Is Adderall Causing My Anxiety?

Is Adderall Causing My Anxiety?

Table of Contents

What is Adderall​?

Adderall is a stimulant comprised of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These two stimulants work on the nervous system by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine . 1

Adderall is part of a class of drugs known as stimulants. Prescription stimulants often cause a feeling of rush or euphoria and increase blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Adderall is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Other drugs included in Schedule II are Dilaudid, Oxycontin, Percocet, and narcotics like morphine and opium .2

What Does Adderall Do?

Adderall is often prescribed to treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall can help improve focus and concentration. While the drug can improve focus, it’s important to know the Adderall side effects. Adderall’s side effects include nervousness, restlessness, headaches, problems getting to sleep or staying asleep, dizziness, dry mouth, and slowed speech. More severe Adderall side effects can include uncontrollable shaking or seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, and worsening mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.

Does Adderall Cause Anxiety?

A link between Adderall and anxiety is found in many cases. Also, anxiety, like the use of Adderall, occurs all over the world. Anxiety symptoms include nervousness, restlessness, feelings of danger, panic, rapid heart rate, and trembling. Other anxiety symptoms include weakness, lethargy, difficulty focusing, insomnia, desire to avoid things that cause anxiety, and performing certain behaviors repeatedly.

While Adderall continues to be a frequently prescribed drug, it makes sense that people might be tempted to attempt to use Adderall’s focus-improving effects to treat anxiety symptoms. Adderall is an uncommon treatment for anxiety and can actually make anxiety symptoms worse.

Does Adderall Help with Anxiety?

Over 50 percent of individuals living with ADHD also have anxiety. So why are Adderall and anxiety so closely linked? ADHD symptoms can make individuals feel distracted or unfocused, leaving people continuously worried. Treatment for ADHD shows that Adderall and anxiety go hand in hand in many cases. Anxiety adds another element to treating ADHD because strategies to address both the ADHD and anxiety symptoms must be developed. The symptoms can be challenging to manage, like panic attacks or anxiety attacks.

Adderall use can lead to panic attacks if used for a long time. Adderall is a stimulant, and long-term use can alter brain chemistry. When the use of Adderall stops, a sudden change can cause panic or other negative feelings.

What About Anxiety Attacks and Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant and can make anxiety symptoms worse. Anxiety attacks can occur when a person is worried or fearing that something terrible is going to happen. It’s important to have an appropriate care plan for both symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.

Managing Anxiety Caused by Adderall

Adderall and anxiety can be managed. With so many individuals living with anxiety and ADHD, treatment can significantly improve ADHD and anxiety symptoms. To find the best care, a doctor will look at which condition affects the quality of life the most. Adderall can help cut stress, improve attention, and give more mental energy. As far as anxiety, counseling has shown positive results, but you can also find strategies to help manage anxiety. For example, exercising, good nutrition, and quality sleep can reduce stress and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Anxiety medication is available and used as a treatment. Common medications used to treat anxiety are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. While anxiety medications cannot cure anxiety, they can help control some of the psychological symptoms of anxiety . 3

Does Adderall Affect Women Differently?

Women’s brains may have a different effect when using amphetamines like Adderall. Studies show Adderall has a more profound impact on men’s brains than women’s. Men may be more prone to Adderall addiction and abuse. But you don’t have to live with Adderall addiction; help is available. Detox is recommended at a rehabilitation center or through a medication-assisted treatment program, although these programs mainly treat opioid addiction. There are also inpatient centers, self-help, and 12-step fellowships to treat Adderall addiction as well.

Is There Anyone Who Shouldn't Use Adderall?

People with certain health conditions should avoid Adderall. It’s essential to communicate health details with your primary care provider or behavioral health provider. Don’t take Adderall if you are agitated or overly anxious, are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAIO. Don’t take Adderall if you have abused prescription drugs, street drugs, or alcohol, have allergies to Adderall, hyperthyroidism, or problems with high blood pressure.

Treating Adderall Abuse and Anxiety as Co-Occurring Conditions

Adderall addiction doesn’t appear to look like typical drug abuse. Adderall abuse may include being overly talkative, loss of appetite, unusual excitability, social withdrawal, financial troubles, aggression, sleeping for long periods, and exhaustion. You can also see excessive weight loss, relationship and financial problems, as well as impulsive behaviors.

Many people living with ADHD also have a diagnosis of another disorder 60-80 percent of the time. Many times the co-occurring condition is anxiety. Having this co-occurring condition makes treatment more difficult. Often, the health providers will find areas of impairment, such as where problems are happening in school, work, or family life. From this discussion, they will look for the most favorable treatment option. A provider may recommend cognitive behavior therapy for comorbid anxiety and Adderall to treat ADHD. However, it’s vital to be careful due to Adderall’s possibility of worsening the anxiety.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help calm anxiety. This therapy focuses on identifying and understanding individual patterns of thinking. Benefits are commonly found around 12 -16 weeks depending on the individual. CBT is collaborative and short-term goal-oriented care. CBT gets you actively involved in recovery and provides hands-on approaches to treatment.

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