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Avatar universal

Personality change caused from Adderall?

I am a junior in college and was diagnosed with ADD last November and as a result my doctor prescribed me two adderall prescriptions. One of them is a 20mg XR and the other is just a regular 5mg. The first 2 months i was taking adderall everything was great, i was doing better in school and I actually started to enjoy studying and learning new material for a change. But for the last month or so, i've noticed a change in my behavior. I feel almost disconnected from reality if that makes since. It's kind of like this semester hasn't really set in yet, even though im over a month into the semester. I've also felt like i've had trouble communicating with people, even people I know really well. I'm having trouble coming up with words to say and i feel like im always either saying the wrong word or taking a while to think of the right word, or i just don't say anything at all. About two weeks ago i started having problems either falling asleep or staying asleep. So i called my doctor and he prescribed me 50mg of trazadone to take at night. The trazadone helps, but i dont want to become dependent on a sleep medication. I know adderall can cause insomnia, but i didn't really notice a difference in my sleeping on days that i took it or didnt take it. Can adderall cause any of these symptoms?

I've had a history of depression, and the first 4 months of 2009 were without a doubt the the most difficult times of my life. I started taking lexipro and budeprion(sp?) for my depression, but i didnt really notice any changes until i started meeting with a psychiatrist. I stopped taking my depression medication in May of 2009, and also stopped meeting with my psychiatrist. After going through depression, I kind of re-prioritized my life and I can honestly say that the last 9 months have been the happiest times of my life. I'm not sure if these symptoms could be related to my depression or not.

Thanks in advance
25 Responses
757137 tn?1347200053
What your doctor forgot to tell you when he put you on Adderall is that it is closely related to crystal meth. So you are on a perpetual high and can't steep (and are probably also addicted). Now he has given you another drug to put you to sleep. So you are on uppers and downers. Very, very Hollywood. You had best find another doctor.
Avatar universal
My symptoms started a few weeks before i started having trouble sleeping. Could adderall cause any of my other symptoms besides insomnia? I do trust my doctor, he's a family friend and he also really helped me through my depression. When i do take the trazadone, it is always at least 8-10 hours after taking adderall. I'm not sure if that's enough time for the uppers to wear off or not. I also have problems sleeping at night even if i havent taken adderall that day. As for the addiction part, i dont really feel different on days or weekends that i dont take the adderall. I don't find myself craving it, or feeling down or sick when i dont take it. I also only take it on days when i have class or am studying, and occasionally i will take it before going to work.
189897 tn?1441130118
   As I am sure you have probably figured out by now, the last post - while true for people without ADHD - has got nothing to do with you.
   Your first symptoms sound like the dosage is too high for you.  The not sleeping at night could go either way.  Then I noticed you said that,"I also have problems sleeping at night even if i haven't taken adderall that day."  
   Since your doctor is someone who you can trust.  Make sure he has all the info and also that he has given you all the info.  Its a good chance that his prescription of  50mg of trazadone has more to do with your worries than the adderall.  You said, you called him.  Probably really need longer communication than that.  I can understand where he is coming from.  He is trying to help you.  But he should have said why he prescribed what he did.  You definitely need to discuss your disassociation problems.  Seems like it is more of a dosage problem.
   Finally, please realize that you got diagnosed for ADHD as a junior in College!  It doesn't just sneak up and whack you on the head one day.  You have had it from day one.  Probably ADD, but whatever.  You are so intelligent that you were able to cope with enough of the academics to get by.  Yet, you always knew that you should have - could have - been doing much better.  I think that led to your depression.  I know that it would have depressed the hell out of me.
  So do let your doctor know what is going on.  Believe it or not - medication is still very much a trial and error thing - all really based on patient feedback.
   Do some reading up on ADHD/ADD.  It can be both a blessing and a curse (if you don't know what it is).  You might enjoy reading, a new book by a UC Berkley honors student with severe  ADHD about growing up with ADHD.  The book is  called - "ADHD and Me,  What I learned from lighting fires at the dinner table," by  Blake Taylor.    Basically, "the Cal freshman tells hjow he made the ADHD work in his favor."  Two other good books - "Driven to Distraction" by Hallowell, and "The Gift of ADHD", by Honos-Webb.   Good luck! please post if  you have any other questions.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your post. I've done quite a bit of research on the different effects of the medication i'm on, but havent really looked at what is causing me to need the medication. I will definitely look at picking up one of those books.

