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Accutane and Depression: What’s the Link?

A type of drug called Accutane is used to treat severe or persistent acne. While using Accutane, however, some people may experience mood swings. One of this medication’s major negative effects for some people is depression. For more information on the connection between Accutane and depression, continue reading.


Difference Between Anxiety and Depression – Accutane and Depression

Anxiety and depression difference: The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression.

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as possible since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and depression difference: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression?

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • SAD Seasonal Depression (Depressed SAD): A form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by the changing of the seasons; it starts and ends about at the same periods each year. If you have SAD like the majority of people do, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. Typically, these symptoms go away in the spring and summer. SAD less frequently results in depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter. SAD treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and light therapy (phototherapy).

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Depression Fact Sheet

Depression Overview

Depression is a group of illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder that are connected to mood elevation or depression


Types of Depression

Clinical Depression: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Persistent depressive disorder: A mild but long-term form of depression.

Bipolar disorder: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

Bipolar II disorder:  A type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.

Postpartum depression: Depression that occurs after childbirth.

Depression Treatments

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Depression & Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


It might be necessary to discontinue using Accutane if you suffer from depression.
It might be necessary to discontinue using Accutane if you suffer from depression.

Accutane Depression

Does Accutane make you depressed? A type of drug called Accutane is used to treat severe or persistent acne. While using Accutane, however, some people may experience mood swings. One of this medication’s major negative effects for some people is depression.

Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder that can arise from clogged skin sebaceous glands or hair follicles. Severe acne sufferers could encounter regular, challenging-to-treat outbreaks on their back, chest, and face.

Despite numerous suggestions, experts are unable to explain how Accutane causes depression. Therefore, it would be helpful to conduct more research to find the connection. It might be necessary to discontinue using this medicine if you suffer from depression. For more information on the connection between Accutane and depression, continue reading.

Depression And Accutane: What is Accutane?

Can Accutane make you depressed? A prescription drug called Accutane is used to treat acne. Prior to prescribing Accutane, doctors may recommend other acne treatments such as topical medicines or antibiotics.

For severe recalcitrant nodular acne, a particular and severe form of the condition, doctors recommend Accutane. However, some medical professionals also recommend the drug to treat moderate acne that hasn’t responded to other forms of treatment or that returns fast after ceasing antibiotic therapies.

Isotretinoin, the primary component of Accutane, inhibits sebaceous gland activity in the skin. Another skin cell maturation step that Accutane inhibits is keratinization. Acne may result from these two skin-related processes. Doctors are unaware of how treating acne involves inhibiting these skin cell processes.

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Does Accutane Cause Depression?

How does Accutane cause depression? Research on the association between Accutane and depression is contradictory. As a side effect of the medicine, some people may experience depression. Soon after stopping Accutane, other people may also experience mood issues.

Depressive symptoms and signs may include:

  • A sad mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • A loss of pleasure or interest in activities
  • Low energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in weight or appetite

Although these are uncommon signs of depression with Accutane, suicidal thoughts and actions might nevertheless occur.

People must sign a consent document confirming they are aware of the hazards associated with taking Accutane before beginning treatment. They certify that they are aware of the potentially dangerous mood changes by signing the form. They also consent to discontinue taking Accutane and notify their physician if they exhibit any signs of sadness.

In order to verify that they have fully disclosed the dangers associated with using this drug, doctors must also sign the consent form. In addition to depression, acne can also result in a variety of psychological problems, including:

  • Self-esteem issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Conversely, by treating acne, Accutane may help improve depressive symptoms. However, the drug itself may cause depression.

Can Accutane Cause Depression? Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

A suicide prevention hotline can be useful if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached around the clock at 988. People with hearing impairments can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988 in an emergency.

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Accutane Side Effects Depression

Why depression is an Accutane adverse effect is a mystery to medical professionals. Some specialists, however, contend that the drug impacts the central nervous system and has an impact on the pathways that cause depression.

The following are some ways that Accutane might impact the neurological system and result in symptoms:

  • Blocking cell division in the hippocampus: This means the cells in this part of the brain may not function adequately.
  • Lower brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex: This means this part of the brain does not receive sufficient essential nutrients. The orbitofrontal cortex has a role in emotion.
  • Changes in serotonin and serotonin receptor levels in the brain: These chemicals have many bodily functions and may affect a person’s mood.
Although these are uncommon signs of depression with Accutane, suicidal thoughts and actions might nevertheless occur.
Although these are uncommon signs of depression with Accutane, suicidal thoughts and actions might nevertheless occur.

To properly understand and comprehend the relationship between Accutane and depression, additional research is necessary. Another idea contends that a person’s history of depression or other non-drug characteristics may contribute to the risk of depression associated with Accutane. You can search for Accutane depression stories online to understand that you’re not alone.

Side Effects Of Accutane Depression: What the Research Says?

Clinical research data on Accutane and depression yield conflicting findings. According to several studies, Accutane has no impact on mood. There were 40 instances where persons experienced psychiatric symptoms after discontinuing and then beginning Accutane, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 75 percent of these circumstances lacked a medical history of mood problems.

Between 13% and 16% of people in the United States and Western Europe have ever experienced depression in their lifetime, according to statistics on the lifetime prevalence of depressive illnesses. Reliable Source However, between 1 and 11% of Accutane users also experience depression.

Although depression may not happen in everyone using Accutane, it is a serious side effect that should be reported to medical professionals.

Does Accutane Depression Go Away?

After discontinuing Accutane, depression from the medication might not go away. Therefore, if depression develops, experts advise quitting the medicine. For some persons, a recommendation to a mental health professional may be required.

Avoiding St. John’s Wort usage

Some people use the natural treatment of St. John’s wort to treat their depression. There is a chance that St. John’s wort and hormonal contraceptives will interact with each other. Due to the possibility of a fetus having a congenital defect while taking Accutane, women who are capable of becoming pregnant must utilize reliable contraception.

St. John’s wort should generally be avoided by persons taking Accutane and hormonal contraception since they might get pregnant. People on Accutane should speak with their doctor before taking any medication for treating depression or elevating mood.

Why Does Accutane Cause Depression?

The daily dosage of Accutane that is advised might range from 0.5 mg to 1 mg per kilogram. Depending on the negative effects a patient may be experiencing and their body weight, doctors may change their Accutane dosage while they are taking it.

This is due to the fact that some adverse effects may be caused by the dosage rather than the medication itself.

A previous study from 2012 shows that consuming a larger dose does not increase the risk of depression. However, other negative effects, such as inflammation of the lips and elevated fat levels in the blood, may develop with increasing doses.

Accutane Depression Rate

Overall, depression in isotretinoin users is not very common. The percentage of persons taking the medicine who experience depression varies depending on which study you read. It can range from 1% to 11%.

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We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

How to get over alcohol depression? The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions. However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse.

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success.  A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction or in an alcohol depression cycle.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery. There is no set alcohol depression recovery time, each person has their own time.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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