Adderall Causing Depression? Can Antidepressants Help While On Adderall?


Asked by CalifKatieMay

Adderall Causing Depression? Can Antidepressants Help While On Adderall?


I am desperately trying to find pertinent information about Adderall, depression, and whether antidepressants can be combined with and/or have been shown to be helpful when paired with Adderall.

Here's the background info:
At 23, my psychologist inquired as to whether I had ever been tested for ADHD, and whether or not I really knew what ADHD was. I was astonished that I had exhibited so many of the symptoms for as long as I could remember, and yet had never had any idea that there was a legitimate medical reason, not to mention any idea that my situation, a lifetime of feelings of inadequacy and being different from my peers, was not as unique as I'd believed.

I followed up with an ADHD testing certified psychologist to determine the legitimacy of my suspicion and was diagnosed with ADHD-predominantly inattentive type. Then, at this professional's recommendation I followed up with a psychiatrist, and was placed on Adderall XR. We found that 40mgs of Adderall XR per day provided me optimum results.

The effects of the medication were immediate for me; I felt like I'd suddenly emerged from a haze surrounding my brain's ability to perform. I'd never in my life been able to do the things I could suddenly do, like: study for longer than 30 minutes, concentrate on the task at hand, house work, arrange my thoughts clearly, etc. In many ways, I was jubilated with my increasing confidence and ability to demonstrate my full potential. Overall, being properly diagnosed and treated for the first time seemed to be enhancing the quality of my life and self-worth.

However, its been a little over a year since I was diagnosed and first began taking medication, the last 6 months of which I've consistently on the 40mg dosage of Adderall, and I feel like I'm falling apart. I no longer see the psychiatrist I was working with because I've since moved. He forwarded my prescribing information to my general practitioner who now writes my scrip (I know I need to, and I absolutely will find a psychiatrist asap after the Holiday, obviously that's got to happen if I'm going to resolve anything... but things seem to have come to a head right before the holiday, so finding a psychiatrist is out till next week). I'm hoping someone might have some know something about a few things so I can stop stressing out.

Here's the problem now and the questions:

I feel like the adderall might be causing depression for me. I'm not even certain I am depressed (maybe because I don't want to believe I am), but I feel like I'm purposely isolating myself, like I'm less sociable, I can't concentrate the way I remember being able to concentrate initially, and all of this combined, I think, is making me depressed and creating a vicious cycle which worsens my paranoia about all of the above mentioned. I can, and lately have been skipping Adderall on certain days, but the truth is, as a full time student, and with the pride I've found in my academic ability, I hesitant to miss days of my medication. The simple fact is --and this is nothing new, I can't even focus, much less retain what I did hear in a class lecture if I don't take the Adderall; my not taking it isn't much of an option for me.

So, my questions:

  1. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, did you find something that made it subside, or did it go away on it's own.... do you still struggle with it?
  1. Are there antidepressants that can be combined with Adderall?

  2. Are there any combinations of AD and Adderall that actually enhance one another? If so, what were your experiences?

  3. Has anyone found ways to manage and thus overcome this where they feel like their lives are back on track and happily moving forward?

Thank you in advance anyone and everyone who has any information.


Hi CalifKatieMay,

You posted this quite awhile ago, but many people have responded and have asked additional questions. If you found a treatment that worked for you, I would love to hear it!

You might also check out this article for additional information if you are still interested:

Taking Adderall with Antidepressants

Hope you are well!