Can Adderall Cause Depression?

Nov 8, 2022 | Drug Addiction, Mental Health

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 21 million adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2020. That equates to about 8.4% of adults in the United States. An estimated 4.1 million (17%) of the U.S. adolescent population (ages 12-17) experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2020. Unfortunately, depression knows no boundaries; it impacts people from all walks of life.

Depressive disorders can develop for a variety of reasons. Some people develop symptoms of depression after going through major life changes. Others may suffer from depression due to seasonal shifts. But, there are some who show signs of depression as a result of medication use. For instance, Adderall use may lead to mental health changes. This leads to the question at hand: can Adderall cause depression? Can this medication actually lead to the development of a mental health condition or, at least, some of its symptoms?

What is Adderall?

Firstly, it is necessary to understand that Adderall is a medication that has proven to be effective for many people who have narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It affects the chemicals within the brain that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity.

Adderall is a stimulant drug but it does not typically cause people to become “high” when people use it according to medical instruction. However, Adderall abuse can bring symptoms of euphoria. Individuals who use too much Adderall or use it more frequently than recommended may get high as a result. This pleasant feeling may encourage continued Adderall abuse. It may eventually lead to the development of an addiction to this prescription drug.

But, what about other possible issues that can arise from Adderall use? Can Adderall cause depression or other problems? If you use Adderall to treat narcolepsy or ADHD, it is important to know the possible outcomes of using this medication.

Side Effects of Adderall

Even when a person uses Adderall according to its proper use, side effects can occur. Some of the common side effects of Adderall include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach pain

Adderall can also cause people to develop a fever. Individuals who use Adderall may also experience nervousness and trouble sleeping. Some people may experience high blood pressure after using Adderall.

For these reasons and more, it is extremely important to discuss all of your options with your doctor. Again, this medication has certainly proven to help many people who are living with attention hyperactivity deficit disorder or narcolepsy. However, it may not be the best option for everyone. So, it is best to discuss this medication with your medical care provider.

What is Depression?

girl with depression Depression is a mood disorder that affects the way a person feels, thinks, and behaves. It is one of the most commonly occurring mental health disorders. There are many types of depressive disorders, including:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Postpartum depression
  • Psychotic depression
  • Bipolar disorder

Each type of depressive disorder has its own set of symptoms and signs. Some symptoms can be long-lasting while others may occur only at certain times. Some types of depression have a more specific and measurable onset while others develop more gradually, sometimes going undetected for a while.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression are as follows:

  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of energy; fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Inability to fall asleep or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Continuous feelings of sadness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Again, the symptoms a person experiences vary depending on the type of depression he or she has. But, if any of these symptoms occur in a person’s life, it is important to seek a professional opinion as soon as possible.

Understanding the Connection Between Adderall and Depression

Adderall and depression are connected in multiple ways. In some cases, doctors may prescribe Adderall to treat depression. This medication can increase alertness and energy levels; depression often causes a decrease in these areas.

On the other hand, the abuse of stimulant substances can lead to the development of mood disorders. So, the link between Adderall and depression is fairly easily explained. There are several reasons why the abuse of Adderall can, in fact, lead to the development of depression in a person’s life. But one of the main ways in which Adderall use can lead to depression is withdrawal.

Symptoms of depression can set in if a person has been using high doses of Adderall for a while and suddenly stops. Adderall is commonly referred to as a “study drug”. Many college students and young adults use this medication in order to concentrate and focus while doing schoolwork. Some individuals who use Adderall as a study drug do not have a prescription for this medication. This means they are essentially dealing with Adderall abuse by definition.

If a person is abusing Adderall and they suddenly stop using it, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms. In some situations, depression may occur as a symptom of withdrawal from a stimulant drug like Adderall.

So, can Adderall cause depression? In a way, yes. The misuse of Adderall can lead to depression.

Treatment for Adderall Abuse and Depression

If you are suffering from depression and Adderall abuse, you can receive treatment that will address all of your struggles. A dual diagnosis treatment program can address substance abuse and mental health disorders at the same time. So, by receiving treatment for your co-occurring disorders, you can overcome Adderall abuse and manage the symptoms of depression in your life.

As you work to leave Adderall abuse in the past, you will receive support and guidance through the following programs:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Intensive Outpatient Program
  • Partial Hospitalization Program
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Therapy

Here at Chapters Recovery Center, we understand that there is no universal approach to addiction treatment. Each person who has a substance use disorder has individualized and unique needs. We also realize that, as people progress throughout the continuum of care, their recovery needs change. For these reasons, we seek to make sure our clients have access to a variety of addiction treatment resources and programs.

Detoxification is typically the first step in addiction treatment. Individuals who suffer from Adderall abuse may need to first detox from this medication before beginning rehab. A detox process will safely rid the body of the toxins of drugs. A medication-assisted detox will help people to withdraw from drug use more comfortably.

There are many benefits of a medical detox program. A detox program can be essential in ending a physical addiction. After all, a person must first stop using drugs or alcohol in order to overcome their dependence on these substances. Detoxification makes this possible.

An inpatient treatment program is an intensive approach to addiction treatment. While in an inpatient program, individuals live at a rehabilitation center. They receive 24/7 access to medical care and get the treatment they need in a substance-free environment.

Also known as residential treatment, inpatient care allows people to focus on their recovery without any distractions from the outside world. This can be particularly effective for those who suffer from severe substance use disorders.

Outpatient treatment is often the next step after an inpatient program. While in an outpatient treatment program, individuals can receive treatment while living at home. They simply attend treatment and therapy sessions several days per week and return home at night.

There are many types of outpatient treatment, including intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs.

Therapy is a vital part of the addiction treatment process. Individuals who suffer from Adderall abuse and depression can benefit greatly from counseling. The main therapeutic approaches in substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation include these:

  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy

Each type of addiction therapy comes with its own advantages. Here at Chapters Recovery Center, we will make sure you receive the type of counseling you need in order to work through your addiction and depression recovery.

Receive Treatment at Chapters Recovery Center Today

depression causes If you have been struggling with prescription drug abuse and depression, there is hope. It is easy to feel discouraged when substance abuse takes hold of your life. Breaking free from addiction can seem like an impossible feat. You may feel alone in your struggle. But, you are not alone and you can recover from the effects of Adderall and depression in your life.

Reaching out for help can be challenging. But, if the use of Adderall has caused depression to develop in your life, it is important to get professional help. You do not have to fight this battle alone. Our compassionate team of addiction and mental health treatment specialists can help you.

Recovery is only a phone call away. Simply reach out to us here at Chapters Recovery Center today to begin your journey to freedom. Located in Danvers, Massachusetts, our treatment facility is equipped to face addiction head-on. We will walk with you as you pursue recovery and healing. Just reach out today to start building the life you deserve!


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