Can Adderall Cause Anxiety? Understanding Its Side Effects

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: Can Adderall Cause Anxiety? Understanding Its Side Effects

Are you worried about anxiety caused by adderall as a side effect of taking Adderall? You’re not alone. Many people are prescribed this medication to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but there is also a fear that it may lead to increased anxiety levels in some individuals.

When it comes to dealing with mental health, the effects of prescription medications can be complicated and hard to understand.

One such medication is Adderall, which is used primarily as a prescription drug to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

However, what many don’t realize is that this drug can also be linked with increased levels of anxiety in some individuals.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential side effects of Adderall addiction on one’s mental health—from its uses as an ADHD treatment to the possible causes of anxiety it can trigger.

Adderall Side Effects:

As a stimulant, Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters play a crucial role in regulating mood and attention.

While this may seem like a positive effect for those with ADHD, it can also lead to adverse reactions in some individuals.

One such reaction is increased anxiety levels, which may manifest in withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, and difficulty sleeping.

In fact, according to a meta-analysis study, nearly half of the participants experienced increased anxiety after taking Adderall.

Understanding the Causes:

While the exact cause of Adderall-induced anxiety is not fully understood, there are a few theories that may explain this reaction.

  1. One theory suggests that since Adderall stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, it can also increase levels of cortisol—the stress hormone—in the body. This rise in cortisol levels can trigger feelings of anxiety.
  2. Another theory is that Adderall can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to an overproduction of norepinephrine. This excess production can lead to feelings of restlessness and agitation, which may contribute to anxiety.

It’s important to note that not everyone who takes Adderall will experience increased anxiety levels. Factors such as dosage, individual brain chemistry, and pre-existing mental health conditions can also play a role in determining one’s reaction to the drug.

Managing Adderall Anxiety:

If you’re experiencing increased levels of anxiety while taking Adderall, there are steps you can take to find relief. Here are a few tips that may help:

  • Speak with your doctor: If you’re concerned about your anxiety levels while taking Adderall, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or prescribe an additional medication to help manage your symptoms.
  • Practice mindfulness techniques: Mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Try incorporating these techniques into your daily routine.
  • Consider therapy: Therapy can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms of anxiety. A therapist can work with you to develop coping strategies and address any underlying concerns or triggers related to your anxiety.

Does Adderall Help With Overthinking?

Individuals with ADHD may experience difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Adderall helps to reduce these symptoms by balancing out the neurotransmitters in the brain. By doing so, it can also help to improve executive functions such as decision-making and problem-solving.

So, in a way, Adderall can help with overthinking by allowing the brain to function more efficiently and effectively. However, as we’ll explore further in this post, it’s important to monitor its effects on one’s mental health.

Does Adderall Make You Emotionally Numb?

One of the most common concerns about Adderall is its potential to cause emotional numbness. This can be a difficult side effect to navigate, especially for individuals who already struggle with emotions due to ADHD or other mental health conditions.

While Adderall may not necessarily cause emotional numbness on its own, it can amplify this feeling in those who are already prone to it.

This is because Adderall can increase dopamine levels, which are responsible for regulating pleasure and reward in the brain. When these levels are too high, they can lead to a sense of emotional detachment or numbness.

What Are the Emotional Side Effects of Adderall?

Besides emotional numbness and increased anxiety levels, there are other potential emotional side effects of taking Adderall. These may include irritability, mood swings, and personality changes. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and they may vary depending on the individual.

If you do notice any of these emotional side effects while taking Adderall, it’s essential to speak with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or prescribe a different medication that can better suit your needs.


In conclusion, while Adderall can be an effective treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy, it’s essential to monitor its effects on one’s mental health.

Increased anxiety levels and emotional side effects are common concerns when taking this medication. However, with proper communication and monitoring by a medical professional, these potential side effects can be managed. If you’re experiencing any adverse side effects while taking Adderall, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to your doctor. Your mental health should always be a top priority.

So, can Adderall cause anxiety? The answer is yes, for some individuals it may. However, with proper care and management, this medication can still be an effective treatment for ADHD

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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