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My brother is 24 years old and he was diagnosed with depression. His doctor proscribed him adderall. I want to help him so I would appreciate some information about this drug. What are the side effects?

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Adderall is a stimulant and appetite suppressant and it works by stimulating the central nervous system by increasing the amount of certain chemicals in the body. This increases heart rate and blood pressure and decreases appetite. Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and it can be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide, just like in your brothers case. It is important to know that physical and psychological dependence may occur with the use of this medication. In addition, withdrawal effects may occur after several weeks of continuous use, when the usage of the drug is stopped abruptly. Some of the side effects are dizziness, blurred vision or restlessness. In addition, it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you brother experience some effects he should avoid hazardous activities.
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He needs to find a new doctor. adderall is for adhd/add. adderall should definitely not be taken by someone diagnosed with depression. he'll find out why when he comes down from the drug.
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yeah, I am currently depressed with slight social anxiety and I take adderral , unprescribe because my parents don't believe i'm depressed and just a teenage thing.

i don't take it everyday. Only every know and then, (an avg. of twice a week) just to get my brain a reminder on how I should be thinking. But it does do wonders, I must say so. I am afraid to have drugs be my crutch for my depression. But adderrall gives me that extra push for inspiration and confidence, reminding me of how I used to be before I became depressed.

I know it merely covers my problems but it reminds me that I used to be a lot happier then I am now. And gives me the persistance and hope to getting by until I find some peace (which hopefully when I get out of my family's house which I believe is the main factor for my depression.)

I recently became depressed during my senior year. Problems at home, college, job, etc.

It helps me calm down and get things done. When I'm depressed I forget how to be happy. I forget what made me happy. And that's accomplishing things.

I think I need sleep because I'm always fatigued. However, when adderall it gets me motivated and I get things done helping me the next day when I'm off it and the stuff I been procrastinating (thanks to depression) finally gets done. As a result, some of my stress and anxiety is lifted.

I would never use adderall as a cure for my depression for only I can be the cure for my depression. I just use it as a push in the right direction when depression pulls me down.
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I like the way everybody is second-guessing the doctor. I suppose you all have medical degrees and have done a complete history on the patient.

I was frequently diagnosed with depression. Even bipolar disorder once. Somehow I always suspected there was more to the picture. Something just didn't ring true. Sure, I was unhappy a lot, but it was always about something. I didn't just wake up in the morning and decide to feel bad. I always had reasons for the way I felt--maybe not always good ones, but reasons nevertheless.

Then a few months ago I was diagnosed with ADD. This was something I'd never suspected, but when they asked me questions like, "did your teachers often say that you weren't working up to your potential?" or, "are you frustrated by the disorganized way your brain works?" I thought they'd been reading my diary, except I've never kept one.

Here's how it works:

When you have ADD, you can't focus, no matter how hard you try. You can get things done by hyperfocusing, but when you do that, you lose focus on other things, and miss other things, like opportunities or meeting important obligations. You feel frustrated by the lack of ability to accomplish the things you know are important, but you find it impossible to prioritize or work out even the simplest plans you might try to make.

And then there's the way other people respond to you. You always disappoint people, and they're not hesitant to let you know how disappointed they are. Somehow they understand that you're not stupid, but in a way that would be easier because they could forgive you for being stupid. They can't forgive you for failing to do things of which they know you are capable, and you can't forgive yourself either.

You become your own worst critic. Every bad thing somebody else says about you you learn from. You internalize it. You use it as a club to beat yourself with. Nobody even has to criticize you anymore. You know you're a total f--kup.

Now, ask yourself, is the person I am describing going to seem depressed? Are even experienced therapists going to look at him and say, "Yeah, I know what this is. I've seen it before. He's depressed. Give him some Prozac, or maybe Wellbutrin." But that's kind of like giving somebody with a knife stuck in his back a pain medication. Sometimes you have to look for the cause of the pain and treat it instead of just treating the pain.

I don't know if this is the case; I don't know the physician or the patient; I don't know any more about this specific case than the rest of you know, but at least I recognize that there may be other factors at play than what the first post reveals, and that's something you all might like to consider before you go second-guessing a physician and handing out advice.
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katmandu42 wrote:

Adderall has been used for years by many doctors to treat medication resistant depression.