When i first started having trouble sleeping, i kind of freaked out after the second night and decided to call my doctor and see if it was maybe a problem with my adderall dosage. His office is about an hour away, and i was getting pretty stressed out about getting a good nights sleep. I'm sure he took my history of depression into account when choosing what sleep medication i should try.

I'll give my doctor a call in the morning and try and set up an appointment to talk about my disassociation problems. I feel like its really starting to affect the way i talk to people lately.
189897 tn?1441130118
   I think that's a good idea.  By the way, there are also ways to deal with sleep problems.  They run the gamut from exercise to naps in the afternoon.  But it all kinda of depends on the cause.  Anxiety is huge.  It can be minimized with exercise, yoga, white music, and dealing with the anxiety.  
   Anyway, deal first with the dosage.  If you still having troubles with sleep.  You might want to start reading the "sleep disorders" forum.  Lots of people have similar problems - or give your psyc a call.  Do remember (this sounds stupid), that you have ADD and it profoundly can effect you.  So take some time to read up on it .  As somebody once said, know thy enemy - or something like that.
Avatar universal
That's kind of a weird thing, I have been exercising and working out regularly for my new years resolution. But i can definitely see my how my anxiety could cause some problems with my sleep pattern. I've also found that its harder for me to sleep if i don't have my fan on, it's a smaller one that makes just enough noise to cover up most other noise for me. I'll also take a look at the "sleep disorders" forum and see what i can come up with.
189897 tn?1441130118
Really understand about your fan.  Basically it provides a "white noise" that masks other noises.  I always go to bed with my radio set very lowly to a soft jazz station.  If I don't I hear everything that goes on outside and start wondering about the noises.
  Good Luck
Avatar universal
Sorry just ready your post.

Adderall can cause a lot of side effects. And one of them is Seizures and it can also cause depression .

Adderall was one of the drugs my son was on until we found out he was having Seizure's. The Adderall changed my son he would be very sleepy during the day and couldn't get him school done and at night he couldn't sleep well. So when his teacher said she thou it was not doing anything for him we changed to Concerta with didn't make things any better, he changed school the next year and the school nurse said she thou he looked like he was having Seizures. I didn't believe it but still told my son doctor, and  because I had been telling him about what his old teacher had said , thou she is the one who pushed for the drugs. he sent him for a EEG and then said he was sorry and that it came back that my son was having Seizures ,I did learn from a Hospital say when we fist found out that the drugs my son had been on could cause Seizure's. I have also learned that ADD and ADHD  can be  mistaken for what is really Seizures. Not all Seizures can be seen witch makes it very hard.

I now give my son Vitamin B6 and Omega 3-6-9 Vitamins to help him . along with all his Seizure medicine.And even on medicine for his Seizures he still has Seizures every day.

There have been cases where people have had stroke's and heart problems along with sudden death ,with have been on Adderall.

If you stop taken any of the drugs they give you need to ask your Doctors how to stop taken them.

And one last thing Adderall is just like Speed , people take it on the street to get a high.
800339 tn?1270437086
I take regular Adderall, so I'm not sure how long the XR last, but I can only assume it's probably 10-12 hours.  Did your doctor recommend that you take both pills at the same time, or your regular 5 mg later in the day?

I take 20-30 mg (in 10 mg pills) of Adderall, but I have been diagnosed with insomnia (due to another disorder).  So I know I shouldn't take my Adderall after 5 PM, since it has a life of 3-5 hours, if I want my sleeping pill to work.  So if you are taking your 5 mg pill later in the day, I would just make sure it's not being taken too late.

If you are having trouble communicating with people, thinking of what to say, and sleeping... these also sounds like symptoms of depression, does it not?  You said you have a history of depression, perhaps you should also look into getting your depression medications changed or tweaked a little now that you are on Adderall.

Adderall is an upper, and can affect sleep, cause agitation and create other side effects; however, it should be helping create a clearer mind, train of thought, etc., not causing them.

