Adderall & Psychosis

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Psychosis is a severe mental disorder where thoughts and emotions become impaired and the individual generally appears to have lost their overall grasp on reality. Those who are psychotic tend to socially withdraw and show little interest or motivation. The onset of psychosis may be further evidenced by depression, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, or a suspicion of people and things in their environment. Symptoms get worse as the untreated psychosis progresses. The individual may hallucinate or become delusional. Difficulty speaking, keeping on topic, or functioning becomes apparent. Anxiety and depression may also lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

Tumors and brain disease, dementia, HIV, and stroke can trigger psychosis. Drugs, prescribed stimulant abuse, and lack of sleep (narcolepsy or sleep deprivation) may also lead to the illness. Individuals experiencing extreme environment stressors, malnourishment, or that have a predisposition for psychosis are the most likely to suffer psychosis.

Aderall to Combat Psychosis

Adderall is a prescribed stimulant that alters brain chemicals that regulate central nervous impulse control and hyperactivity. Adderall is a combined amphetamine and dextroamphetamine stimulant most commonly used to treat narcolepsy, sleep disorders, and ADHD (attention deficit disporder). Amphetamines increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine brain chemicals necessary to regulate attention, focus, and concentration. Adderall helps restore the balance of brain neurotransmitters so the individual’s attention span is increased and they are less likely to become overly-emotional, hyperactive, impulsive, or prone to sudden attacks of deep sleep (narcolepsy).

Some Adderall side effects such as dry-mouth and anxiety, fatigue, stomach pain, and weight loss decrease as the body adjusts to the drug. ADHD patients eventually experience increased libido, energy, and cognitive performance. One in 12 US citizens are diagnosed with ADHD. Adderall is routinely prescribed for students whose lives have been significantly improved. Sales have also increased 30-times what they were in 2001. Although Adderall has proved beneficial, the CDC warns that one in five students with no psychosis symptoms abuse the drug. Like other amphetamine medications, Adderall becomes addictive with prolonged use and withdrawal symptoms should be anticipated upon quitting the drug.

The abuse of Adderall also results in high blood pressure and potentially fatal heart problems. Overdosing can also lead to stimulant psychosis.

Stimulant Psychosis

Stimulant psychosis results when the individual overdoses on stimulant medications prescribed to treat their initial psychosis. Adderall prescribed for ADHD is usually safe. But when amphetamines like Adderall are taken in large amounts, stimulant psychosis or “mania” symptoms become apparent. Discerning if the symptoms are stimulant psychosis or “standard” psychosis may be difficult. In most cases stimulant psychosis symptoms recede within 30 days after the medication is stopped. In rare cases, when the individual is genetically predisposed to psychosis, the stimulant psychosis leads to a permanent psychosis or schizophrenia.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Adderall & Psychosis," in, March 6, 2016, (accessed August 16, 2022).