Can Adderall Cause Psychosis?

Adderall is a prescription medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sometimes, both individuals with ADHD and those without misuse Adderall because it can make them feel happy and energetic. However, these positive feelings can quickly lead to a craving for more Adderall, addiction, and, in some cases, Adderall psychosis. Adderall psychosis is a rare but severe mental health issue.

People who experience Adderall psychosis describe it as being similar to schizophrenia. However, psychosis caused by drugs can improve quickly and is usually due to the drugs. In contrast, schizophrenia and other long-term mental health conditions require lifelong treatment.

Facilities specialized in addiction treatment can help manage Adderall psychosis, addressing both its immediate effects and the underlying Adderall addiction.

What Is Adderall Psychosis?

Adderall psychosis can cause hallucinations and paranoia. It can also lead to disturbing thoughts and difficulty separating reality from what isn’t real.

Adderall psychosis can cause scary things like seeing stuff that isn’t there, feeling very suspicious, having upsetting thoughts and feelings, and not being able to tell what’s real.

Adderall is a drug that makes the brain more active by altering chemicals that control emotions and reactions to stimuli. Significant alterations in these brain chemicals can increase the likelihood of experiencing psychosis.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that people who just started taking Adderall are more likely to have psychotic symptoms compared to those who have been taking it for a long time. However, even long-term users of Adderall can experience psychosis because of the drug.

Misusing Adderall by taking more than prescribed can increase the risk of experiencing a psychotic episode. Scientists are unsure about who will develop psychosis from Adderall or the reasons behind it. However, certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing psychosis.

Factors that can increase the risk of developing Adderall psychosis include:

  • Their genetic makeup
  • Having other mental health issues at the same time
  • Personal or family history of drug use or mental health challenges
  • The amount of Adderall they take
  • The method of taking Adderall
  • Experiencing a lot of stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sleep deprivation, or lack of sufficient sleep
  • Facing difficult life events
  • Using other drugs and alcohol along with Adderall
  • Previous excessive use of Adderall

Some people might know about these risks already, but others might not. It’s essential to have a doctor check and watch over you before you start any medicine, whether legal or not. This way, you can make smart choices about your health and understand the risks better.

adderall psychosis

Symptoms of Adderall Psychosis

The symptoms of Adderall psychosis and other amphetamine-related psychiatric disorders can vary from mild to very severe, and they might not always be obvious to others. The length and severity of these symptoms vary among individuals. However, other types of psychosis are long-term mental health issues that require lifelong treatment and therapy.

Feeling extremely paranoid is a symptom of psychosis, which often occurs with other symptoms. However, doctors usually discuss these symptoms together because they typically happen simultaneously.

Common signs of Adderall psychosis and paranoia include:

  • Constantly feeling tense or on edge
  • Being unable to relax
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Quickly becoming defensive or argumentative
  • Responding to simple questions with distrust
  • Excessive suspicion and cautiousness, even around trusted people
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Confused or unclear speech
  • Uncontrollable or excessive movements
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Preferring to be alone
  • Hallucinations – hearing, feeling, or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Believing ordinary things have secret meanings or messages
  • Angry outbursts or harmful behavior
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Attempting self-harm

Never try to physically restrain someone who is having a mental health crisis or drug-induced psychosis. Instead, give them space and speak to them calmly and kindly until you can guide them to a safe place and wait for the effects to wear off.

When someone takes Adderall, they may experience auditory hallucinations. These hallucinations may involve voices instructing them to do things that are not based on reality. As a result, the individual may feel compelled to act on these false thoughts. If they don’t realize these voices aren’t real, they could pose a risk to themselves or others.

If there’s an immediate danger, call emergency services and inform them it’s a mental health situation. The arrival of strangers or police might worsen the psychosis, so it’s crucial to prepare the emergency responders for what they might encounter.

Typically, symptoms of Adderall-induced psychosis fade within a few days to weeks, provided the person stops taking stimulants or other drugs that could prolong the psychosis. Less than 10% of individuals experience psychosis lasting more than a year. Of those, 93% improved with long-term antipsychotic medication.

Side Effects of Adderall

The side effects of Adderall vary from person to person. Individuals who use small doses for ADHD treatment often don’t experience severe side effects. However, those who take Adderall recreationally or in large amounts are more likely to face serious side effects.

Common side effects of Adderall include:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Becoming easily upset or irritated

These side effects are common, especially when Adderall is taken with other medications or used for a long time. More side effects may occur as well.

adderall abuse side effects

Long-Term Side Effects

When someone misuses Adderall over a long period, they may experience lasting side effects that impact their mental and physical health. The long-term side effects of Adderall misuse include:

  • Deep sadness (depression)
  • Frequent worry (anxiety)
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Significant weight loss
  • Nutrient deficiency (malnutrition)
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Drug addiction
  • Risk of having a stroke

The short-term or long-term side effects of Adderall alone don’t necessarily cause Adderall-induced psychosis. However, in some cases, these side effects might combine with other triggering factors, creating the perfect conditions for psychosis to occur.

Addiction Group Therapy at Northridge Addiction Treatment Center

Treating Adderall psychosis requires treatment facilities that provide a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that addresses both substance use disorders and concurrent mental illness.

At Northridge Addiction Treatment Center, we create personalized treatment plans for healing the whole person: mind, body, and spirit, grounded in proven research. Our residents benefit from medical detox and residential treatment and receive support from our compassionate team of licensed addiction specialists with professional expertise. They are dedicated to your successful recovery, helping you forge a fulfilling, addiction-free life.

Feel free to contact us now to take the first step towards a life enriched with meaningful recovery.

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