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Can Adderall Cause Psychosis?

Can Adderall cause psychosis

Can Adderall Cause Psychosis?

Adderall is a prescription drug that helps treat patients with mental health disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). But can Adderall cause psychosis?

Psychosis is a serious mental health condition that impacts the daily life of an individual. If an individual fails to identify and treat psychosis, it can wreak havoc in their lives. Psychosis can create an imbalance in an individual’s professional and personal life.

In this blog, we will explore an answer to the questions: ‘What is psychosis?’ and ‘Can Adderall cause psychosis?’.

What is psychosis?

What is psychosis?

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Before answering the question ‘Can Adderall cause psychosis?’, it is crucial to understand what psychosis is. As per data from the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, about 100,000 people in the United States suffer from symptoms of psychosis every year.

An individual who is suffering from psychosis may lose touch with reality. This mental health condition affects the mind of an individual. Psychosis can occur as a symptom of other mental health conditions.

However, some people might suffer from symptoms of psychosis as a side effect of misusing and abusing stimulants. Symptoms of psychosis include having disturbed and intrusive thoughts. People who have psychosis find it challenging to differentiate between their thoughts and reality.

A person who is addicted to prescribed stimulants may have psychosis as a withdrawal symptom of ceasing the use of those stimulants. In the next section, we will address the question: ‘Can Adderall cause psychosis?’.

Can Adderall cause Psychosis?

Can Adderall cause Psychosis?

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Adderall is a prescription drug that helps patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). But can Adderall cause psychosis? A simple answer to this question is, yes, people who misuse or abuse Adderall are vulnerable to episodes of psychotic disorder.

Symptoms of psychosis that are a result of abusing and misusing stimulants like Adderall may confuse these symptoms with symptoms of schizophrenia. The following symptoms are some common symptoms of Adderall psychosis:

  • Paranoia and suspicion of others
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Hallucinations

Some people who suffer from Adderall psychosis may also hear voices and sounds. Therefore, it is crucial for those who are taking Adderall to be aware of these side effects. It is even more critical for people with a history of episodes of psychotic disorders to be transparent with their doctor if their doctor is prescribing them Adderall.

For whom can Adderall cause psychosis?

For whom can Adderall cause psychosis?

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By now, we are confident that you have found the answer to the question: ‘Can Adderall cause psychosis?’. However, it is not necessary for every patient who is taking Adderall on a prescription from a certified medical professional to suffer from episodes of psychotic disorder as well.

As long as people strictly adhere to valid prescriptions from their doctor, they may not suffer from episodes of psychotic disorder. However, individuals who are misusing Adderall without a prescription may be vulnerable to outbreaks of psychotic disorder. Additionally, individuals who have a family history of psychotic disorder or people with pre-existing conditions that affect their mental health may suffer from psychosis.

This brings us to the next section of this blog: For whom can Adderall cause psychosis? The pre-existing mental health conditions where Adderall can trigger psychotic disorders are as follows:

  • Bipolar Disorder: People who have bipolar disorder are prone to episodes of depression and mania. In such circumstances, Adderall can heighten episodes of psychotic disorders.
  • Some people are more vulnerable to specific mental health conditions due to their genetics. People who have a family history of episodes of psychotic disorder are vulnerable to developing psychotic disorder if they take Adderall.
  • People who have a history of or are already suffering from mental health disorders like schizophrenia can experience heightened symptoms of a psychotic disorder after taking Adderall. This is because Adderall can act as a catalyst for those who are already at risk of psychosis.
  • Lastly, people who are under immense stress and people whose sleep cycle is disturbed are also at risk of developing psychosis after taking Adderall. Sleep is crucial to ensure that our brain is functioning optimally. When an individual is sleep deprived, their brain is vulnerable to episodes of psychotic disorder.

Therefore, patients must be transparent about their medical history when their doctor prescribes Adderall.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Adderall cause psychosis?

Yes, Adderall and other stimulants can cause psychosis. The symptoms of psychosis that are a result of stimulating drugs can appear to be similar to symptoms of schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to be transparent about your medical history of psychosis when your doctor is prescribing you Adderall for ADHD.

2. Can Adderall trigger a manic episode?

Yes, Adderall can potentially trigger a manic episode in some individuals. Adderall works by increasing the secretion of dopamine in the brain. Higher levels of dopamine make an individual vulnerable to attacks of manic depression and psychotic disorder.

3. What is the zombie effect of Adderall?

Sometimes, an individual may appear to be unnaturally quiet and lost after taking Adderall. This unnatural quietness, also called the zombie effect, is a side effect of Adderall when the dosage is high.

4. Can one recover from Adderall-induced psychosis?

Yes, it is possible to recover from Adderall-induced psychosis. Episodes of psychotic disorders that Adderall triggers calm down once the body flushes this drug out of the system.


Adderall is a helpful drug for those who are suffering from the symptoms of ADHD. But can Adderall cause psychosis? The answer is yes. People who abuse Adderall without a prescription and those with a complicated history of disrupted mental health can have psychosis after taking Adderall.

Adderall-induced symptoms of psychosis can be mild or severe. Since every individual is different, the symptoms of psychosis also vary. Just like any other type of psychosis, Adderall-induced psychosis also comes with symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.

Symptoms of psychosis can affect the critical thinking of an individual, which, in turn, impacts the quality of their lives. However, Adderall-induced psychosis is not a permanent phenomenon. The symptoms of psychosis start to disappear as Adderall starts getting flushed out of the system.

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