Adderall Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Nearly three percent of the adult population in the United States has been diagnosed with the mental health disorder known as bipolar depression. The malady is typically characterized as causing extreme mood swings. Treatment generally involves counseling and medication intervention, which when combined, balances moods. The type of medication prescribed largely depends on the symptoms that patients experience. Though commonly prescribed for ADHD patients, for some, the stimulant medication Adderall shows some promise as a therapeutic agent.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I patients suffer from severe manic moods described as being continually “revved up.” These individuals often demonstrate impatient and irritable behavior. Between manic episodes, patients feel normal or experience depression.

Bipolar II patients suffer from frequent and prolonged periods of depressive episodes that range from mild to severe. Between these episodes, individuals have periods of normalcy or brief manic episodes.

• Bipolar III disorder is a rare form of the affliction that is typified by recurrent episodes of depression with few instances of mania. This category of bipolar disorder often emerges during childhood or adolescence and usually has a genetic connection. The effects of medications must be monitored closely as antidepressants, steroids or stimulants can trigger mood swings in the opposite direction.

• Pre-Pubertal bipolar disorder develops during early adolescence. Patients diagnosed with this form of the disease often remain in manic periods for months or even years.

• Cyclothymia is initially a milder form of the disorder. However, the disease eventually worsens over time and evolves into Bipolar I or Bipolar II.

Adderall Treatment

The medication is generally prescribed in an attempt at correcting poor impulse control and to enhance concentration. These symptoms often plague suffers of bipolar disorder during manic phases of the illness. The effectiveness of using Adderall varies from one patient to the next. Mental health practitioners may prescribe the pharmaceutical soon after a patient demonstrates extreme manic episodes, over sedation from mood stabilizing meds or symptoms of ADHD.

However, the medication may also worsen mania along with causing sleep disruption, anorexia, weight loss and a tendency toward poor impulse control. Adderall might helpful if administered in conjunction with a mood stabilizing drug when impulse control is not immediately apparent. Problems with bipolar patients using the medication include the possibility of developing a tolerance. Between Adderall doses, patients may also experience increased symptoms of depression. The drug is additionally addictive and may appeal to individuals who prefer experiencing mania.

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