I just happened to learn about this this weekend as well. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of those cases turned out to be undiagnosed ADD or ADHD. I was diagnosed with depression repeatedly, and none of the specific antidepressants I was given ever did anything, so I suppose in a sense I had "medication resistant depression," but now I see it as just a symptom or sequela of my ADD.

WRT your sleepiness, have you ever been evaluated for any sleep disorders? Did your doctor administer an Epworth test or similar sleep-deprivation test? I have a feeling that you may be profoundly sleep deprived, but it sounds like it's in the process of resolving itself. The two most noticeable effects of Adderall are a feeling of calm and a decrease in the noise and chatter in your head. If you are sleep-deprived, the most natural response to these effects would be to go to sleep. Eventually I'd expect your alertness to increase as you catch up on your sleep, then your days are going to get longer--and happier too, I hope.
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katmandu42 wrote:

I am far from sleep deprived, in fact I usually sleep 10-12 hours a night.
Occasionally a normal 8 (9) hours...



It doesn't matter how long you sleep if you're not getting restorative sleep, and the only way to tell is to have a sleep study, or polysomnography. I had a sleep apnea that prevented me from getting enough restorative sleep even if I slept 10-12 hours/night, and mine was relatively mild. One clue that you have this is that you can drink a cup of coffee and fall asleep. I used to joke about how I was immune to caffeine. I wasn't really. It just wasn't strong enough to overcome my sleep deprivation.

katmandu42 wrote:

Over the years my friends and I joked about my "selective attention disorder". Give me a mundane task and I will be bored to tears and will not complete it. But if given a difficult task I will be fixated on it until it is completed.



That's typical of people with ADD. We become bored very easily, and we perform exceptionally well under pressure because it focuses us. Procrastination is a coping strategy we typically employ, because it eventually makes mundane tasks urgent.

