The National Institute of Mental Health reports that severe depressive disorders are a major cause of disability among people between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States. The severity of the condition often does not respond to conventional therapy and medications. In these instances, physicians and mental health professionals turn to alternative formulations that may include Adderall.
The medication belongs to a group of formulations that act as central nervous system stimulants. Adderall contains both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is often prescribed in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy. The medication affects the neurons and chemical compounds that cause hyperactivity and impulse control by inhibiting the reabsorption of dopamine and norepinephrine. The substance also increases the amount of the neurotransmitters between the neurons. Dopamine plays a role in a number of body functions including mood regulation.
Adderall and Depression
Though Adderall was not originally manufactured or prescribed for the treatment of depression, practitioners found that patients suffering from both ADD or ADHD and depression experienced fast and dramatic improvements in mood and physical activity. Patients who do not experience sufficient relief using traditional formulations might be candidates for using Adderall. Some of the benefits of taking the medication for severe forms of the disorder include:
• Increased energy levels-People suffering from depression also typically experience mental and physical fatigue. As Adderall contains stimulants, the pharmaceutical boosts energy levels by prolonging the effects of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. The energy boost also improves cognitive clarity and focus by eliminating the brain fog that often accompanies depression.
• Faster therapeutic results-Many anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications must accumulate in the body before patients begin experiencing the desired results. However, patients taking Adderall report experiencing alleviation of symptoms within hours. This action offers hope for patients suffering from suicidal tendencies.
Not for Typical Depression
Though the rapid effect of Adderall is a welcome side effect for someone suffering from depression, the medication has a number of adverse effects that require cautious consideration. People taking the pharmaceutical formulation often develop a tolerance, which causes the antidepressant properties to fade within weeks. Though not usual, some people also become psychologically dependent or physically addicted to the stimulant effects. When transitioning off Adderall and onto other antidepressant medications, patients might also suffer a variety of withdraw symptoms that include a worsening of depression.
Combining Adderall and Antidepressants
Mental health professionals often combine Adderall with Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants. In this way, patients experience fast symptomatic relief as the other medications gradually accumulate in the system. Patients suffering from severe depression and anxiety also occasionally find that the formulation additionally helps ease both problems.