Due to the way that Xanax works, taking Xanax for depression is an extremely dangerous idea that has the ability to not only further increase the depression a person may be feeling, but cause permanent physical and mental problems later on down the line. To further understand why taking this medication for depression is not advisable, we first need to have a clearer understanding of both the disorder and the drug itself.
Firstly, depression is most commonly caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The body and brain produces and absorbs an increased amount of a chemical called Serotonin. This serotonin regulates mood by calming the person and a chemical imbalance of too much serotonin can cause depression. In a depressed state, a persons brain activity is typically lower than that of a non depressed person. They generally suffer from a constant lethargic type feeling and they have no motivation or desire to do anything no matter how small it may seem.
Xanax on the other hand is what is known as a benzodiazepine type drug which is actually a depressant and is used primarily to help treat or cure people of anxiety disorders. Xanax works by depressing the central nervous system and by blocking the brains ability to prevent neurons from firing. What this does is it decreases the brains activity and helps to create a calming effect on the person taking the drug.Essentially, it creates a similar brain activity to that of a depressed person, though usually without the feelings of depression or any of its symptoms itself.
If a person is suffering from depression, they’re already in a constant lethargic, unmotivated and constantly tired mood. Taking Alprazolam would only serve to increase and worsen the persons depression because it does the exact same thing and will only pile on and intensify those feelings. Taking Xanax when you are feeling depressed can even be dangerous. Because a person suffering from depression already has lowered brain activity, and Xanax serves to only lower than brain activity more, there is a risk that the brain can suffer from permanent damage by being told to slow down too much. This in turn can have a negative affect on other body parts as the brain begins to struggle to tell them how to properly function. In this state, the person runs the risk of falling into a coma or having their kidneys, liver or other body organs shut down completely. They also run the risk of suffering from permanent brain damage depending on how much Xanax has been taken as well as an increase in susceptibility to other side effects and medical conditions the use of Xanax can cause.
One of the side effects of taking Xanax is the increased likelihood of suffering from depression or an increase in depressed thoughts and even suicide. Taking Xanax for depression would only intensify those thoughts and feelings and should be avoided no matter what. Not only that, but the user stands to suffer from other depression symptoms such as:
- Sleeping problems including insomnia and hypersomnia
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of concentration
- A feeling of helplessness
- A feeling of worthlessness
- A Loss or increase of appetite and as a result, a decrease or increase in weight
There is however one situation where Xanax can be taken by a person who is suffering from depression and that is only if their depression being caused by the direct effect of an anxiety disorder. One of the side effects of an anxiety disorder can indeed be depression. By treating the anxiety by taking Xanax, one is essentially also risking an advance in depression which is kind of contradictory. The individual circumstances will first have to be heavily considered by a doctor or a psychiatrist before prescribing a patient who has depression caused by an anxiety disorder due to their increased likelihood of suffering from worsened depression due to Xanax’s side effects though typically if the main reason for the depression is able to be cured then the user will typically stand a good chance in curing both the anxiety and depression disorders.
When speaking with your doctor of psychiatrist about any anxiety problems you may be dealing with, it is important to let them know if you’re also suffering from depression as well. This way, they will be able to prescribe you a more suitable medication that will not run the risk of further inducing depression.
Xanax for the treatment of depression can only be taken in rare circumstances where the depression is a direct cause of an anxiety disorder where Xanax can be used to help treat the user of that anxiety disorder and thus help to eliminate the depression as well. Most other times, more stable, safer and appropriate drugs such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors will be used to help treat a patients depression.