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The Effects of Adderall on a User’s Personality

Adderall Effect
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

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Adderall is a prescription drug used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Its active ingredients are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. There are concerns about the Adderall effects on personality.

This is because it binds to dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in the brain and the adrenal gland’s epinephrine receptors. This increases feel-good chemicals in the brain. The drugs also improve focus and alertness and may elicit feelings of euphoria.

Short-Term Adderall Side Effects

Adderall can have short-term side effects. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1*]  prints warnings on its packaging about possible negative psychiatric side effects. Patients who have a history of medical conditions or an underlying one are particularly vulnerable to these side effects.

They include insomnia, a lack of motivation and a general feeling of malaise and lethargy. Adderall may also make one feel irritable and depressed. Mental health patients may become aggressive or develop suicidal thoughts.

Long-Term Adderall Side Effects

Long-term use can also have side effects. Adderall enhances the function of a number of neurotransmitters [2*] , more so dopamine. With continued use, alteration in dopamine activity, as well as that of other neurotransmitters, can have an effect on the brain’s reward center. It can change the capacity to experience pleasure without amphetamine. Long-term use ingrains these changes and tolerance for Adderall may develop. This means that more of it is needed to get the same effect.

Adderall and Normal Person

Apart from tolerance and reliance, other long-term effects of using Adderall are:

  • An increased risk of heart disease, seizure, or a heart attack
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Labored breathing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Feeling edgy or nervous

Adderall Effects on Personality

Taking into consideration that the drug alters brain function, there is concern about whether it can change a user’s personality. In a 2021 study, 37,527 of 48,730 participants reported experiencing side effects. 95 of them or 0.25 percent experienced changes to their personality.

58.24 percent of women experienced the change compared to 41.76 percent of men. Additionally, Adderall effects on personality change were more prevalent in those aged 10 to 19 years old and those who had been taking the drug for between one and two years.

The following illustrates these findings further:

PERIOD OF ADDERALL USE 

PERCENTAGE OF THOSE AFFECTED 

Less than 1 month

9.09

1 to 6 months

9.09

6 to 12 months

0.0

1 to 2 years

45.45

2 to 5 years

27.27

5 to 10 years

9.09

More than 10 years

0.0

Signs of Adderall Abuse

There are several signs when a person is abusing Adderall:

  • Being more social and talkative 
  • Feelings of intense wellbeing or euphoria
  • Feelings of invisibility and grandiosity
  • A dry mouth
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Crushing and snorting the drug to feel its effects faster and for a more intense effect
  • Exceeding the prescribed dosage
  • Needing to take more than before for the same effect
  • Suffering withdrawal symptoms with a reduced dose
  • A flattened personality or becoming unusually quiet or withdrawn.
If you or someone you know is having trouble overcoming Adderall abuse, get in touch with our mental health experts today!

Adderall and Personality Disorders

Studies have established that there is considerable overlap between ADHD and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). About 30 percent of those who have adult ADHD also have BPD and about 20 percent of those who have BPD have adult ADHD. Both disorders affect self-regulation. BPD causes emotional dysregulation while ADHD mostly affects the functions of the motor and control of attention.

Adderall prescription

Can Adderall Cause Borderline Personality Disorder?

While it has been established that the use of Adderall can cause a personality change, it is important to distinguish this from the drug causing a personality disorder. It does not cause personality disorders. These emerge by late adolescence or in early adulthood. Also, while misusing substances can contribute to one developing a personality disorder, other factors like early life experiences and genetics also play a role.

Additionally, misusing Adderall can worsen the symptoms of BPD but cannot cause it. It can, however, cause and intensify side effects like agitation and irritability, sometimes to the point of causing scary, emotional episodes of uncontrolled rage.

Taking Adderall may also cause BPD patients to be more emotionally dysregulated [3*]  or cause intense bouts of dysphoria. This is a heightened or intense state of unhappiness, uneasiness, or dissatisfaction. This puts them at a higher risk of suicide or self-harm.

Get the Help You Need at MEDvidi

Whether you or  a loved one are dealing with Adderall effects on personality or other mind-altering prescribed medication, you can get the help you need at MEDvidi. The team of mental health experts at the clinic will examine and diagnose you to determine the best treatment for your precise condition and symptoms. If you have become dependent on Adderall or it is causing side effects, an altered dosage or use of another drug will be explored.

Get in touch and let us get you on the path to recovery from your condition and/or effects a prescribed drug is having on you and the quality of your life.

If you are experiencing troubling changes in your mental health, get an appointment with our certified expert today.

Sources

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3 sources
  1. ADDERALL® (CII). (2007)
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  2. Neurocognitive, Autonomic, and Mood Effects of Adderall: A Pilot Study of Healthy College Students. (2018)
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  3. Emotion dysregulation in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and borderline personality disorder
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology
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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.