Adderall for Depression

despair-513528_1920Adderall is a drug used for treating ADHD and narcolepsy. It is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine which affects the nervous system and influences the neurochemicals in the brain. Its effects have been spotted for its act on depression, even if the FDA hasn’t approved it yet as a prescribed drug for it. A study has been conducted among 65 depressed patients where they showed improvement with energy mood rise and psychomotor activity in 36 patients. It has shown potential benefits in resistant depressive condition and it should be used more frequently.

The best response to psychostimulants like Adderall was when used in combination with tricyclic antidepressants. Side effects and drug dependency are low and the study has proven the good effects of the drug used for depression therapy.

Resistant Depression Therapy With Adderall

 Although Adderall was not officially proven by the FDA, Adderall is one of the drugs with most potential for resistant depression treatment. There are numerous reasons why this medicine could be effective for these patients. Amphetamines can modify the secretion and transmission of the norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, resulting in motivation rising, energy increase, alert awareness.

Mood Improvement

The use of many antidepressants can take long to start to work, whereas the Adderall has a rush start. It can help with those suicidal patients and help with short-term mood. It can be a good combination with antidepressants to fill their space until they start to affect the body. It can be positive to see results right away and not have to wait for 4 to 6 weeks for the antidepressants to act.


People who are dealing with depression can have an accompanied state of a bad focus and concentration. Adderall can speed up their thinking and focus, leading to better concentration and helping them to be consistent and to get done all the tasks. The person can feel more productive and motivated.

High Energy Level

Due to a depression, people can feel lethargic and with low energy levels. Adderall can help them with energy rush and stimulate the brain’s activity. It will help with fatigue, mental condition and it will lead to increased levels of energy.

Confidence Booster

People who are positive, full of energy and feel more pleased due to a dopamine rush can feel more confident about themselves. When their confidence grows, the depression can fade and they can feel much better and start doing more activities which will motivate them more.

Social Effect

When feeling positive, energized, full of confidence, a person is more outgoing and friendly. A person wants to interact more with people and to stay motivated, pleased and happy. This is all positive for the depression therapy.

Potential Cons Of Adderall For Depression Therapy

Even if some doctors are prescribing Adderall for depression, there are certain reasons why not everyone should be on Adderall. Some people can experience certain difficulties when it comes to this psychostimulant.

Addiction And Dependency

For those who like the feeling of satisfaction, feeling good and happy may cause addiction towards this medication. A person can get addictive to this medication in order to function properly.

Tolerance Development

The effects of Adderall are not long lasting as some of the antidepressants, so some individuals may notice an improvement at the start or at the beginning of the therapy, but it will slowly fade after several weeks of use. They will tend to increase the dosage to get the same effect they did before and also to take a higher dosage to feel even better.

Not Approved By The FDA

The Adderall is not officially proven by the FDA for a reason. The primary condition which is being treated with this medication is the ADHD.

Withdrawal Symptoms

There are some severe symptoms which can occur after Adderall discontinuation, where some of those are depression when the brain runs out of dopamine levels. It can be hard to cope with and you should consult your doctor about it for sure.

Taking Adderall As A Combination Therapy

In practice, it is a best proven way to take Adderall in combination with another psychostimulant drug such as TCA (tricyclic) or SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). When used in combination, it has more benefits than used by its own.

Is It Safe For Use?

Adderall is the newer generation drug and it is one of the safer drugs among psychostimulant medications. The drug dependence is real and the addiction can happen, and also withdrawal symptoms can be severe, but it is proven to help depression. Especially among suicidal people, it is beneficial and highly effective. Other than treating ADHD and narcolepsy, it has multi-beneficial potential. When there are no other options for treating resistant depression, it can be a drug to consider. It is also effective for the anxiety treating as well, which can also help with depression as well.

There are a lot of articles and studies which are battling the final decision about the Adderall and its effectiveness for depression treatment. None of the drug is the magic medication which will help with all of the things and get rid of all the problems. The problem with Adderall prescription is a high abuse potential. Some use at as a euphoria trigger, abusing it as a drug. Even some students abuse it for the focus and concentration inducing when preparing some exams and having some tasks which have to be done in a short period of time. It can be addictive and it should not be taken for a long time span, as well as the dose of use which should be given the minimal effective dose.

Clinicians state that adding a stimulant to an antidepressant therapy can be helpful for resistant depression patients where the short-acting agents can help with the outcome and it leads to less frequent doses of antidepressants, less abrupt effects. Some patients maintain full remission with stimulant medications and psychiatric doctors state that the stimulants augmentation is needed for the positive outcome of the resistant depression treatment.


  1. If the FDA does not approve its use, can a doctor legally prescribe Adderall? Our son is on it for depression going on 2 years. He also gets Vyvanse from his doctor. Our son sees him every 3-4 months, at which time he tells his doctor he is doing well but to his family, he admits that he is still depressed and sometimes suicidal. We believe that he tolerates the drug for its euphoric high and may be addicted (he can’t stop.) His personality has also undergone a drastic change: terrible, constant mood swings, always irritable, upset, paranoid and very angry most all the time, yelling and arguing over minor matters. Outside of work, he broods, ignores loved ones, and has become anti-social. How can I let his doctor know of our concern when we are not on our son’s HIPAA? Also, we wrote a letter to his Dr. last summer. which was basically ignored (no call back, just a rambling phone message) He has been seeing this doctor for over 13 years with no significant improvement to our son’s depression. Our family is very worried and we don’t know where to turn!

    • We are unable to offer legal advice. It sounds like you should speak with another doctor to find a second opinion. Your new doctor will be able to diagnose and treat your son. They will be able to give you the advice that you are seeking. Have a great day, Virginia!


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