Best of luck,

Avatar universal
You should know that drugs do not always fix everything. If you return to your doctor after each time you have trouble sleeping or speaking, he will only give you another pill to take every morning. Your best bet may be to stop taking the adderall and sleeping pills and try living naturally. If you find yourself feeling depressed, take a walk outside, the fresh air will do you good. As for difficulty sleeping, after you discontinue your use of adderall, these difficulties should subside. I know that you have been taking the adderall for some time now, and that your withdrawl may be an extremely difficult time, but trust me, it will benefit you in the long run. Please do not feel as though drugs are your only source of help. They are a temporary (and often harmful) solution to a serious, longstanding problem. Find the joy in your life to replace them.

Avatar universal
You should know that drugs do not always fix everything. If you return to your doctor after each time you have trouble sleeping or speaking, he will only give you another pill to take every morning. Your best bet may be to stop taking the adderall and sleeping pills and try living naturally. If you find yourself feeling depressed, take a walk outside, the fresh air will do you good. As for difficulty sleeping, after you discontinue your use of adderall, these difficulties should subside. I myself took adderall for some time and after a while I began to feel severely depressed, and have since stopped taking it. I know that you have been taking the adderall for some time now, and that your withdrawl may be an extremely difficult time, but trust me, it will benefit you in the long run. I feel much better now that I have stopped taking it; I am no longer tied down by anything and I feel liberated and happy again. Please do not feel as though drugs are your only source of help. They are a temporary (and often harmful) solution to a serious, longstanding problem. Find the joy in your life to replace them.

1673468 tn?1304005021
1694727 tn?1306372457
RE: Emma746

Uhmmm so your suggestion is for her to replace her drugs to fix her Neurological problem (ADD) and replace it with, what, Joy? Are you from the school of thought that "if I can't see the disability, then it doesn't exist." by any chance?....I am profoundly deaf, use sign-language, but lip-read and socialize with those who can hear. It is a blessing and a curse, and it IS a disability in many ways. But my ADD has caused more problems in my life than my deafness ever did. I suppose I should have just walked outside a little more...that would have solved it. Silly me!
189897 tn?1441130118
   As they say in facebook, "like"!!!
1508881 tn?1313118501
Don't you know that you can just think yourself better! /sarcasm.

Seriously though, I know this is an old thread but I had to comment on what you said because I'm sick of people chiming in on people's post asking legitimate questions about medication and telling them to stop taking all pills and start praying to god to take way your sickness or eat a vegan diet or do whatever it is they think will "cure" you.

You can't just throw positive thoughts at mental illness and make it go away. Medication is essential to some people. If you don't believe in medication that's fine, but don't tell me that I'm wrong for taking it because vitamins are the cure or whatever.
Avatar universal
After reading everything written on here I'd figure I'd share my two cents. I'm a 26lot year old woman who has been on adderall for almost 6 years (given a month or so every year I wouldn't be on it just bc it was summer). I take 30mg of XR once a day. Of course it had nothing it's minor side affects, but nothing extreme. I'm not a person who gets addicted to drugs, but I started noticing a change in my behavior, my hands shaky, depressed at times, and here's what scared me, I starting taking 2 pills then up to 3 bc my body started to build a tolerance for the medication and the obvious addiction. I was never the type who would curse at my parents when in a disagreement. I don't call them names, I just curse and lash out. I started noticing that the smallest things annoy me. Here's what topped it off and scared the crap out of me, I not only have the issue of forgetting a simple word in a conversation I now have a minor stuttering problem. It's not all the time but it's an issue that bothers me and embarrassing at the same time. Any ideas on why/how I ended up with a slight stuttering problem? I'm very active in sports, gym, musical instruments, etc. My memory isn't like before, it's not that bad I'm noticing a decrease. I'm done with taking adderall, today is my last day. I can't sit here and blame anyone or thing, I just don't like what it's starting to do to me. I don't want to go through life depending on medication, granite I'm depressed at times but I refuse to take depression pills. I control myself, my mind, me. I used to meditate a lot (been doing so since I was 14) and will now make it a constant routine. It breaks my heart when I curse at my parents and can see the hurt in their eyes. I'm just adding frivolous stress to their life as well as my own. Sorry for the rant. I guess my main question is the stuttering. I've noticed after reading all the posts that I obviously don't have a severe ADD problem, if that was case I would've been diagnosed a long time ago. It was a great drug at the time but it slowly started to have adverse affects on me and got me hooked out of the blue. For those who haven't had any major side affects, I'm happy for you. But it's not for me, not anymore. Just keep an I eye on your child's behavior as time goes on, I would suggest natural supplements for young kids, not adderall.
Avatar universal
Yes Adderall has caused me a lot of problems...mainly with relationships due to the personality change I have when I'm on it.  I thought it was the best thing in the world when I started using it but now I usually just do **** I regret.  From my experience (four years taking it and swearing it off a million times only to come back to it), Adderall is a bad thing.  Sometimes I'm productive on it but sometimes I just look for trouble or get obsessed with really dumb **** or I clean.  I don't think it should be legally prescribed to people...ESPECIALLY not to kids.  
189897 tn?1441130118
     Kind of makes me wonder if you really had ADHD or ADD.  The effects seem different.  But everybody is different.  Hope things are going ok for you now !
Avatar universal
Is the adderall. I've dealt with these same symptoms. I've been off the drug for 6 months now and the withdrawal side effects are gradually getting better/less present. It's an uphill battle, yet we must keep hope. A happy mind makes a happy human. I wish you all the best! You can do it!
Avatar universal

