Adderall helps millions of people dealing with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This prescription drug also assists those who suffer from a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. Taken at recommended dosages, which includes both immediate and extended-release tablets, Adderall often proves fairly risk-free. For some, there is a risk of developing Adderall paranoia.
Symptoms of Adderall Paranoia
Paranoia related to Adderall use or abuse falls under the heading of a symptom of Adderall-induced psychosis. Paranoia symptoms can include some of the following:
- Unfounded suspicions that the person is being watched or monitored
- A belief that someone or something is out to control or cause harm to them
- Mistrust of others, including family and friends the person used to trust
- Exhibiting a defensive or argumentative attitude, particularly when questioned about their paranoid symptoms
- Difficulty relaxing and enjoying life
- An unhealthy focus on paranoia related subjects pertaining to religion, politics, law enforcement, and other volatile topics
Psychosis Symptoms That May Accompany Adderall Paranoia
While Adderall paranoia has its own set of symptoms, since it falls under the heading of Adderall psychosis, other symptoms may also occur. These include:
- Auditory hallucinations or hearing things that are not happening
- Visual hallucinations or seeing things that are not occurring
- Other hallucinations, such as smelling or feeling things that are not present
- Delusions related to their own abilities, such as the person believing they have superpowers or are a revered religious figure, such as Jesus
- A belief that they can communicate with those in other realms, such as the dead
- A tendency to misinterpret events or things said to them, often assigning hidden meanings to them
- Difficulty processing thoughts and concentrating
- Withdrawing from family, friends, and hobbies
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling suicidal
Getting a Diagnosis for Adderall Paranoia
Each year, as many as 100,000 people experience at least one episode of psychosis. If a person or someone they know may be dealing with symptoms of paranoia, the first step involves seeing a doctor. Clinical professionals can conduct a medical and psychiatric evaluation to understand if paranoia is present.
Paranoia can result from a number of causes, making it important to tell the evaluating doctor if the person takes Adderall. The patient should disclose how often they take Adderall and what amount, including overusing or abusing it. Having all the information assists doctors in making a full and accurate diagnosis.
If a doctor detects psychosis in a patient, it may be caused by Adderall usage. The condition may also be the result of illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntingdon’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, a stroke, or a brain tumor. An undiagnosed head injury, even one received in the distant past, can account for some cases of psychosis.
Why Does Someone Experience Adderall-Related Psychosis Symptoms?
Adderall causes a disruption in the chemical pathways in the brain. This can cause a disconnection between the senses and the brain, which may cause a psychotic episode. Usage of any stimulant such as Adderall puts a person at risk of experiencing a psychotic episode, including paranoia.
Not all medical and clinical experts agree on the cause of developing paranoia and psychosis in relation to Adderall usage. One theory involves the idea that common Adderall side effects can contribute to the development of psychotic symptoms. These side effects include headaches, difficulty sleeping, and nervousness.
The dosage taken can affect side effects, including paranoia. A person who takes higher amounts of the medication or takes it more often than others may be at a higher risk of developing paranoia.
Individuals with a family history of mental illness often prove more likely to develop psychosis. A child or adolescent with a family history of mental illness may have an increased risk of developing drug-induced psychotic symptoms. A study showed that 0.21% of adolescents who take amphetamines showed signs of psychosis.
Anyone who experiences Adderall-related psychosis or paranoia has just reason to be concerned. However, it’s important to keep in mind the minuscule number of cases that occur. All prescription drugs contain some amount of risk for side effects, which reinforces the fact that communication with prescribing doctors proves important.
Ways to Seek Help for Adderall Paranoia and Addiction
Sometimes a person with a prescription for Adderall develops an addiction to the drug. It may come from recommended amounts of usage or because an individual has begun abusing the medication. If Adderall paranoia and related symptoms have become a problem, the person should seek medical help.
Treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction all offer plans that can assist with problems related to Adderall use or abuse. Detoxification programs (detox) are often the first step. After completion, the next step options include residential treatment facilities, intensive outpatient programs, and partial hospitalization programs.
Sober living homes offer someone new to sobriety a chance to live in a safe environment with caring managers. They and their peers learn to adjust to life without an addictive substance such as Adderall. Often medication-assistance treatment provides safe medications to help ease any withdrawal symptoms from Adderall and other drugs.
Usage of anti-psychotic medications can help stop or reduce paranoia symptoms. Medical professionals will monitor the patient to see how these types of meds affect them. They may be discontinued after short-term usage if they are no longer needed.
Talk therapy also offers assistance in helping those who deal with psychosis. Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy, also referred to as CBT, in partnership with the right medication can offer relief.
At the first sign of possible symptoms of Adderall paranoia, a person should speak to their doctor. They can discuss treatment options and help reduce or remove the risk of continued feelings of paranoia.
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