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Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Modafinil for Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Modafinil is typically not a spoken of drug when you think of a treatment for depression.

The main uses of Modafinil are for conditions like Narcolepsy, ADD and ADHD, and for use as a stimulant among those nootropics users that are trying to get a strong mental and physical effect in order to work better.

However Modafinil can be effective as a means of treating depression and sometimes even anxiety due to the effect that it frequently has on important and critical neurotransmitters of the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, histamine and serotonin.

The following article will look into how you can use Modafinil for depression, SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and Atypical Depressive Disorder, and will look into research of exactly how Modafinil can benefit some of the these increasingly common conditions.

Let's start!

Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a drug that is frequently prescribed for Narcolepsy and ADHD, but that has changed, especially since the release of movies like 'Lucy' and 'Limitless' which has since pushed Modafinil into the nootropic limelight. Modafinil used to be an unknown medication even through it has existed for decades, but over the recent years its popularity has been quickly growing in leaps and bounds.

These movies came out in 2011 and 2014, and since then Modafinil has started flourishing, as well as many other sister drugs and Smart Drug alternatives, and there looks to be no indication that this interest is going to be slowing down anytime soon.

Two of the most popular generic forms of Modafinil are Modalert are Modvigil, and they can both be purchased easily online.

With this information in mind and without further ado, let’s look further into Modafinil for depression, and of how the drug can significantly benefit those users that are suffering from SADS, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

What makes Modafinil an effective treatment for depression?

There are a number of effects that Modafinil can have on the user that make it very effective for use in both treating and managing the symptoms of depression in users, and that can help users to improve their overall mood, memory and focusing abilities in a way that is non addictive and with generally limited side effects.

Modafinil activates a plethora of neurotransmitters, that when they are raised to higher than normal levels, or even just slightly above the baseline amount, they can significantly alter the effects that depression has on one’s mood.

Among these are:


The primary motivational neurotransmitter, released during nearly every single pleasurable activity, as well as when one succeeds, including everything from getting approval from someone you trust, acquiring a position of power or authority, and making a lot of money all at once, as well as during everything from having sex, eating, drinking and using alcohol and other drugs.

Dopamine is one of the primary neurotransmitters that Modafinil affects and that can result in feels of increased energy and productivity, which can really work wonders for those users looking to medicate their way out of depression.


Serotonin is a relaxant neurotransmitter, and is the main one that is used in SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors,) which is why this part of Modafinil can really work wonders in alleviating depression. Research has found that Modafinil was able to enhance serotonin release, but it does not cause serotonin release or re-uptake on its own and suggested that Modafinil increased electrosecretory coupling in neurons.


Histamine is the primary wakefulness promoting neurotransmitter in your brain and the primary neurotransmitter that Modafinil acts on that allows it to last for 12 to 15 hours at a time. Since depression can often make you drowsy and feel 'lazy', which can often lead to diving even further into a negative mental state, histamine can help keep you positive and awake, which will help you to break out of the cycle of depression and SADS.


The neurotransmitter that 'jacks up' or animates the physical body, also commonly known as adrenaline, or noradrenaline. The increased norepinephrine resulting from taking the Modafinil gives you a physical burst of energy that allows you to continue being motivated to work throughout the day. Since this neurotransmitter may also cause appetite suppression and jitters, be sure to maintain normal eating and sleeping patterns while using this drug over the long term.

For more information on all of these neurotransmitters, as well as general research confirming the effectiveness of Modafinil for depression, you can read the following studies:

Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

Modafinil vs other Nootropics

In comparison to other nootropics, Modafinil has a greater kick to it, as well as is noticeably longer lasting than other Smart Drugs out there, especially if you’re looking for a treatment for depression or SADS.

However, some of the other nootropics can be stacked with Modafinil in order to further enhance its effects.

These nootropics include, but aren't limited to, the following list:

  • Piracetam

  • Noopept

  • Aniracetam

  • Pramiracetam

  • CDP Choline

  • Alpha GPC Choline

  • Centrophenoxine

  • Uridine Monophosphate

  • Nefiracetam

  • Coluracetam

  • Fasoracetam

There are a host of other nootropics out there that might work for you, so be sure to checkout our other blog posts for additional information on these Smart Drugs.

Be sure to also share your experiences via our forum so that everyone in the community can learn from each other.

Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

Modafinil effects on mood, and why it helps depression

As we mentioned before, Modafinil can significantly improve your mood and depression, but how does the casual mood boost of Modafinil which only lasts 12 to 15 hours, actually contribute to better, faster and more effective long term recovery of depression? It's a fair and good question to be asking yourself.

Well, depression is something of a state dependent disorder, and as such when you continue on with the depression, allowing yourself to feel sad, sluggish, worn out and depressed all the time, you are digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole.

However, when you start taking some type of anti depressant drug, whether it is an SSRI, Modafinil, or another drug of choice, you are essentially elevating yourself temporarily out of this state of depression, which will provide you with temporary relief so that you can do things like move around, exercise, be social, tackle those daunting challenges etc.

This will, or at least as the psychological theory goes, give you the opportunity to gradually pull yourself out of your state of depression. It wont happen overnight, although the effects felt from the drugs will be almost immediate, but the journey out of depression or SADS can take time.

Try not to rush the process, give yourself manageable targets. Being consistent is key.

Modafinil for Depression, SAD, and Atypical Depressive Disorder

Final Thoughts

Modafinil is increasingly getting used for its effectiveness is boosting cognitive performance and general wakefulness.

However, it isn't widely known that Modafinil is also proving itself to be useful in the process of treating major depressive disorder, general depression and SADS, or seasonal effective disorders.

Where to buy Modafinil

While Modafinil can be purchased from your local pharmacy with a valid prescription, it can also be purchased online easily enough without a prescription.

That being said, it isn't obvious to know where to purchase from and which vendor you can trust. This is why we've prepared some detailed vendor reviews to help you find a supplier that best suits your needs based on how much you're looking to spend and what country you live in.

Remain productive and stay safe!


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