Connection Between Adderall And Depression
Adderall and depression are linked in multiple ways. Adderall has been used as an off-label treatment for depression in patients who experience depression in combination with ADHD. Because stimulants can increase alertness, attention, and energy, they can feel like mood boosters for those experiencing depression.
But Adderall can cause depression, especially if a person is taking a high dosage of the drug and suddenly discontinues use. Adderall is also commonly misused and taken without a prescription. Non-medically deemed the “study drug,” Adderall is widely known for its ability to increase attention for long periods of time. Many high school and college students also use it recreationally.
The problem is that many people dont know how stimulants work, what side effects can occur, and how the drug impacts the body in the short and long term. Adderall dependence and withdrawal can be dangerous and can cause depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, sleep problems, and more.
How To Support Adhd And Depression Victims
Lets look at how you can support someone with ADHD and Depression
Study up It is easier to support ADHD and depression patients when you are well informed about the two conditions. You should start by studying your loved one/ friend/colleagues behavior without being judgemental.
Learn to tolerate them After understanding their behavior, its your responsibility to guide them and tolerate them without scolding them for things done, not done, or lost.
Learn to separate the person from their behavior Individuals suffering from ADHD and depression can be a nuisance. You may get easily irritated if you cannot separate the individual from their condition. For example, instead of seeing them as irresponsible, always remember that its the ADHD or depression thats causing them to lose focus.
Dont do all their tasks ADHD symptoms may cause you to always step in to help these individuals complete their tasks, protect them from harming themselves, and correcting every mess they create. Doing all this for them makes them feel inferior and can be pretty demoralizing. Instead, encourage them to finish up tasks and do things right.
Ease tension In case of misunderstandings that are obviously inevitable, always try to smile about them to ease tension. That helps strengthen the bond between you and the victim.
Get yourself treated for chronic forms of depression. Click the button below to book your appointment.
Using Adderall For Depression
Though ADHD and depression can be diagnosed separately or together, says Alex Dimitriu, MD, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, its better to treat one condition at a time. Even though ADHD can cause depression and stimulants like Adderall can help with symptoms of both conditions, it’s often best to treat the depression first, Dr. Dimitriu explains. Once mood is regulated, cognitive function can be evaluated.
“It is important to realize that certain treatments in psychiatry, like stimulants, are more of a bandaid than a fundamental treatment,” says Dr. Dimitriu.
Often, medications that are FDA-approved to treat depression like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are better treatment options for depression symptoms even in people with ADHD.
Other treatment options for depression, in addition to or in place of medications, may include alternative therapies such as:
While other medications are often more effective for treating depression, Adderall also comes with additional risks. “Adderall can be habit-forming, and people with depression may abuse the substance because it can provide a high,” adds Nicole Arzt, MS, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
You May Like: When To Get Help For Postpartum Depression
Substance Abuse Among Teens
Adolescents with ADHD are at risk of engaging in substance abuse to relieve stress. Many studies point out children affected by this comorbidity exhibit depression and anxiety symptoms together with ADHD. Therefore, they engage in substance abuse to get relief from stress.
Another research also states that young people suffering from this comorbidity tend to internalize the symptoms of depression and anxiety along with ADHD and indulge in substance abuse as a stress-releasing mechanism. A study confirms this theory by stating that substance abuse as a coping mechanism is predominantly more common with adolescents suffering from coexisting ADHD and depression.
You should closely monitor ADHD individuals and check for any behavioral changes. If you discover they are overusing substances, dont scold the victims to avoid pushing them away. Also, try to build trust with the individuals so that they can easily open up to you. That way, you will figure out the best way to help them.
After gaining their trust, talk to a mental health expert and organize rehabilitative therapy for them. Furthermore, inform the substance abuse and mental health services administration about the incident for further help.
Adhd Medications For Adults With Anxiety
Adult patients with an anxiety disorder, as well as ADHD, should be first treated for the primary condition. ADHD symptoms should be treated if they still persist after the resolution of anxiety symptoms. However, it is important to first investigate whether the anxiety symptoms are a result of ADHD. In this case, effective treatment of ADHD would most likely resolve the anxiety as well. However, there is conflicting data on whether stimulant medications can improve anxiety symptoms.
- A study of 42 patients with ADHD and comorbid anxiety found that treatment with methylphenidate had a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms.
- However other studies have shown that stimulants have no effect on anxiety.
Recommended Reading: Is Depression And Anxiety A Mental Illness
Social And Academic Dysfunctioning
Experts have found out that ADHD children and teens have acute anxiety and stress levels more than their non-ADHD age mates. Therefore, the affected kids may have problems focusing, concentrating, and attentively staying on one task. Also, they may distance themselves from others and have a poor social life. That way, they allow negative thoughts to flow through their minds.
