Xanax
and Depression

Xanax is a prescription medication. It’s mainly used to treat anxiety disorders and anxiety caused by depression. Xanax may also be used to treat panic disorders.

Xanax treats numerous anxiety disorders which is part of what made it such a heavily prescribed medication. Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with anxiety and it is not something that should be ignored or taken lightly. However, Xanax is a highly addictive drug, and using it to treat people that struggle with depression is controversial.

Can Xanax Cause Depression?

Xanax is generally safest when used for no longer than six weeks. However, some doctors allow patients to get multiple refills for longer periods of time. Oftentimes anxiety may lead to depressive symptoms and Xanax is mainly used to treat anxiety disorders.​​​1

It may be difficult to tell if the depression occurred on its own or if the use of Xanax played a part in the development of depression symptoms. That said, when Xanax is taken for too long or misused it’s possible to develop a dependence to this drug. Symptoms of depression may begin to occur when this drug is used improperly or taken in a binge-like pattern.

Since Xanax has sedative properties it may cause symptoms of depression or create more of a problem for those who are already depressed.

Can Xanax Help Depression?

Using Xanax to treat depression is controversial, but a doctor may occasionally decide to prescribe Xanax to a patient dealing with depression. Clinical studies have shown that Xanax will help relieve symptoms of major depressive disorder. However, it isn’t usually used to treat depression because there are many safer medications and treatments available.

Since Xanax is highly addictive, especially when used at high doses for a long period, it is generally considered to be a high risk with low reward when using it to treat depression.

Is it Safe to Take Xanax for Depression?

The use of Xanax for treating depression is controversial. In some, when used for a short period, Xanax has been shown to be safe and may have good results when treating symptoms of depression. However, those who need to take an antidepressant will often need to take it for two to three months before they start making notable progress and that’s where the problem with taking Xanax for depression comes in.

Since Xanax is highly addictive when it is taken at high dosages for long periods, someone who is taking it to treat depression may seem to be having great results but when they stop taking it they may feel as though they went right back to being depressed once again.

Ultimately there are lots of other better and safer alternatives that should be tried first.

Can You Become Addicted to Xanax?

Yes, you can become addicted to Xanax, specifically when it is taken at high dosages for long periods. Xanax has sedative properties that can create a sense of euphoria when abused. This may cause someone to take higher dosages of it or use it regularly for a long time. This is where addiction can occur as this will create a dependence on the drug. Someone who is taking Xanax for a long time may begin to feel as though they can’t function properly without it.

Snorting Xanax

Some people may try to use Xanax recreationally by crushing it up and snorting it. This causes effects much sooner, as quickly as 2 minutes, and will create the same “high” that it normally would. By abusing it like this, it easier to take much higher than recommended doses and use it in a binge-like pattern which increased the risk of becoming addicted.2 Xanax abuse in recent years has increased. This is becoming an increasing issue and using Xanax in this way is very harmful to both the body and the mind.

What Treatments are Available for a Xanax Addiction?

Although Xanax is highly addictive, it is still heavily prescribed in the United States because it is effective for treating many anxiety disorders. Xanax may be abused by patients seeking relief for their conditions or by those using it recreationally to get “high” from its euphoric effects. If you feel that you or someone you know has reached the point where treatment for Xanax use disorder is necessary, there are many different options available.

Treating Physical Dependence

The first part of the treatment process focuses on physical dependence to take Xanax. Going to a treatment center is often a good option because it will allow you to stay in a drug-free environment away from temptations while detoxing. A treatment center staff will be well trained to help make the process as effective and low stress as possible.

Treating Psychological Dependence

The second part of treatment is exploring the underlying reason that led you to abuse the drug. When someone develops a dependence for a drug there is a large mental aspect to that. Things such as behavioral therapy are very helpful in redirecting thought patterns and learning about positive outlets and coping mechanisms that can help deal with stress and triggers. There may also be lingering traumas or issues that come up in therapy. A therapist can work closely with you through any underlying traumas or pain that have been causing distress.

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