ADD isn't about not being able to focus. It's about not being able to focus on the appropriate thing at the appropriate time, or to prioritize tasks and perform them in accordance with their priority. We often become so intensely focused on things that are completely trivial, but somehow they capture our interest, that we ignore the things we should be focusing on.
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Until recently, i thought i was going to drive myself crazy. I couldnt focus on the things that i needed to focus on and i waited till last minute to complete the things that were most important. It is exactly what it is...a coping strategy. When i read the previous response it was like reading exactly how life has been for me. Ive struggled for so long with something i didnt have a name for. I didnt know how to fix. I would loose it so fast when trying to complete a task as simple as cleaning the house because it was like i couldnt just stick to one thing at a time...i jumped from room to room, never finishing what i started. I had an idea in my head to get the kitchen clean, but then i would pick up something that was supposed to go in the babies room and when i got there id start cleaning her room, leaving the kitchen still a mess. It was like my brain was everywhere. I wanted to get something done but couldnt focus on the one thing I wanted or needed to be done at the time. It was so frustrating and it was starting to affect my relationship with my husband cause i was feeling depressed and anxious. I wanted stuff to get done and i couldnt control my brain to organize the importance of each task. Nothing i did was being finished on time, or if, at all. I really started to think i was going crazy. I was just flat out frustrated at everything and anything. I know when i was a kid in school i had a hard time focusing. No matter how hard i was trying to pay attention its like i was off in some other world, thinking of 50 million things i had to do all at one time. To others i use the analogy of a tv with 20 different channels going on at the sametime and not being able to focus on just one of them. I dont know if thats really a good explanation, but thats how i feel. Im going back to school for the 4th time to finish my college degree. Its been such a struggle for me in the past that i finally decided to get on the internet and figure out what the heck was going on in my head. Was i just crazy, bi-polar (as my husband sometimes called me cause i could get so frustrated and blow up at him...especailly when i was trying to do something and he interupted me or asked me to do something else) a freak..what in the world was happening. Well, as ive learned through the research ive done, ADD/ADHD, if not found when your a kid can get worse in adulthood as increasing stress and responsiblites become more and more. Everything i was reading sounded so familiar, like the earlier comment from someone, like someone was reading her journal. When i read the comment before mine, where she says that we can focus better when the task becomes urgent...soooo me. Ive always done that. I couldnt focus enough unless i knew that it was a urgent need for it to get done. THAT BECAME MY FOCUS!! Knowing that it was urgent made it more of a priority. Im seeing a psychologist now to help me with coping techniques and ways for me to work around my issue. I dont want to stay on medication forever. If it helps me to get through school for now, then thats great, but i know that there has to be ways for me to cope with this without drugs. Im just so relieved to have a name and to recongize what it is that ive dealing with for so long. Now, i can fix it or work with it, whatever it takes, i know that im not crazy anymore. My doctor has prescribed adderall 20mg right now and at first i didnt like it. When coming down from it i defintely felt it and it made me feel sick to my stomach and dizzy. I also had a headache for 2 days which became almost unbearable. I started to cut them in half because i dont think my body was ready for it, but i think im going to talk to the DR about the extended relief. Im not really sure about the details so if anyone can reply to that and let me know if there is a difference. If not, then i might try it for a couple more days and if things dont change, ask to be put on something different. I can see a difference with my ablity to organize my thoughts and to calm my impulses, but i dont like to feel like im taking a drug...especially when you start to feel it wearing off!
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I HAVE IT ALSO AND YEAH I SHOULD BE DOIN SOMETHING RESPONSIBLE RIGHT NOW BUT I PERFORM BETTER RUSHED
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Many of the symptoms and problems I have read here are ME! I was given Adderall XR to combat "Excessive daytime sleepiness" after a
test in a lab. I would get about 7 hrs sleep sometimes get up have two cups of coffee and drive down the road to work and be at the side of the road for a nap 30 minutes later. Narcalepsey in this case is likley, but I also couldn't concentrate on anything for very long unless it inertersted me greatly or I was under pressure to preform, sometimes because I put things off to make it that way. One thing that should have been a tip off to my school, parents and Doctor was my grade 9 math exam. I got -2 on the xam. Yes there was 7 bonus marks and I missed them too! A year later I wrote my grade 10 physics exam stoned an pot and scored second highest in the class. The pot should have held me back somewhat, but sciences always interested me greatly and held my attention. I knew how to do the math, but I would get lost somewhere between the begining of the problem/question and the end and come up with the wrong answer. Now about 40 years later after being on Adderall I can see what was going on. I haven't dicussed the ADD issues with my Doctor yet and I have read that narcalepsey and ADD or ADHD are unrelated issues. Could I have both or is it just one? I also been having problems with dosing which we are attempting to tack down. I am to take a 2 day holiday to ensure I don't build up a tolerance and have to take more.
I have once so far and I would rather have the flu.
I just took 20mg of XR and a 5mg imediate release a few hour ago and I am just now considering taking a nap. I am hopeful I can find the real me in all of this. I had a taste of being centered and effective for just 4 or 5 days and it has been back sliding ever since. I have been Adderall for just 6 weeks now.
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WELL I MUST SAY U WRONG THERE. IVE BEEN ON FOR 3YRS. B4 AFDERALL. I WAS ON N. HAD TRIED NUMEROUS ANTI DEPRESSION MEDS. IM ONE THAT WANTED TO TRY N TALK W/ MY THERPIST TO GET BETTER THEN TAKE ANY ANTI MEDS. ANTI DEPRESSION WORK IN 2 WAYS SIMPLY THE RITE WAY. WHERE IF A PERSON, UR BROTHER EVER THOUGHT OF KILLING HIMSELF.. BUT NEVER JAD THE STRENGHT TO. WELL ANTI DEPRESSION MRFS CAN 1. PUSH HIM OVER N MAKE HIM HAVE THE SYRENGTH TO DO IT. OR2.. HELO AFTER 2-3WKS OF ACTUALLY TAKING YHE COUSE INTO HIS SYSTEM. WHERE.. ON THAT TIME ON JUSY ABOUT EVER1 I.. HIM THEY ARE LIKE ZOMBIES. N CANT IF HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE SELFS REALY N IF KIDS IN PICS. NOWAY. SO.. U ADK WAY EVEN YAKE THE CHANCE. I WANTED TO KILL MUSELF . N HAD IT ALL PLANNED. BUT MY SON KEPT ME FROM THAT. HE NEEFS ME. IM NOT ABOUT TO LET A PILL RISK THAY. NOW ADDERALL. YES SIDE AFFECTS. ALL MEFS DO. NONE SERIOUS. IS IT ADICTION. YES. MOST MEDS R. IS N HE CAN ABUSE IT. IT CAN BECOME VERY BAD FOR HIM THE FAMILY. BUT AGAIN SAME W/ ALMOST ALL MEDS. . BUT WHAT I CAN TELL U IS IT WORKS. ITS NOT JUSY USED FOR ADD, ADHA.
N GETTING STARTED, THETE IS NO CHANGE THAT WILL EFFECT U/HIM. W/ BEING A ZOMBIE. ACTUALL. HE OR SHE, WILL START TO BE HAPPY GET THINGS DONE, WANT TO LEAVE TJE HOUSE. IN WORSE CASE. OTHERS START TO CARE ABOUT THERE HIGIENE. SO HE IS FINE. IF IT LOOK LIKE HES DOING BETTER .. IT IS. IF U THINK HE MAYBE ABUSEING IT. ADDVISE IF I MAY. TAKE HIM TO NEXT APT. GO ON DR. RM W/ HIM TELL DT. WHAT U THINK BUT NOT SURE. N U WOULD LIKE TO DEBURSE THEM TO HIM. DR WILL ALLOW ANY FAMILY MEMBER. . WISH I N HIM THE BESY. SINCERELY. DEBB.


