Medication Monday: Adderall

For those of us keeping track of the days during these strange times, it is once again Monday, which means it is once again time for Medication Monday, the weekly series that looks at the various mental health medications available on the market. This week we are talking about Adderall (Amphetamine).

Adderall is one of the best know medications for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And while I often focus on other mental health disorders, such as bipolar depression, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD is no less important. And it is important to understand this medication.

ADHD is important for many reasons, including the fact that some evidence suggests a link between ADHD and other forms of mental illness, such as depression. Proper treatment of ADHD can possibly prevent later complications with mental illness.

What isn’t proper is those who use Adderall as a performance-enhancing substance. Academics and graduate students who take the medication to increase their attention span, pushing themselves towards what they hope will be a greater academic success, that is not what Adderall is meant for. Indeed, I would argue that such behavior may actually be a symptom of anxiety, unhealthy anxiety over their academic status.

Yet when taken properly, Adderall can decrease common symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. This can increase one’s ability to live a healthy lifestyle while decreasing negative behavioral symptoms.

Adderall does have some side effects that users should know about. These include insomnia, mild anxiety, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. Under rare circumstances, more serious side effects can occur, such as a significant increase in blood pressure or heart rate and severe panic attacks. You should consult with your medical professional if you experience these symptoms, or have any concerns about possible side effects. 

And this brings me to my weekly reminder that Medication Monday is meant as a brief informative guide to mental health medications, not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional if you have more in-depth questions.

And as always, be well, and thanks for reading.

Source: NAMI – Amphetamine (Adderall) 

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