Does Wellbutrin help with emotional dysregulation? (5 factors)
In this article, we will discuss whether Wellbutrin (Bupropion) can help with emotional dysregulation. We will also discuss some research studies and the potential factors influencing Wellbutrin’s effect on emotions.
Does Wellbutrin help with emotional dysregulation?
Yes, Wellbutrin (Bupropion) can help with emotional dysregulation. As an antidepressant, its primary purpose is to address mood disorders like depression and anxiety, which can significantly influence an individual’s emotional well-being.
Emotions are fundamental to an individual’s mental health, serving as a building block of psychological well-being. They influence thoughts, behaviours and overall mental health.
Wellbutrin a brand for Bupropion primarily works as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). By inhibiting the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, Wellbutrin increases their levels in the synaptic cleft, which helps regulate mood and alleviate symptoms of depression (1).
By managing mood disorders, Wellbutrin assists in managing and stabilizing emotions.
What does research suggest?
Numerous research studies have demonstrated that antidepressant medications, such as Wellbutrin, are associated with the improvement of emotional well-being.
One such study indicated that Wellbutrin, an antidepressant helps with emotional processing early in treatment by reducing negative biases, which is important for its effectiveness (2).
However, it can temporarily worsen issues with experiencing pleasure (anhedonia) in the beginning, but this tends to improve with long-term use (2).
Another study justified the use of Wellbutrin in decreasing emotional dysregulation in depressed patients. The research clarified that depressed patients taking Bupropion don’t seem to experience emotional numbness (3).
How does Wellbutrin help with emotional dysregulation?
The role of Wellbutrin in emotion regulation includes the following:
Depression management: Wellbutrin achieves mood stabilization by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, which helps regulate mood and diminishes feelings of sadness. This contributes to the promotion of positive emotions and overall emotional well-being.
Anxiety reduction: Wellbutrin promotes a sense of calm and reduces feelings of restlessness and unease, thereby enhancing emotional regulation and reducing anxiety.
Emotional resilience: Individuals using this medication often find themselves better equipped to handle life’s challenges and lead a more stable and positive emotional state.
However, it is important to note that individual responses to Wellbutrin can vary and some people may feel a lack of motivation after using Wellbutrin but this side effect subsides as the body gets used to the medication.
Potential factors influencing Wellbutrin’s effect on emotions
Several factors may influence Wellbutrin’s effect on emotions. It is important to understand that individual responses to Wellbutrin can vary due to these factors:
Medication dosage: A higher or lower dose may lead to different emotional responses.
Duration of use: The length of time an individual has been taking this medication can affect its efficacy.
Individual brain chemistry: Variations in neurotransmitter levels and receptors can influence how an individual responds to this medication.
Underlying conditions: Pre-existing conditions, such as mental health disorders, may influence how Wellbutrin affects emotions.
Compliance: Adherence to the prescribed treatment plan is important for stabilizing emotions.
Supplementary steps to improve emotional dysregulation while taking Wellbutrin
Other supplementary steps that you can take to improve emotional well-being while using Wellbutrin include:
Lifestyle changes: A healthy diet and regular exercise can help in improving an individual’s mood.
Psychological therapy: Participate in cognitive behavioural therapy alongside Wellbutrin, which involves identifying and changing thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to intense mood swings and impulsivity, promoting more effective emotion regulation strategies.
Medication optimization: You should work with your healthcare provider to enhance your treatment plan by optimizing your medication dosage and treatment plan.
In this article, we have delved into the beneficial effects of Wellbutrin on an individual’s emotional well-being. It is important to recognize that Wellbutrin is a valuable drug in promoting mental and emotional wellness.
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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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470212/
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.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790828/
Rzepa E, Dean Z, McCabe C. Bupropion Administration Increases Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Dorso-Medial Prefrontal Cortex. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Jun 1;20(6):455-462. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyx016. PMID: 28340244; PMCID: PMC5458340.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5458340/