Ketamine Treatment Is An Up And Coming Solution To Many Mental Disorders
Another great way of dealing with both ADHD and depression is by using Ketamine treatment. Ketamine treatment is similar to using medications. However, it works somewhat differently from most medications. Instead of helping you while the substance is in your system, it starts working after it leaves. This effect gives it an edge over many other medications. Not only does it last much longer than other medications, it also has shorter lasting side effects.
Also Check: How To Help A Depressed Friend Over Text
Are There Any Tips And Precautions Related To Antidepressants For Adhd
When taking antidepressants for ADHD, be sure to tell your healthcare provider:
- If you are nursing, pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- If you are taking or plan to take any prescription drugs, dietary supplements, herbal medicines or nonprescription medications.
- If you have any past or present medical problems, including high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease and urinary problems.
- If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependency or if you have had mental health problems, including depression, manic depression or psychosis.
- If you develop any depressive symptoms or feelings that you might harm yourself.
- If you develop irregular heartbeats or fainting spells.
The following are useful guidelines to keep in mind when taking antidepressants or giving them to your child for ADHD:
Overlap Of Adhd And Depression
How do ADHD and depression overlap? We know that these are comorbid conditions, which means that when you are diagnosed with one, the odds of you also being diagnosed with the other are higher.
Below are some facts on the overlap of ADHD and depression:
- Teens with ADHD are 10 times more likely than their peers without ADHD to develop depression
- Depression is three times more prevalent in adults with ADHD compared to adults without ADHD.
- People diagnosed with depression tend to have rates of ADHD diagnosis of about 30 to 40%.
- 70% of people diagnosed with ADHD may also experience depression in their lifetime.
Furthermore, in a study that examined data from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, it was found that rates of ADHD were higher among those who had severe depression, chronic depression, early-onset depression, or comorbid anxiety. This suggests a strong relationship between ADHD and depression.
With respect to suicidal ideation, a study of 627 undergraduates showed that a diagnosis of ADHD was related to increased suicidal ideation. This relationship was affected by various factors such as management of negative emotions, emotional awareness, and goal-oriented behavior.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Don’t Miss: Green And White Capsule For Depression
The Relationship Between Adhd And Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
ADHD and depression are separate disorders but tend to have much overlap.
If you’ve been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression, you might wonder what this means for you in terms of prognosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your situation.
What Are The Warnings/precautions When Using Adhd Drugs
Before starting any medication, a doctor should know a patient’s full medical history such as drug allergies, medical conditions, current medication use, and whether the patient is pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or nursing.
Contraindications and Black Box Warnings for Stimulants
Black Box Warnings
- Dexmethylphenidate and methylphenidate should be used cautiously in patients with a history of alcoholism because prolonged administration can lead to physical and psychological drug dependence.
- Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine should not be used in patients with cardiac disease. These stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate and lead to myocardial infarction and sudden unexplained death .
- Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine, dexmethylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and methylphenidate should be used cautiously in patients with a history of substance abuse because prolonged administration can lead to physical and psychological drug dependence. Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine has a high potential for abuse and is contraindicated for use in this setting.
- Methylphenidate and atomoxetine have been associated with priapism.
- Patients should be counseled on the signs and symptoms of priapism and seek immediate medical attention if an erection lasts more than 4 hours.
Don’t Miss: Can You Go To The Er For Depression
Neurobiological And Genetic Concepts
There are strong familial links between ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities such as bipolar disorder, suggesting a genetic contribution . One possible explanation is that ADHD and mood disorders stem from similar neurobiology. Recent studies have demonstrated that similar regions of the brain are involved in ADHD and psychiatric disorders . Neuroimaging studies have implicated differences in volume and activity in the frontal lobe, which is responsible for attention, behaviour selection, and emotion . Studies of neurotransmitters have also pointed to abnormalities in dopamine and norepinephrine signaling , thus corroborating Volkow et al.s conclusion that methylphenidate-elicited dopamine increases were associated with therapeutic response in individuals with ADHD .
Pediatric Psychopharmacology For Treatment Of Adhd Depression And Anxiety
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
Cathy Southammakosane, Kristine Schmitz Pediatric Psychopharmacology for Treatment of ADHD, Depression, and Anxiety. Pediatrics August 2015 136 : 351359. 10.1542/peds.2014-1581
The pediatric practitioner is often the first point-of-contact for children and adolescents suffering from mental illness. Part of the treatment planning for psychiatric diagnoses includes consideration of medication. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, one of the most common diagnoses, is very responsive to stimulant medications for children who are unable to tolerate stimulants or who do not achieve satisfactory symptom management, central -agonists and atomoxetine are effective and generally well-tolerated alternative or augmentative agents. Depression and anxiety disorders are also frequently encountered in the pediatric office setting. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors is considered first-line psychopharmacology for depression and anxiety symptoms. Despite concerns for suicidal ideation related to this medication class, the benefits typically outweigh the risks. This review provides basic clinical pharmacology of stimulant and nonstimulant attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors intended to serve as a primer for the general pediatrician.
