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Does Adderall Cause Depression?

Woman struggling with adderall and depression

Adderall, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is one of the most popular stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also one of the most frequently used medications in this class.

While the goal of prescribed Adderall use is to increase a person’s quality of life by reducing

symptoms of ADHD, a small percentage of people may experience depression and dysphoric feelings while taking this drug.

Fortunately, treatment options exist for individuals who are struggling with Adderall use or addiction alongside depression. If you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall and depression, Vertava Health offers Adderall addiction treatment. Call us at 844.470.0410 today to learn more about how we can help you on the path to recovery.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant medication that is primarily used to treat ADHD, but it is also commonly used as a performance enhancer and study drug by college students and professionals. Adderall works by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for focus, attention, and motivation.

People misuse it because:

  • They believe it will improve their academic or work performance
  • They want to lose weight or increase their physical activity level
  • They want to experience Adderall’s euphoric effects

Does Adderall Cause Depression?

Does Adderall cause depression? There is limited research on the specific link between Adderall use and depression, but some studies suggest that Adderall may increase or worsen depressive symptoms in certain individuals.

Symptoms an Adderall user may notice if the drug is impacting their depression includes:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

ADHD, Adderall, and Depression

Depression frequently occurs with ADHD. Most people struggling with ADHD will receive treatment for depression at some time throughout their life. ADHD can be very demoralizing at times. It can also negatively impact a person’s self-image and relationships. As a person struggles with untreated or undertreated ADHD, the frustration, discouragement, sadness, and lack of control they experience may lead to a depressive state.

If the Adderall doesn’t sufficiently work, or if a person’s depression isn’t treated in other ways, the depression may continue while a person’s taking Adderall. On the other hand, for some, even when ADHD is treated, certain symptoms of depression may still be present. In either situation, a person may mistakenly believe their depression is caused by their medication.

In some instances, symptoms of ADHD may also be mistaken or misdiagnosed for those of depression. Both disorders can cause poor focus, sleeping troubles, mood problems, and forgetfulness. If a person is taking Adderall and skips a dose, they may believe that their returning ADHD symptoms are actually symptoms of depression.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating Depression with Adderall

Adderall is not typically a treatment for depression. However, some people may use it to self-medicate mental health problems or to distract from distressing situations in their life. This could occur in several ways.

The result can have adverse effects on the body, including:

  • Increased risk for tolerance and addiction to Adderall
  • Heightened depressive symptoms in the long run
  • Increased cardiovascular risks, such as high blood pressure and an increased heart rate

Treating Adderall and Depression at Vertava Health

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and Adderall misuse or addiction, treatment can help. At Vertava Health, our team of experts will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your Adderall use and any co-occurring disorders, such as depression.

Our programs offer evidence-based treatment options, including individual and group therapy, medication management, holistic therapies, and aftercare planning. Reach out to us today using our secure online form or by calling us at 844.470.0410. A brighter future is within reach.