Can Adderall Help With My Anxiety?

woman worried about tiredness from domestic work
fizkes/Istockphoto


Adderall and anxiety: Two things that don’t mix too terribly well.


Adderall is a medication used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This mental health condition can make it tough to focus and is characterized by feelings of impulsivity and hyperactivity.


If those things are causing you to experience anxiety, taking medication to manage your ADHD symptoms could remedy your anxiousness.

At the same time, some people with ADHD claim they experience anxiety as a side effect of their medication. Which group do you believe? Well, if you look at the facts, it may be both.


Adderall is actually a combination of two things — dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The medication is in a class of prescription drugs called central nervous system stimulants, which work by altering the amounts of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. The neurotransmitters are dopamine and norepinephrine in the case of Adderall.


These two stimulants help people focus or control their impulses and may also be used to treat narcolepsy. But they could also stimulate anxiety.


Below, we’ve weighed how Adderall might help anxiety, how it could make it worse or cause anxiety, and how to manage anxiety with Adderall if you’re experiencing it.


Can Adderall Help With Anxiety?


First things first: There’s no evidence that Adderall helps with the treatment or management anxiety disorders. Adderall is not an anxiety medication, and neither the medical community nor the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) thinks there’s any benefit to taking this medication for the treatment of anxiety. 


So why would we even bother talking about this topic? Because Adderall may indirectly help people with anxiety avoid their triggers.

Anxiety is fairly common. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 40 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. This includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) and panic disorder, as well as related stress disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


If someone is diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms, such as forgetfulness, distractibility, and disorganization, can cause life problems that lead to feelings of anxiety, which could ultimately amplify the condition. So if your anxiety is caused by ADHD, taking taking Adderall (which is designed to help diminish the symptoms of ADHD) may help.


Does Adderall Cause Anxiety?


On the other hand, Adderall might make everything worse. Why? Adderall is a stimulant, so it could make those without ADHD feel jittery and nervous.


One study on 13 healthy college students looked at how Adderall affected those who didn’t have ADHD. Overall, the researchers determined that the medication didn’t have much effect on the participants’ neurocognitive performance.


More research needs to be conducted before anything can be said with more confidence about whether Adderall can actually increase anxiety.


The explanation lies in side effects. Yes — Adderall does come with the risk of some side effects.

The common side effects and symptoms of Adderall abuse include:

  • Painful menstrual cramps

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

  • Nervousness

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Weight loss or loss of appetite

  • Dry mouth

Nervousness and an increased heart rate are both clear physical symptoms of anxiety, by the way. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between anxiety and the side effects of Adderall.


For those trying to distinguish ADHD vs. anxiety, symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Panic attacks

  • Hyperventilation

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Nervousness

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Stomach issues

These are some of the most common anxiety symptoms, but everyone’s experience with the mental health condition is unique.


(RelatedAcute Stress Disorder vs PTSD)


How to Manage Anxiety From Adderall


As you can see, Adderall is not a solution for treating anxiety unless the anxiety is caused by symptoms of ADHD.


Both people who have and don’t have ADHD can get anxious or potentially experience an Adderall panic attack by using or misusing the medication. So while it may help anxiety in some ways, Adderall can also cause anxiety on its own.


Adderall is a serious ADHD medication. It can cause heart attacks and potentially death if misused. Plus, there’s the question of addiction: If you stop taking stimulant medications (like Adderall) quickly after a period of chronic misuse or overuse, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.


If you have anxiety that’s not caused by ADHD, though, treating it with Adderall isn’t the right way to go about things. Some medical experts and mental health experts believe in three main pillars for treating anxiety (and none of them include stimulants).


Treatment options for addressing anxiety include:

  • Medication. Anti-anxiety medication is one way to get a handle on your anxiety. Some medications prescribed for anxiety are antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), benzodiazepines and beta blockers. These medications can help you manage the symptoms of anxiety.

  • Therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often suggested for many mental health disorders, including anxiety. In this type of therapy, you work with a therapy provider to identify behaviors that add to your anxiety and figure out ways to stop them.
    We have a guide here if you want to learn more about therapy for anxiety.

  • Meditation. Though meditation may not be the only solution for erasing anxiety, it can be a good thing to use in conjunction with other treatments. A very small study from 2014 found that 20 minutes of meditation helped lower anxiety — most likely because it temporarily lowers brain activity.


(RelatedBeta Blockers For Anxiety: Benefits & Risks)


Adderall and Anxiety: Takeaways

What it boils down to is this: If you don’t have ADHD, using Adderall to treat anxiety is not the way to go. However, if you have adult ADHD that’s causing anxiety, Adderall may help by easing the symptoms of ADHD.

