Adderall and Anxiety: Does Adderall Treat or Cause Anxiety?
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world and Adderall is one of the most popular prescription drugs available. Due to the prevalence of anxiety and how well-known Adderall’s attention-boosting effects are, it is understandable that some people might attempt to use the drug to treat the mental illness.
However, treating anxiety is not the primary use of Adderall. Many people ask, “What is Adderall used for?” The drug is most often prescribed to treat narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many people use Adderall for anxiety, which can have a range of effects, including increased stress.
Does Adderall help with anxiety, though? In many cases, the answer depends on which type of anxiety someone has. Adderall can increase a person’s self-confidence and excitement to participate in activities, which could alleviate the anxiety connected to low self-esteem.
A 2010 study on the prevalence of mood disorders in people who have narcolepsy revealed a significant crossover. More than half of the patients with narcolepsy had panic attacks or symptoms of an anxiety disorder. There is also a correlation between ADHD and anxiety: Approximately 50 percent of adults who struggle with the former also have the latter disorder.
For some people, Adderall causes anxiety more indirectly. Since the drug increases feel-good neurotransmitter levels in the brain, people can experience negative feelings as the drug’s effects wear off. The number of neurotransmitters reduces as the body readjusts its chemical balance. The boost in energy can be replaced with overwhelming drowsiness, and a person’s temporarily improved self-confidence can diminish in favor of increased anxiety due to lower-than-usual self-esteem.
Additionally, if someone takes Adderall consistently they could develop a chemical dependence on the drug. This reliance can form an Adderall addiction and cause people to feel anxious when they are not using the drug.
When someone develops consistent anxiousness due to using Adderall, they should contact their doctor to discuss how to manage their anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax and Valium, can help but are highly addictive. Any medication should be discussed with a medical professional before use begins.
If Adderall use led to a person’s anxiety, then stopping the use of the drug could end the anxious feelings. However, if a dependence formed, then the person could experience withdrawal symptoms, including even more anxiety due to the low amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain.
If someone becomes addicted to Adderall, they should consider contacting a treatment center and undergoing a detox from the substance. By slowly reducing the dosage and frequency of Adderall usage, the effects of withdrawal are eliminated and the patient can manage their anxiety caused by Adderall with the help of medical supervision.
If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety and substance abuse, contact a representative from The Recovery Village. There might be safer methods to treat anxiety without risking an addiction forming. Additionally, if you or your loved one currently take Adderall to treat ADHD or narcolepsy and experienced anxiety due to the drug, then consider seeking alternative medications. Stopping all Adderall use can be difficult, especially if the dosage was frequent enough that a dependency developed. The Recovery Village can help people detox from Adderall in a safe environment with the 24-hour support of doctors and nurses who specialize in rehabilitation and recovery.
Have more questions about Adderall abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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