Does Wellbutrin help self-esteem? (5+ Helpful Tips)

In this article, we will answer: Does Wellbutrin help Self-Esteem? We will also discuss the mechanism of action, some research studies on Wellbutrin and self-esteem improvement, and its potential side effects.

Does Wellbutrin help self-esteem?

Wellbutrin may help with self-esteem indirectly. However, there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates the role of Wellbutrin in self-esteem improvement.

Wellbutrin is the brand name for Bupropion, a drug that is primarily used in the treatment of depression and helps with smoking cessation.

It works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. It works as a Norepinephrine-Dopamine reuptake inhibitor, thereby increasing their levels and alleviating the symptoms of depression (1).

However, evidence suggests that Wellbutrin can remediate negative biases in emotional processing (2).

For some individuals, alleviating symptoms of depression can indirectly improve self-esteem. However, it is important to understand that Wellbutrin is not a specific treatment for low self-esteem.

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is FDA-approved for the treatment of (1):

  • Adult depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Smoking cessation

The off-label, non-FDA-approved uses include (1):

  • Anti-depressant-induced sexual dysfunction
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression associated with bipolar disorder
  • Obesity

Always consult with a healthcare professional because mental health issues like self-esteem are often best addressed with a combination of drugs, psychotherapy and counselling.

What is the relationship between depression and self-esteem?

Self-esteem is a psychological condition and can be defined as the individual’s positive or negative attitude towards the self as a totality (3).

Negative self-esteem impacts individuals on multiple levels such as:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Negative Thought Patterns
  • Mood Fluctuations
  • Neglect of Well-being
  • Stress

There is a complex relationship between depression and self-esteem. Depression often involves negative thought patterns leading to a reduced sense of self-worth. Depression may also cause social withdrawal and isolation, exacerbating feelings of worthlessness, thereby resulting in low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem may also result in depression due to vulnerability and reduced coping mechanisms.

The use of Wellbutrin can offer a positive outlook, thereby reducing negative thoughts. Consequently, this cognitive restructuring can elevate mood and indirectly boost self-esteem.

What factors can affect self-esteem while taking Wellbutrin?

Several factors may affect self-esteem, such as:

  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Childhood experiences such as childhood traumas, neglect and abuse, and overcritical parents.
  • Bullying and peer pressure.
  • Academic and work failures.
  • Economic hardships, social marginalization or discrimination.
  • Toxic relationships, breakups or divorce.

Identifying the underlying cause of low self-esteem through accurate diagnosis is important for developing effective treatment plans. Without understanding the core problems, treatment may only address surface problems, leaving individuals vulnerable to recurrent episodes of low self-esteem.

Seeking professional help is essential in dealing with low self-esteem, especially when it is linked to mental health issues.

What are the Potential Side Effects and Contraindications of Taking Wellbutrin?

There are several side effects associated with Wellbutrin (1):

The use of Wellbutrin is also associated with a lowered seizure threshold and the potential of worsening suicidal ideation (4).

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is contraindicated in individuals with (1):

  • Seizure disorders
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Depression
  • Severe mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia

What are the Alternatives to Wellbutrin for Improving Self-Esteem?

Treatment for self-esteem typically involves the following:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Community support
  • Professional support

Always remember to consult with a qualified mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and management.

Lifestyle changes can involve adopting healthier habits like balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep to bolster mental health.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a structured psychotherapy that can help negative thought patterns and behaviours.

Community support includes joining groups or networks to connect with others for shared experiences and mutual engagement which can boost your self-esteem significantly.

Professional support involves seeking help from therapists, counsellors, or psychiatrists for personalized, expert mental health care and treatment.

Helpful Tips to Improve Self-Esteem

Some helpful tips to boost self-esteem include:

  • Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations to develop a more optimistic mindset.
  • Try to identify achievable goals and don’t forget to celebrate each success to build confidence.
  • Embrace your imperfections and always remember that nobody is perfect and imperfections make us unique.
  • It is essential to focus and work on your strengths to improve your self-esteem.
  • Physical activity enhances mood and body image, improving self-esteem.
  • It is important to avoid comparisons.
  • Consider therapy to explore and address the cause of low self-esteem.
  • Connect with family and friends who encourage and uplift you.
  • Join workshops or groups that focus on building self-esteem.


Wellbutrin (Bupropion) may indirectly contribute to improving self-esteem in some individuals by alleviating symptoms of depression, leading to enhanced mood and energy levels. However, it is not a direct treatment for low self-esteem.

It is very important for individuals considering Wellbutrint to consult healthcare professionals. They can provide personalized advice based on the individual’s specific needs.

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Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A. Bupropion. [Updated 2023 Apr 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Walsh AEL, Browning M, Drevets WC, Furey M, Harmer CJ. Dissociable temporal effects of bupropion on behavioural measures of emotional and reward processing in depression. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2018 Mar 19;373(1742):20170030. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0030. PMID: 29352029; PMCID: PMC5790828.


Rosenberg M, Schooler C, Schoenbach C, Rosenberg F. Global self-esteem and specific self-esteem: different concepts, different outcomes. Am Soc Rev. 1995;60(1):141–56.


Ross S, Williams D. Bupropion: risks and benefits. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2005 Nov;4(6):995-1003. doi: 10.1517/14740338.4.6.995. PMID: 16255659.

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