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Adderall is a stimulant and appetite suppressant and it works by stimulating the central nervous system by increasing the amount of certain chemicals in the body. This increases heart rate and blood pressure and decreases appetite. Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and it can be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide, just like in your brothers case. It is important to know that physical and psychological dependence may occur with the use of this medication. In addition, withdrawal effects may occur after several weeks of continuous use, when the usage of the drug is stopped abruptly. Some of the side effects are dizziness, blurred vision or restlessness. In addition, it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you brother experience some effects he should avoid hazardous activities.

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I just wanted to chime in agreement (in part, at least) with what Debb SHOUTED about above.  There are no absolutes in the Mental Health arena!  I had tried most of the mainstream depression meds with so-so results and none of them worked very well past 6 months of use.  Having a background as an RN and spending some of my nursing career in the Mental Health field (in a prison setting, no less), I eventually decided that my depression may be secondary to my struggle to focus in the morning, so my doctor prescribed Adderall for that.  Ultimately, it ended up being a better med for me for my depression issues than any of the other typical depression meds.  The effects Adderall had on my focus & appetite diminished within a few months, but there is always a "hopeful" feeling I get about an hour after taking it.  That feeling has such a good effect on the rest of my day.

If you have spent any time working through mental health issues either for yourself or for others, you will know that it takes a lot of individual tweaking to get the right meds for an individual and, sometimes, you have to break convention.  Our childrens' Psychiatrist is extremely good at meeting that need.  Having three sons, two with primary diagnoses of Bi-Polar Disorder & secondary diagnoses of ADHD and my oldest having a primary diagnosis of ADHD with secondary diagnoses of Mood Disorder & Depression, my wife and I know all about how important it is to find the right med combo.  Sure, nobody wants to take these kinds of meds. But, if it means the difference between a decent life or ending up in a bad situation (having seen this many first-hand from my work experience above), I'll opt for the chance of a decent life, even if it means meds as a permanent part of that.  However, I must also agree with many others out there on the Internet that say meds alone cannot fix depression issues (some don't say it so kindly).  Finding a balance in your mental health life is going to be easier if you also find a balance in your physical life (diet, exercise) and your spiritual life (meaningful worship). 

RHH

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Seriously, Adderall should never ever be prescribed for depression. It is an very damaging ADD drug. Some people prescribe it for depression because it is a short cut to focusing in the now, and therefore not stuck in negative thoughts. Adderall is very damaging for the whole neurological system. Adderall, in my opinion, should be taken off the market all together. I have seen so many people go crazy on Adderall and stay kind of crazy afterwards. Please if you love you brother make sure he is going to other things for his depression. let him see a therapist to work with him, and one who knows how to work on healing without medication. It is not necessary to take medication for depression unless it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, but NEVER EVER Adderall!!!
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Ignore this person, They do not know what they are talking about.

while Adderall is intended for those with ADHD/ADD it is used off label as a mood stabilizer and works well for those who have been treatment resistant to other drugs.

Seriously, Google before you respond.
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Hi, I can relate! I have been diagnosed with major depression and I do not respond very well to my antidepressants. It's been 20yrs of this. I too have been taking Adderall and all that you have described I can relate. I start to feel "normal" not depressed. I clean up, put on a little makeup, play board games or video games with my children, I laugh and feel confident about things. I can focus on my studies, I am a graduate student. I get things done and feel good about it! My thoughts and speech are more organized and fluent. I think that this should be considered again by the APA to be used as a treatment for depression.
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