You May Like: Helping A Partner Through Depression
Symptoms Of Adhd & Depression
While there may be some overlap between the symptoms of depression and ADHD, there are also distinct differences and understanding these are critical for the proper treatment plan for either.
Symptoms of each condition include:6
- Risk for drug misuse and dependent behavior
Symptoms of ADHD are usually first observed in childhood, before age 12. These children often display difficulty focusing in the face of challenging tasks , excessive motor activity , and in thinking through the consequences of their actions .
How Are Adhd And Depression Connected
- ADHD can mimic depression
- Depression can occur at the same time as ADHD, but develop independently
- Depression can be caused by ADHD
ADHD and depression share some of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to tell the two conditions apart. Difficulty focusing or concentrating and restlessness, for example, can be symptoms of both conditions. Sleep disorders and mood changes can also be signs of both conditions.
The confusing overlap in symptoms can result in some people visiting their healthcare provider thinking they have depression when their symptoms are actually caused by ADHD.
About 30 percent of people with ADHD will also develop depression at some point in their lives. Depression can occur independently of ADHD, but in some cases it is thought to be caused by it.
The symptoms of ADHD can also cause depression in some people. ADHD can make a person feel overwhelmed, especially if they feel restless and are struggling to stay focused and organized. This can lead to them experiencing feelings of guilt, sadness, irritability and helplessness and cause them to have low self-confidence.
Also Check: Major Depressive Disorder Recurrent Moderate With Anxious Distress
How Does Adhd Cause Depression
For some children and adults with ADHD, the challenges of living with ADHD can lead to depression. ADHD can cause problems at work, school, and in relationships with other people, who may become frustrated dealing with the persons symptoms. This can lead a person to develop negative thoughts about themselves, like Im not good enough or Im a failure, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. Experiencing negative thoughts and feelings is a sign of depression. Relationship problems or conflict due to ADHD can also lead to isolating from other people, which can contribute to feeling depressed.
Professionals are unsure why some people with ADHD develop depression and others dont. However, they have found that certain risk factors are linked to having both conditions. If you fall into one or more of the following categories, you may have a higher risk of developing major depressive disorder along with ADHD:
Experiencing an anxiety disorder
Having substance abuse problems
People with both major depressive disorder and ADHD are also more likely to develop conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance misuse, and obesity.
Treatment For Adhd And Depression
Treatment for ADHD and depression can help reduce the risk of suicide and prevent other conditions people can develop if their symptoms arent treated. Treatment may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. The type of treatment you choose may depend upon the severity of your symptoms, how severely your symptoms are impacting your life, your personal preferences, and your providers recommendations.
Recommended Reading: Ssi For Adults With Depression And Anxiety
What Are The Drug Interactions Of Adhd Drugs
Absorption and excretion of amphetamines — and therefore blood levels — are affected by pH. Fruit juices, vitamin C, and some drugs acidify the stomach, decreasing absorption. Alkalinizing agents, such as antacids, increase amphetamine absorption.
- Amphetamines should not be used along with tricyclic antidepressants or decongestants.
A 14-day clearing period is required between the use of a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor and amphetamine. Otherwise, severe hypertension may occur.
Methylphenidate should not be used within 14 days of using an MAOI. Otherwise, a hypertensive crisis might occur. Because it raises blood pressure and heart rate, methylphenidate should be used with caution with other drugs that can affect blood pressure and heart rate. Dosage adjustment may be necessary for:
Atomoxetine should not be used within 14 days of an MAOI, otherwise severe, possibly fatal reactions could occur. Increases in heart rate and blood pressure may occur if atomoxetine is administered with other medications that can increase heart rate or blood pressure.
The sedative effect of alcohol, barbiturates, or other drugs may be increased by guanfacine.
Bupropion should not be used within 14 days of an MAOI. Medications that can interact with bupropion include:
- Tricyclic and SSRI antidepressants
Parent Training And Education Programmes
If your child has ADHD, specially tailored parent training and education programmes can help you learn specific ways of talking to your child, and playing and working with them to improve their attention and behaviour.
You may also be offered parent training before your child is formally diagnosed with ADHD.
These programmes are usually arranged in groups of around 10 to 12 parents. A programme usually consists of 10 to 16 meetings, lasting up to 2 hours each.
Being offered a parent training and education programme does not mean you have been a bad parent it aims to teach parents and carers about behaviour management, while increasing confidence in your ability to help your child and improve your relationship.
Read Also: Is Social Media Linked To Depression