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For people with both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and depression, treatment can feel and look complicated. While some people may feel that medication is the best option for them, other people may wish to seek additional or different treatment options, such as therapy.

Taking Adderall for depression is something you should always talk about with your prescribing physician to weigh the potential risks or benefits and see if you want to alter or improve your current treatment plan.

Can Adderall be used to treat depression?

Yes. Some doctors may prescribe Adderall to treat depression related to ADHD, a condition that can cause feelings of depression due to various factors, including the inability to stay focused. Adderall may help reduce feelings of depression by also helping patients focus. As a stimulant, Adderall stimulates norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help speed up your brain activity and stay focused.

For specific dosing, please visit our dosage page. Additionally, talk with your doctor about the best dosage for you.

Are stimulants used to treat depression?

Again, yes in some cases. If a patient is diagnosed with ADHD and also displays symptoms of depression, Adderall may help with their symptoms. If depressive symptoms are, however, severe, your doctor might suggest seeking therapy or trying a different medication, such as an antidepressant.

For more information on alternatives to Adderall, please visit our alternatives page.

Can ADHD meds help with depression?

In some cases, people with ADHD may also display symptoms of depression. ADHD medications, including Adderall, can help with depression. Be sure to discuss with your prescribing physician about potential side effects of taking Adderall, as one side effect can actually include feeling depressed, particularly if dosing instructions are not followed or if Adderall is abused.

What are the Side Effects of Adderall?

Side effects of taking Adderall include but are not limited to:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Excitability
  • Agitation
  • Fear

Please note that this list is not comprehensive, and side effects may differ from person to person.

For more information regarding side effects of Adderall, please visit our side effects page.

A Final Note

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, such as increased, prolonged sadness, a loss of interest in hobbies and/or relationships, or helplessness, seek professional help immediately. Your doctor will be able to assess your symptoms and come up with a treatment plan that is safe and appropriate for you.

Additional or alternative coping mechanisms and treatments for depression include but are not limited to:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water each day
  • Spending time with friends and family who are supportive and understanding of you
  • Seeking counseling from a mental health professional

In some cases, seeking help from a mental health professional may improve treatment with medication or work better alone. One person’s treatment plan may look different than another’s.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


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