Phentermine Psychological Side Effects

For those wanting to jump start their weight loss journey, Phentermine sounds like a magical solution. Its response and effectiveness are even backed by studies- which reveal that it helps people lose approximately one extra pound per week. Despite its success in assisting people in losing weight, Phentermine can induce some potentially severe psychological effects. 

A large part of being healthy is scrutinizing what one puts into his body. Hence, it pays to be informed of the risks that come with taking Phentermine.


Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low energy, low mood, low self-worth, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep, loss of interest or pleasure, and feelings of guilt. Studies focusing on Phentermine and depression found that there’s a relationship between the two. Evidence on this subject is limited, but one study revealed that Phentermine caused depression-related adverse effects. While it is useful in helping people lose weight, it brought feelings of depression. That being said, this weight loss pill has pro-depressive effects, which can be explained by various theories.

One theory that could explain how Phentermine induces pro-depressive effects is that it’s a stimulant. As a stimulant, it amplifies reactions and intensifies emotions a person already has. On that note, a person who has a history of depression has greater chances of experiencing Phentermine’s pro-depressive effects. 

Another is the impact of dramatic weight loss on a person’s hormonal levels. Like gaining weight, losing weight in a relatively short period changes the hormones. The estrogen released is linked to the fat cells in the body, and this causes hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances directly impact a person’s emotions, which is why some people experience depression after taking Phentermine.

Ways to Overcome Phentermine Depression

Expressing one’s self

Talking about one’s feelings with someone who understands can keep a person from feeling alone. While voicing out emotions during episodes of depression can be challenging, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences. If a person keeps on isolating himself, he may end up with suicidal thoughts. Having someone to talk to can provide comfort and eventually take his mind off all the negative thoughts.

Keeping a regular sleep schedule

Sleep and mood go hand in hand. Inadequate sleep can trigger stress, and even partial sleep deprivation has a serious effect on a person’s mood. While a person can sleep in excessively during the day after staying up all night, it’s a sure-fire way to feed depression. Therefore, it’s extremely important to keep a regular sleep schedule.


The last thing people who are depressed would want to do is to exercise. Yet, they should at least take a 30-minute brisk walk every day even if they don’t feel much like being active. Exercise releases endorphins, which boosts the mood.


This refers to a condition that affects the way the brain processes information and interprets the real world. A person who has psychosis loses some contact with reality. This involves hearing or seeing things as well as believing things that aren’t true. While psychosis can be triggered by stress, alcohol misuse, brain tumor, and traumatic experience, drug misuse also plays a significant role in developing this condition. The famous weight loss pill, Phentermine, has been reported to cause psychosis. Several studies presented cases of psychosis as a profound delayed psychological effect of Phentermine. 

After repeated Phentermine administrations, a 25-year-old Asian woman developed psychotic episodes. Accordingly, she resorted to Phentermine because she became conscious of her weight from time to time. She overdosed herself with 112.5-150.0 mg of Phentermine per day in hopes of dramatic weight loss. Four weeks after the first day of overdose, she experienced psychotic symptoms. For this reason, she had to quit school and take years of sick leave. Her psychotic symptoms only subsided after quitting Phentermine and taking anti-psychotics instead. When she returned to school, she became conscious of her body image once again. Thus, she started re-taking the weight loss pill. She took Phentermine irregularly at first until it progressed to taking four times the recommended dosage. Shortly after, she began having hallucinations of people trying to physically abuse her and her parents scolding her for taking Phentermine once again. 

Another notable case is a 38-year-old woman who presented hallucinations after 9 months of taking Phentermine. The weight loss pill allowed her to shed 70 pounds at the expense of her mental health. She doesn’t have any family history of psychosis, and she was previously healthy before the admission of Phentermine. This means that the weight loss pill mainly causes a serious adverse reaction.

Putting these two cases in perspective, it is evident that Phentermine is likely to precipitate psychosis. 

Early Warning Signs of Psychosis

Research has it that early signs of psychosis rarely come suddenly. Most often than not, the development of psychosis is a gradual process. A person experiences gradual changes in thoughts and perceptions but cannot distinguish what’s going on. A 20-year-old male who displays the early warning signs of psychosis can be hard to differentiate from the typical teenager. While the signs are not that alarming, they may indicate the need to get an early assessment from a physician.

Seeking help for early psychosis provides the best hope of recovery. Experts of the condition can help slow down, stop, and possibly reverse its effects. The first ones to encourage treatment should be the patient’s family. This is primarily because they are the first ones to see the early signs of psychosis. These include:

  • having strong and inappropriate emotions
  • having no feelings at all
  • trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
  • spending a lot of time alone than usual
  • feelings of extreme worry over a job performance or drop in grades
  • feelings of uneasiness
  • constantly suspecting others
  • sudden decline in self-care or hygiene
  • withdrawing from family and friends

Symptoms of Psychosis

  • Confused Thinking. The thoughts of a person with psychosis don’t join up properly, which creates confusion. Thoughts either slow down or speed up, which makes it difficult for the person to follow a conversation. 
  • Self-harm or Suicidal Thoughts. The person may have thoughts of doing self-harm or committing suicide. Significant suicide risk calls for a medical emergency, and those present during the psychotic episode should bring the person to the nearest hospital emergency department.
  • Disordered Behavior. Acting like a child, feeling agitated, swearing, and shouting are common disordered behaviors of a person with psychosis. He might also find it challenging to manage his day-to-life and perform the most straightforward task.
  • Hallucinations. This happens when a person sees, feels, smells, and hears things that do not exist. The most common form of hallucination is auditory, which involves hearing voices and sounds that aren’t there.
  • Delusions. Delusions are strong beliefs that are unlikely to be true for someone of the same cultural background. This condition can take different forms, but the most common is paranoia, making the person think he is always being watched.

Psychological Dependence (Addiction)

Addiction is mainly a concern for Phentermine, with more people turning to it for its speedy weight loss effects. A person who is psychologically dependent on the weight loss pill typically takes higher doses than usual. However, even taking Phentermine at the standard dosage carries a risk of psychological dependence and involves the potential for abuse. Per FDA guidelines, a person should not take Phentermine for more than 12 weeks. This is mainly due to the pill’s addictive potential. 

Regular long-term misuse of Phentermine makes the person become overly dependent on it and develops a tolerance. This means that the dieter who has developed a tolerance for Phentermine will start needing more of it to obtain the same effects as before. This opens up even more significant risks and deadly consequences.