Can Adderall Make Depression Worse?

If you are dealing with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a medication that calms you down can be necessary for your daily life. For many people, that medication is Adderall. However, suppose you have been feeling sad or down for a prolonged period while taking Adderall. In that case, you may be experiencing one of the effects of the medication: depression. 

There is some debate over whether Adderall may cause depression. However, this is extremely rare with correct use according to the prescription. However, this only occurs if people misuse Adderall. 

What is Adderall?

Adderall is prescribed for the treatment of symptoms that result from ADHD. In addition, the medication may help you be still, control your actions and maintain focus, all things integral for getting through the day at school, work or home. 

Another use for Adderall is to relieve people who suffer from narcolepsy. The drug helps guard against spontaneous bouts of sleep or extreme daytime tiredness. Unfortunately, many people misuse Adderall by taking it when they haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD or narcolepsy. They think it might give them energy and power during long hours at work or school with an ability to concentrate without distraction. 

The Connection between Adderall and Depression

Adderall and depression are linked in many ways. Adderall has been prescribed as an off-label treatment for depression in people who experience depression combined with ADHD. As stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, they feel like mood boosters for people having depression. 

But Adderall may cause depression, especially if a person takes a high drug dosage and suddenly discontinues use. Adderall is also commonly misused, and people take it without a prescription. Non-medically deemed, the study drug, Adderall, is known for its ability to improve attention for long periods. Many high school and college students also take it recreationally. 

Adderall and Depression

Depression is a possible adverse reaction to the medication. However, this reaction is scarce. It occurs only in people who misuse or use the drug without a prescription. The FDA also notes that a person should take care when using the medication if they have a history of bipolar disorder or another psychotic condition. In addition, they recommend that people with behavioural symptoms undergo screening for these mental health conditions before taking Adderall. 

The FDA also warns that people should take care when using the drug if they have a history of bipolar disorder or other psychotic conditions. In addition, they recommend that people with behavioural symptoms undergo screening for mental health conditions before taking Adderall. The FDA claims that you may also develop depression if you abruptly discontinue Adderall after taking it in high doses for an extended period. It may also result in extreme tiredness. The research concludes that the misuse of stimulant medication among college students may have some association with depression symptoms. 

You may be suffering from Adderall-induced depression if you experience some of the other symptoms of depression, like anger or irritability, a sense of hopelessness, insomnia, fatigue, lack of appetite, restlessness, loss of interest in fun activities, difficulty speaking or moving at average speeds, an inability to concentrate or focus, and feeling worthless or suicidal. In addition, there are additional physiological signs of depression, including a low pain threshold, headaches, achy joints and muscles, blurred vision, stomach pain or nausea, diarrhoea, constipation or other digestive issues. 

Stimulant Use Disorder

Adderall misuse occurs when you take it regularly without a diagnosis or a prescription. It may also happen if people with a prescription do not take the correct dosage per the doctor’s instructions. People without a prescription take the drug because it helps focus and concentration.

Stimulant use disorder is prevalent among undergraduate and college students. Students believe it will increase their focus, memory, and attention. Instead, many people experience headaches, a lack of motivation, tiredness, and sleep issues when taking Adderall as a nonprescription drug. Some of the side effects of long-term abuse are: 

  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and motivation difficulties
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts 
  • Anxiety and panic attacks 
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Constipation
  • Heart problems

How to Avoid Depression While Taking Adderall

As with any medication, it’s essential to follow the doctor’s Adderall dosage prescription and read any label instructions carefully. In addition, you must work closely with the physician while taking Adderall to manage the medicine appropriately. For example, it might entail initiating at a low dose, adjusting the dose on how you feel and any symptoms you experience, and tapering off Adderall responsibly once you decide to stop it. 

Also, feel comfortable discussing your treatment plan with the doctor. You must give your doctor the family health history, as Adderall may not be advised if issues like mental health disorders or cardiovascular problems run in your family. You must also tell your doctor about any supplements or medications you currently take to ensure they don’t conflict with your Adderall prescription. This could render Adderall less effective or cause problems like headaches, dry mouth or changes to your sex drive. 

Finally, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your physician if you are experiencing signs of depression or other Adderall side effects. However, depression or addiction arising from Adderall use may be dangerous and must be addressed immediately. 


Abrupt discontinuation of the medication results in depression. In addition, depression may also be a withdrawal symptom when you stop using Adderall. Since Adderall is a stimulant, coming off the drug too quickly can be a letdown. However, that crash can be accompanied by an overwhelming sadness, which, if it persists, can be a significant signal of depression

The problem is that many people don’t understand how stimulants work, what side effects may occur, and how the drug impacts their bodies in the short and long term. Adderall dependence and withdrawal may be dangerous and cause depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, sleep problems, and more.