I have been prescribed adderrall for the last 6 years. My Rx is for 30 mg XR daily. I open the gel cap and pour half in my mouth as I am usually uninsured in my line of work, it makes the Rx last longer. I stopped taking it the last week of December 2012. It took about 5 weeks for me to feel like I had my personality back. I wanted to let you know that your statements "I'm having trouble coming up with words to say and i feel like im always either saying the wrong word or taking a while to think of the right word, or i just don't say anything at all" rang true for me. This side effect (among other unpleasent side effects) increased in frequency and duration as the years flew past. I got to the point where I would eventually just hear myself talking outloud, almost like someone else was talking for me. I stopped making sense, I would struggle to remember the names of everyday items even if they were in my line of vision. I was angry about ANYTHING I could think to be angry about. The hives, irregular heart-beat, constant fight/flight response, serious hair loss, vision changes, sleeping problems, aggression, assumptions that I was able to read between all the lines- all the time, exagurated responses to all etc., feeling like "the world was ending" if something didnt go my way etc., high blood pressure, and more, made me realize it was time for a change...these were qll symptoms everyone around me could recognize... who knows what side effects were happening inside my body?

Im sorry to share so much negative info. because I credit Adderall with some of my success too. Even though I hate it, I will soon be going back to Grad school and I fear that it will be my only option...
Avatar universal
I went off antidepressant (Prozac) a few yrs ago, I felt wonderful for about 3 months, then I went down hill fast. Angry, resentful, unable to do work and wanting to sleep 20 hrs a day. I also felt disengaged with the world and it was like watching life on a TV.  I needed to be alone.  I had so wanted not to take antidepressants again and tried all the vits. and natural stuff and omega everything, it would ease a little for about 20 mins. I had to go back on antidepress. paxil, am ok but not good, doesn't really work well for me, but at least I don't want to scream  and hit every one. Man once you're on that stuff you, you (or me anyway) can't get on it, it changes your brain.  Ergo in my estimation I think it is the removal of the antidepressant that is the problem.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
I meant can't get OFF it.
189897 tn?1441130118
   Well, an antidepressant helps you get by - as you have found out.  It doesn't always deal with the underlying cause - which could be any thing from ADHD to chemical imbalances.  Until you can figure that out - ya, its pretty hard to get off of it.
Avatar universal
I just started taking adderall about six months ago--started with 20 mg XR and changed to 30 mg immediate release, then 30 mg in a.m. and 10mg in p.m. to get over the "afternoon slump"....now starting to take 15 mg in pm...get my drift? Reading the posts is a wake-up call. I love that I am super-productive at work and have gone from a struggling employee to a super-star, but I also find myself stuttering (my son and husband call it "mumbling" to myself) and going blank on trying to find a simple word when having a conversation.  Its downright embarrassing.  I am also losing my hair! Not sure if the hair loss is attributable, but the stuttering and blank-outs I know for a fact are a result of the adderall.  And I find myself getting hooked. I am going to decrease my dose to just 20 mg in the am and maybe 10 in the pm. or just eliminate the pm dose.  If my hair loss continues I will then just quit it altogether.  Better off taking a 5-hour energy shot.
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