Here are the main takeaways for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who are concerned about anxiety symptoms:

  • There are differences between ADHD and anxiety. If your anxiety is caused by your ADHD, you may notice it goes away when taking Adderall.

  • Adderall is not an appropriate treatment for anxiety. It is, however, a medication that can be prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

  • In very rare cases, Adderall can cause a heart attack — especially in those who have existing heart conditions.

  • If you’re dealing with anxiety outside of ADHD, you’ll need to explore other treatment options, as Adderall isn’t prescribed for anxiety and can make anxiety worse.

  • Treatments for anxiety include therapy, medication and more.

  • If you get to a point where you’d like to stop taking Adderall, always speak to a medical professional first to come up with a plan for weaning yourself off it.

If you want to learn more about Adderall or discuss treatment options for anxiety, the first step is to speak with a medical professional.


This article originally appeared on Forhers.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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Do Any of These 6 Popular Over-the-Counter Antidepressants Actually Work?

Do Any of These 6 Popular Over-the-Counter Antidepressants Actually Work?

<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">If you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve heard of antidepressants. But did you know there are over-the-counter “medications” you can buy that label themselves as antidepressants?</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Before we get any further, we should note that over-the-counter antidepressants aren’t a real thing but rather an umbrella term for all kinds of supplements you can buy without a prescription.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Having said that, you can walk into your local pharmacy and pick up an over-the-counter (OTC) antidepressant alternative with the same ease you can pick up a bag of chips or a tube of toothpaste. You can even order these supplements online, just like buying a pair of sneakers.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Still, you might be wondering why someone would opt for over-the-counter medicine in lieu of actual antidepressants to treat their <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/anxiety-disorders-overview" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:anxiety;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">anxiety</a> or <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/depression-types-symptoms-causes-more" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:depression;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">depression</a> in the first place? </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Like many things in life, it totally depends on the person. For some, accessing over-the-counter meds is simply more convenient because they don’t require a prescription. For others with more <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/mild-depression-symptoms" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:mild depression;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">mild depression</a> or moderate symptoms of depression, over-the-counter medication might seem like the better choice.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">And if you decide to explore this route, it’s never a bad idea to speak with a healthcare provider.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><span class="copyright"> nensuria/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Before we take the plunge into the over-the-counter antidepressants pool, it’s helpful to first understand what exactly antidepressants do for depression and how they function differently from OTC options.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">With an estimated 21 million U.S. adults experiencing at least one major depressive episode each year, antidepressants have proven to be both an effective and popular treatment. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad or hopeless, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, insomnia and weight gain or loss.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Some people may experience short-term depression as a result of specific life circumstances, like the death of a loved one or losing a job. But for others, depression can last years.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Fortunately, taking antidepressants can help regulate your mood and reduce symptoms by targeting certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. While anxiety is different from depression, this mental health disorder is often treated with antidepressants because the conditions have similar symptoms.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">It’s important to note that in order to get antidepressant medication, you must have a prescription from a healthcare provider.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">While you don’t need a prescription to access over-the-counter medication, there’s a level of uncertainty that comes with it. For instance, what’s the correct dose to take? And how would that dose interact with other medications?</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Some experts are averse to over-the-counter antidepressants because the evidence for their effectiveness is weak compared to prescription medications and active ingredients vary among brands and individual batches, producing unpredictable results.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Let us reiterate: Over-the-counter antidepressants aren’t technically a real thing but rather an umbrella term for various supplements that <i>might</i> be beneficial.</p><span class="copyright"> stefanamer/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">So yes, there are big differences between antidepressants and over-the-counter meds. However, some people definitely think they benefit from over-the-counter drugs.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Some of the most commonly used options are:</p><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">St. John’s wort</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Omega-3 fatty acids</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">5-HTP</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Rhodiola rosea </p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">SAMe</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Various vitamins and minerals</p></li></ul><span class="copyright"> brizmaker/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/st-johns-wort-for-anxiety" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:St. John’s wort;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">St. John’s wort</a> is a plant that grows in the wild and has been used for centuries for mental health conditions. Popularly prescribed in Europe, it’s also sold as a dietary supplement in the U.S., where the requirements for selling supplements are less strict than the requirements for prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs with FDA approval. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">When it comes to treating depression, research tells us St. John’s wort isn’t consistently effective. A small study conducted in 2011 looked at both St. John’s wort and a prescription antidepressant and found that neither treated minor depression any better than a placebo.