings, which when persistent can lead to depression.
So we can say that Adderall can make an individual depressed. Other symptoms that may company are anger, irritability, hopelessness, restlessness, inability to concentrate and pay attention, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, disturbed sleep cycle, and appetite loss.
There are physiological signs of depression that can also be present in an individual if they consume Adderall like, lowered pain threshold, pain in joints and body muscles, stomach and digestive problems, and headaches.
We have seen that Adderall makes a person depressed, so let’s now discuss what Adderall is and it has such an effect on the body.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a combination of two drugs dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It is a stimulant that affects the chemicals in the brain that manage hyperactivity and impulse control in an individual. It comes for adults as well as for children above 3 years of age.
Adderall is a stimulant that works by changing the neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for affecting our behavior and attention, both of them crucial factors in managing ADHD.
Why is it prescribed?
Adderall is prescribed mainly for the treatment of hyperactivity and impulse control in individuals with ADHD. The medication helps with concentration and increases the attention span of an individual, functions necessary for getting throughout the day. Medication is an important aspect of treatment in ADHD, especially for children as it can reduce up to 80% of the symptoms.
Another use of Adderall is for treating narcolepsy and proving relief from it. It helps with controlling the extreme daytime tiredness experienced along with the bouts of sleep.
ADHD and Adderall
Along with ADHD, depression frequently co-occurs. About 70% of individuals with ADHD suffer from depression at some point in their life. ADHD can have a very negative impact on an individual mental state as it affects their perception of themselves and can cause strains in relationships.
Adderall might on the one hand help with symptoms of ADHD but on the other hand, causes depression. Moreover, the symptoms of ADHD and depression overlap each other making it difficult for the individual to understand if the symptoms they are experiencing are due to recurrence of ADHD or the beginning of depression.
In case the person skips their medication for ADHD, their symptoms might get worse fueling their level of depression even more.
Off-label treatment usage
Adderall is used as an off-label treatment in many individuals who have depression along with ADHD. The stimulants present in Adderall increase alertness, energy, and attention and can be used as mood boosters for those individuals experiencing symptoms of depression. Despite this depression should be managed separately with the help of mental health professionals. Also, Adderall should not be taken without medical consultation from your doctor with a personalized prescription.
Adderall abuse and depression
Adderall is quite commonly misused, that is it is taken by individuals who do not have a prescription or are abused. Adderall is known to improve cognitive abilities like concentration levels and attention spans, which is used by many students to help them concentrate on their studies for an extended period of time, something ADHD did not allow.
The issue comes with a lack of knowledge about how stimulants work, their side effects on the body, and how Adderall dependence and withdrawal can cause depression or in severe cases suicidal thoughts.
Adderall is frequently abused and once an individual tries to stop they end up crashing and experience severe depression, along with other negative underiable symptoms.
Some individuals abuse Adderall to enhance their performance in school or at their job. Which can quickly turn into an addiction, and when a person tries to not use Adderall they become overwhelmed and experience depression.
Possible risks of Adderall
Depression is not the only side effect of taking Adderall. Other mood disturbances apart from depression are likely to be seen. These include at times irritability, restlessness, overexcitement, aggression, nervousness, in severe cases hallucinations, and suicidal tendencies.
Adderall can also lead to individuals experiencing physical side effects, like increased heart rate, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, sweating, lack of coordination, difficulty sleeping, nausea, or vomiting. In extreme cases, there can even be chances of sudden death in the individual.
Adderall being a powerful stimulant, can easily become addictive for certain individuals. Especially if the dosage instructions for Adderall usage are not followed and too much of Adderall is consumed, one develops a tolerance to it. Which leads to the consumption of higher and higher doses of Adderall. The brain starts to crave for the drug to feel good. This is why Adderall is never recommended for usage on a long-term basis.
Avoiding symptoms of Depression and other side effects
Like with other medications, one should exactly follow the doctor’s dosage prescription and read the instructions carefully, the same is with Adderall. One needs to let their physician know what symptoms and difficulties you are facing while consuming Adderall so that your medication can be managed properly, which includes starting from a low dosage and adjusting the level based on how your body is responding to it. Discuss your treatment plan properly with your doctor by providing your doctor your complete family health history, as Adderall is at times not advised if anyone in the family has mental health disorders or cardiovascular problems.
Finally, do not hesitate to let your doctor know if you are experiencing any signs of depression. Some side effects caused by Adderall can be easily mediated like, if there is difficulty in sleeping, one can take a pill late in the evening so that you are ready for bed in the night.
Recovery from side effects of Adderall
Many of the physical and mental health problems that arise due to Adderall use and abuse can be because of underlying or preexisting conditions. Adderall use needs to be monitored, and its usage for recreational purposes can have very serious as well as dangerous side effects.
Coping with the stoppage of Adderall
Adderall should not be stopped suddenly as that can cause a “crash.” It may lead to the individual experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, like sleep problems, depression, and low movement speed. Stop the usage of Adderall only after consulting your doctor.
Coping with the crash
Consult your doctor immediately if you have Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor might want to keep a close watch on you especially the first few days, as there is a very high risk of the individual returning to use of Adderall in the first days. This is because it is very difficult for some individuals to leave the positive effects Adderall has on their mind and body. The doctor will want to observe the individual for signs of depression and suicidal ideation and thoughts. In case you experience severe depression because of Adderall, your doctor may prescribe you antidepressants. Make sure to not start taking antidepressants on your own.
In 2009 a study reported that there are no medications that can be used to effectively treat withdrawal from amphetamine, which is one of the components of Adderall. This means that we need to work through the crash by working on each of the symptoms individually.
To ensure speedy recovery one can make sure that they eat a proper nutritious diet and exercise regularly. In case there is trouble sleeping, one should maintain a sleep schedule and sleep and wake up on time.
In this guide, we discussed why does Adderall make me Depressed.
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.
FAQs: Why does Adderall make me Depressed
Why do stimulants make me depressed?
Stimulants can make you depressed as stimulant medications increase the level of dopamine inside your mind. According to studies prolonged exposure to very high levels of dopamine inside the brain can cause depression to the person. Therefore a high level of stimulant intake is unhealthy for the mind as well as the body.
Does Adderall cause emotional problems?
Adderall can cause emotional problems like drastic mood swings in a person or a complete shift in their behaviour patterns. In some cases, it was observed that the intake of Adderall and other stimulant drugs triggered panic attacks and in some individuals psychosis too which at times included hallucinations or delusions.
Does Adderall help with depression?
Adderall can help with depression but is given mostly to individuals who are experiencing depression along with ADHD. It is used as an off-label depression treatment, as the stimulants present inside Adderall can lead to an increase in alertness, attention span, and energy levels of the individual. They can also be used as mood boosters especially for those experiencing feelings of depression.
Can ADHD meds make you depressed?
Some medications that are taken to help with ADHD symptoms in an individual can lead to a change in a person’s eating and sleeping habits. This can affect the mental status of the person and both eating and sleeping cycle disturbance can be seen as a sign of depression too.
Does Adderall affect you sexually?
Adderall can affect you sexually, especially in men it can potentially as a side effect cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Some men after consuming Adderall have reported having a decreased interest in sex and face difficulty in getting and keeping an erection. This has lead to cause distress and embarrassment as there is a change in sex drive or performance by the individual.
Is 20mg Adderall a lot?
No, 20mg Adderall is not a lot for adults but is the recommended dosage per day. Adderall capsules are available in the market and are to swallow as a whole by the individual, preferable with normal temperature water.
What we recommend for depression
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.