Is There a Link Between Amphetamines and Depression?
Amphetamines, in their legal form such as Adderall and as illicit drugs such as Ecstasy, are synthetic stimulants that are highly addictive. Affecting the central nervous system, they induce euphoria and a feeling of confidence, increase alertness, and suppress appetite. These feelings lead one to believe they benefit from the drug, but people can quickly develop cravings and drug-seeking behavior when it wears off, thereby leading to the physical and psychological dependence of amphetamine addiction.
Depression is a withdrawal symptom, but there are additional links between amphetamines and depression. Other signs seen in amphetamine rehab include anxiety, fatigue, and hunger, but the success of amphetamine addiction treatment depends on identifying and treating associated depression.
A Link Backed by Research
Research has indicated a link between stimulant use and anhedonia, or reduced interest or pleasure from normally rewarding activities. A strong correlation between anhedonia/depressed mood and lifetime amphetamine use was found.1
In low doses, amphetamines have been used to treat depression, especially in patients with low energy, lethargy, decreased attention, and hypersomnia. Repeated use can trigger psychostimulant abuse symptoms and a type of depression that is resistant to antidepressants.2 The nature of this differs from symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, which resolve after the drugs are discontinued.
Parallels of Amphetamine Use and Depression
Over 40% of those addicted to amphetamines may also suffer from depression and other mood disorders.3 There may be multiple connections between the two, making amphetamine depression treatment challenging if the causal nature isn’t known. These connections include:
• Depressed users who rely on amphetamines to self-medicate
• Antidepressant-resistant depression resulting from amphetamine abuse
• Energy crashes following an amphetamine high
• Genetic tendencies toward both depression and addiction
The physical symptoms of Adderall abuse are similar to those of amphetamines, and they include convulsions, cardiac problems, and insomnia. Both are also associated with psychological symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations. Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults and children; it’s also used to treat narcolepsy.
The connection between Adderall and depression in adults is similar to that of other amphetamines. In fact, a crash from dextroamphetamine can trigger depression and other withdrawal symptoms. Adderall depression treatment accounts for such symptoms as intense cravings, sleep problems, anxiety, and fatigue, as seen with other stimulants.
With any speed withdrawal, how long the drug is used affects how a person reacts after stopping. Chronic abuse can result in severe depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, as well as other physical effects, such as an increase in dopamine in the brain.
Preventing and Treating Amphetamine-Associated Addiction
One way to prevent complications is to stick to prescription dosages or only take a stimulant if a doctor prescribes it. Amphetamine rehab involves treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. A 12-step program, detox, counseling, and family support are available. Amphetamine addiction and depression can, therefore, either be prevented or treated in a professional setting.
For more information about how Yellowstone Recovery can help, review our online resources or call us at (888) 941-9048.