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">We do know, however, that St. John’s wort limits the effectiveness of other prescription medications, including birth control pills and antidepressants. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">We also know that combining St. John’s wort with certain antidepressants may lead to a potentially life-threatening increase in serotonin, causing side effects like agitation, diarrhea, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure and hallucinations.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Additionally, there have been reports of worsening psychotic symptoms among people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">The less intense side effects of St. John’s wort are more uncommon and minor, like upset stomach, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion and sexual dysfunction.</p><span class="copyright"> redstallion/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Omega-3s, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, are a kind of fat found in foods that are crucial for cells throughout the body. You might’ve heard of people taking omega-3 supplements, such as seafood and fish oil supplements, in the hopes of shinier, healthier hair — honestly, aren’t we all?</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">However, some take omega-3s because they think it helps their depression. So far, studies have shown mixed results as to whether this is accurate. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">For instance, a 2015 evaluation of 26 studies that included more than 1,400 people concluded that if there <i>is </i>an effect, it may be too small to make any real impact.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">On the other hand, other studies have suggested that omega-3s used with standard antidepressants produce the best results. There’s also a review of scientific evidence suggesting omega-3s might alleviate mild to <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/moderate-depression" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:moderate depression;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">moderate depression</a>.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">The bottom line? You probably shouldn’t exclusively rely on omega-3s (or any supplement, for that matter) to “<a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/is-there-a-cure-for-depression" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:cure” your depression;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">cure” your depression</a>. Still, consuming omega-3-rich foods (check out our full list of <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/foods-that-fight-depression" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:foods that help fight depression;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">foods that help fight depression</a>) and supplements may have a positive effect on reducing your systems.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><i>(<b>Related</b>: <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/depression-medications" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Depression Medications: A Complete Guide;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Depression Medications: A Complete Guide</a>)</i></p><span class="copyright"> batuhan toker/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">5-what? 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan (phew, that’s a mouthful), is a chemical byproduct of an amino acid known as L-tryptophan — something your body naturally produces.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Dairy products, red meat, poultry and eggs all contain L-tryptophan. So when you chomp down something like a juicy steak, your body organically converts the 5-HTP it absorbs into serotonin. And since serotonin is associated with regulating your mood and feelings of happiness, some believe 5-HTP can be used as a natural mood stabilizer to help with depression.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Similar to most supplements, the jury’s still out in terms of the effectiveness of 5-HTP supplements. Based on a 2019 review, though, researchers found that if taken alongside certain prescribed antidepressants, 5-HTP supplements may potentially boost the effectiveness of those antidepressants.</p><span class="copyright"> Prostock-Studio/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Rhodiola rosea is an herb that comes from Rhodiola, a plant found in Europe and South Asian countries with cold regions and high altitudes. It’s considered an adaptogen, a natural substance believed to help with stress management.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">This “arctic” or “golden” root has been used for centuries by Russians, Scandinavians and other Europeans to treat depression, anxiety and fatigue. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">How effective is Rhodiola? As you might’ve already guessed, some research points towards its benefits.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">For instance, a 2017 study involving 118 people with stress-related burnout took 400 milligrams of rhodiola a day for 12 weeks. Participants showed improved symptoms associated with burnout, like stress and depression. While it was only the first clinical trial, this outcome indicates there’s potential for rhodiola to help some people better deal with stress during difficult times. It’s important to note, however, that there was no comparison condition in this study. Everybody got rhodiola. That’s a problem. Sometimes, being in a study promotes hope, which is sometimes the real reason people get better. That’s known as the placebo effect. The best studies compare the treatment being studied to a placebo to make sure the treatment is really effective.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Perhaps unsurprisingly, some medical community members believe more in-depth research is required in order to prove this herbal supplement can provide substantial health benefits.</p><span class="copyright"> Eugeniusz Dudzinski/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Like 5-HTP, SAMe is a chemical naturally found in the body. Short for S-adenosyl-L-methionine, SAMe is made from an amino acid called methionine, and it helps regulate neurotransmitters.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">When it comes to depression — which SAMe has been studied for the most extensively, along with osteoarthritis and liver diseases — the research wasn’t conclusive. However, a 2020 review did find that when taken alongside prescribed antidepressants, using SAMe can have positive results.</p><span class="copyright"> Hazal Ak/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Even if you’ve never heard of 5-HTP or SAMe (which is totally fair), there’s a good chance you’re familiar with regular ol’ vitamins and minerals — even if it’s the gummy ones from when you were a kid.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Vitamins are nutrients all bodies need to properly function. And research shows that deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can be linked to mental health conditions, like depression.