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Has anyone tried Ritalin for depression?

MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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Feb 6, 2021
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Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
I have severe treatment-resistant depression. Nothing has worked for me. Not ECT, not TMS, nor any of the SSRIs. I don't even think Latuda or Lamictal or Seroquel is working for me. I recently asked my psychiatrist if I could try Ritalin to help me with my utterly poor concentration. Ritalin is used to treat ADD/ADHD. I don't think I have either of these conditions. But ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. Sounds like it might help me with my concentration. It hasn't, but it HAS helped me significantly with my depression. I now have significantly less thoughts of suicide. I feel more "up." Ritalin is a stimulant and--at least what's good for me--it can cause you to lose your appetite and as a result make you lose weight.

Here is what a Google search returned for "Ritalin for Depression":

"Can ritalin be used to treat depression?

Research from Harvard Medical School found that Ritalin and other psychostimulants are sometimes used for chronic depression that does not respond to conventional antidepressants. Ritalin works rapidly and is thus effective for the treatment of acute depression where the patient needs immediate relief."


In the United States, it is classified as a Schedule 2 drug--a controlled substance. It has a high potential for abuse. Here are some examples of the drugs that are in each schedule:
  • Schedule 1: marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms.
  • Schedule 2: cocaine, meth, oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin, and Vicodin.
  • Schedule 3: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.
  • Schedule 4: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, and Ambien.
I just started taking it eight days ago (36 mg Extended Release). I take it once a day in the morning. I take the generic version of it: Methylphenidate Hydrochloride.

I hope it continues to help me, and I'm anxious to tell my psychiatrist about how it is working for me--at least so far. I have to watch out for any negative side effects.

Something for you to consider...
 
ht46

ht46

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It's good to see you're getting some relief from you symptoms, but it might be important to be monitored by a professional for side effects. I know they do this for adderall I think ritalin is milder but might be worth checking.

It depends if it is helping your concentration it's doing the job but if it's just pepping you up getting a bit high which does usually with people without ADD your dr might call it self medication. Just don't get hooked on amphetamines it will make things worse in the long run.
 
ht46

ht46

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At the end of the day we can all be driven to self medicate just be careful.
 
Pedr

Pedr

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Hi @MeAndMyDepression ,

I think you and I should chat and compare notes as I also have extremely TR depression, have failed ECT, MAOI's, all the popular meds combos, dTMS, Ketamine - everything except for stimulants: both Ritalin and Adderall help.

I also happen to have chronic pain (I guess I'm just lucky.../s) and am prescribed oxycodone for it. I discovered that if I happen to take Ritalin+Oxycodone at the same makes me feel 60% "human", which is the best I've managed in 27 years.

So, yes, you're not alone!
Pete
 
R

Recalcitrant78

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Very interesting. I'll be watching this thread. I have not ever treated my depression, just endured it and am now just starting down the road of doing something 21st century about it. I'm keeping my mind open. Stimulants do make me feel good.
 
Jam1990

Jam1990

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earth
Good for you if it’s working. That’s great that you’re getting relief. I would say just keep consulting with your doctor about it and make sure you’re getting regular blood work done to make sure it’s not causing any problems. I was on adderall for a period of time and it made me feel great, but I got off of it because of weight loss. Now I’m on Seroquel which does seem to help with a bit of my depression. I’ve considered ECT but it terrifies me.
 
D

dstmnd89x

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New Hampshire
I had a brief stint with Ritalin when I was struggling with focusing at work. Not sure if it did a whole lot but I do remember feeling extremely jittery and "on-edge" quite a bit. It was uncomfortable but perhaps just not a good mix with the certain anti-depressant I was on at the time. Who knows...
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I felt horrendous on Ritalin. Even worse apathy, lethargy and depression than usual! I had hopes it might make me feel a bit better as it's supposed to target Dopamine, and I'm aware that people with anhedonia / inability to feel pleasure, and who are easily addicted to things (me and me) are lacking in Dopamine. But nope. It did the opposite.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Hi @MeAndMyDepression ,

I discovered that if I happen to take Ritalin+Oxycodone at the same makes me feel 60% "human", which is the best I've managed in 27 years.
I think if a non-depressed / non-chronic pain person were to take that combo of meds, they might feel quite euphoric and amazing! So I guess it makes sense that someone who IS depressed, or ADHD, or in pain would feel MORE human or better taking them, but still not great.
 
Pedr

Pedr

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I think if a non-depressed / non-chronic pain person were to take that combo of meds, they might feel quite euphoric and amazing! So I guess it makes sense that someone who IS depressed, or ADHD, or in pain would feel MORE human or better taking them, but still not great.
Hey, yes, you might well think that! I partially agree, in that the oxycodone will produce a feeling of - if not euphoria - a feeling of wellbeing and happiness. But, Ritalin on Neurotypicals basically does nothing, which is pretty interesting. In fact, that's one of the ways PDocs diagnose ADD - they give the sufferer Ritalin and if it helps, bang - they have ADD! (Seriously!)

Cheers,
Pete
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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What!? Really!? I thought Ritalin on neurotypicals made them all speedy and hyper focused and that's why so many students pay a heap of money for one pill just so they can stay up all night studying!
 
Pedr

Pedr

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What!? Really!? I thought Ritalin on neurotypicals made them all speedy and hyper focused and that's why so many students pay a heap of money for one pill just so they can stay up all night studying!
Typically not, no. Adderall is the hot drug with college students although I'm not sure why an amphetaminergic drug has more of an effect on NT's than methylphenidate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Ohh, I didn't realise that.

I wonder if Adderall would help me then.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

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Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
513
Location
Australia
I have severe treatment-resistant depression. Nothing has worked for me. Not ECT, not TMS, nor any of the SSRIs. I don't even think Latuda or Lamictal or Seroquel is working for me. I recently asked my psychiatrist if I could try Ritalin to help me with my utterly poor concentration. Ritalin is used to treat ADD/ADHD. I don't think I have either of these conditions. But ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. Sounds like it might help me with my concentration. It hasn't, but it HAS helped me significantly with my depression. I now have significantly less thoughts of suicide. I feel more "up." Ritalin is a stimulant and--at least what's good for me--it can cause you to lose your appetite and as a result make you lose weight.

Here is what a Google search returned for "Ritalin for Depression":

"Can ritalin be used to treat depression?

Research from Harvard Medical School found that Ritalin and other psychostimulants are sometimes used for chronic depression that does not respond to conventional antidepressants. Ritalin works rapidly and is thus effective for the treatment of acute depression where the patient needs immediate relief."


In the United States, it is classified as a Schedule 2 drug--a controlled substance. It has a high potential for abuse. Here are some examples of the drugs that are in each schedule:
  • Schedule 1: marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms.
  • Schedule 2: cocaine, meth, oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin, and Vicodin.
  • Schedule 3: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.
  • Schedule 4: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, and Ambien.
I just started taking it eight days ago (36 mg Extended Release). I take it once a day in the morning. I take the generic version of it: Methylphenidate Hydrochloride.

I hope it continues to help me, and I'm anxious to tell my psychiatrist about how it is working for me--at least so far. I have to watch out for any negative side effects.

Something for you to consider...
I'm so glad to hear something has worked for you. I think stimulants are a good but underrated treatment for depression. They should get more attention. I take a stimulant in the classic form of caffeine (good ol' cup of coffee twice a day) and it works great. It has changed my life.

With caffeine however it stops working as effectively after a while so I don't take too much and sometimes I give a break so my body can get "surprised" again and the drug works better.
 
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