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Here are a few V&Ms your body needs to be its best self: </p><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Vitamin D. </b>Vitamin D is a big one. It’s especially important for bone growth, cell growth, managing inflammation and immune function. A lack of vitamin D puts people more at risk for developing depression, as one study shows. While you can definitely take supplements to help curb this, getting outside and soaking up the sunshine can help enormously too.</p></li></ul><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Zinc.</b> Zinc is heavily involved in your body’s cellular metabolism. It can be found in foods like oysters, red meat and poultry. Research suggests that deficiencies in zinc play a role in depression among people and animals.</p></li></ul><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Magnesium</b>. When it comes to essential functions like nerve signaling, muscle regeneration, protein synthesis and blood sugar regulation, your magnesium levels are where it’s at. It has other benefits too. Research conducted by the University of Adelaide Press found that magnesium supplements can make a substantial difference in your mood if you’re struggling with depression.</p></li></ul><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Probiotics</b>. You might have heard probiotics referred to as “good” bacteria. Probiotics are live microorganisms naturally found in fermented foods, like yogurt and sourdough bread. Not only do they help get rid of “bad” bacteria like those that cause infection, but new research suggests probiotic supplements may also be effective for reducing depression symptoms when used with other depression treatments.</p></li></ul><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Curious about your vitamin and mineral levels? Getting bloodwork done is an effective tool for actually determining if you need to increase them. That said, it’s always worth consulting with your healthcare provider for any kind of medical advice.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><i>(<b>Related</b>: <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/how-to-get-antidepressants" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How To Get Antidepressants;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How To Get Antidepressants</a>)</i></p><span class="copyright"> Zinkevych/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">One of the most critical differences between prescription antidepressants and over-the-counter medication is that they’re held to different standards.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">The supplements we just went over don’t have the same requirements as drugs approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), like Fluoxetine (Prozac) or Sertraline (Zoloft).</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">On the one hand, this makes over-the-counter medications more easily accessible. But on the other, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting, how much you should take or how it’ll interact with other medications. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">In contrast, we have significantly more evidence and understanding when it comes to prescription antidepressants, which are often considered a first-line treatment for depression.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Some of the most commonly used medications are:</p><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)</p></li><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Atypical antidepressants</p></li></ul><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">While antidepressants are not addictive, other medications like benzodiazepines (used primarily to treat anxiety and panic disorders) have a high risk of dependency. If you have concerns about using any medication, your healthcare provider can help. </p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">To get antidepressant drugs, your primary care provider has to write you a prescription. The cost will depend on factors like what your insurance covers, but you can also access affordable antidepressants without insurance.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Alternatively, you can get medication by connecting with a qualified psychiatric provider online. Telehealth primary care can help you get depression medication online as well — no doctor’s trip necessary.</p><span class="copyright"> gorodenkoff/istockphoto </span>
<p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">At the end of the day, it’s impossible to make any concrete conclusions about the effectiveness of over-the-counter antidepressants. Some supplements have promising evidence of potentially reducing depressive symptoms, while others need to be more sufficiently researched.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">What <i>is</i> concrete, however, is that there are ways to find support beyond medication — over-the-counter or not. This includes:</p><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Getting help online</b>. If you’re struggling and want to open up to someone, a licensed therapist is always a great option. With the help of private online therapy sessions, you can access professional help from wherever is most convenient for you — be it on your couch at home or while on vacation. Anonymous support groups can also be a powerful form of support.</p></li></ul><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Talking to a mental healthcare professional.</b> Based on your symptoms, a mental healthcare provider can make a diagnosis and help you develop a treatment plan, which may include medication, counseling and/or psychotherapy.</p></li></ul><ul><li><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><b>Practicing self-care</b>. If you’re going through it, prioritizing your well-being by practicing self-care is crucial. For some, it might be breaking a sweat at the gym (exercise is a fantastic stress-reliever). For others, it could be doing mindfulness exercises like meditation, which can help lower cortisol levels.</p></li></ul><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz">Explore your options, and find the support you need today.</p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><br></p><p class="pstyle__P-sc-bf6a21b7-0 sc-f9686baa-1 fGEIGZ jjmOUz"><i>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.forhers.com/blog/over-the-counter-antidepressants" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Forhers.com;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Forhers.com</a> and was syndicated by <a href="https://mediafeed.org/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:MediaFeed.org;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">MediaFeed.org</a></i><br></p><span class="copyright"> StockRocket/istockphoto </span>
<h2><br></h2><h2><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/6-types-of-depression-medications-a-complete-guide/ss-BB1m6e29?disableErrorRedirect=true&infiniteContentCount=0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:6 Types of Depression Medications: A Complete Guide;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">6 Types of Depression Medications: A Complete Guide</a><br></h2><span class="copyright"> tommaso79/istockphoto </span>

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