View Full Version : Adderall causing severe personality shift?


madhadder
03-18-17, 07:56 PM
Hey yall,

I've been scanning the fourms as a guest for the last week or so and read a handful of threads about mood or personality changes.. more or less. But I was hoping to spill exactly what I've experienced to see if anyone has related and been able to resolve in their own lives.

Short story long:
I've been taking adderall XR for the past 12 months. My Dr. started me at 10mg xr, moving it to 20mg xr after 2-3 months then 25mg and ending at 30mg xr. He added lexapro at the same time as upping to 30mg xr to counteract a eye squinting tic he assumed was caused from a mix of anxiety and the adderall. I had been taking 30mg xr for the past ~4 months. I am as 25yo F with no history of medications nor conditions such as anxiety or depression.

The drug started off with no effects - positive or negative. Once I was around 25mg xr I noticed improved concentration and a higher level of self pride. That felt great. I was keeping a clean house (I've always been a mess) ironing my clothes, I started wearing makeup (I never cared before, not because of depression but I just didn't care) I wore nice fitting clothes, I felt more in control of everything. The best thing was I no longer struggled with alcohol, which had been a serious concern beforehand. When I first mentioned that concern to the doctor, he did tell me that issues like that are common in untreated ADHD cases. Feeling in control of all these things finally, I felt great.

UNTIL:

Things changed drastically for the worse over the last 2 months. All of a sudden, I became constantly depressed. I was terrible to be around. Negative. Mean to people I cared about. I would get so mad over ANYTHING, things that were not even anything to be upset over. I was terribly paranoid, everyone was out to get me. I stopped eating and lost 40 pounds. I started drinking a lot of coffee which I know is a bad idea with any type of stim. and had 3 different alcohol related downfalls. I was extremely self destructive.

I didn't want to believe that the same medicine that helped me for the 8+ months before could be causing this. I didn't even consider that it could be the medicine(s) until about 2 weeks ago. I felt insane, uncontrollable. I felt like for some crazy unknown reason, my life was over. I'd cry nonstop and saw no point in living. I really felt completely and utterly ...crazy, there is no other word I can think of. I quit my job of 8 years, feeling no care for the consequences - luckily I begged for it back and we came to an agreement. (Disclaimer: As mention, I have no history of depression or anything along those lines. My only struggle had been alcohol, after taking adderall I finally had the confidence to get outside help with that which has been great. This all was an extreme change in my behavior.)

I stopped taking BOTH the adderall and the lexapro once it finally hit me that they could be causing it. I stopped back on March 11th. I was supposed to have a doctors appointment a the beginning of the week and the crazed feeling was unbearable. (Disclaimer: I know to never stop taking medication without a doctors advice. My long awaited Drs. appointment was supposed to be early last week. Unfortunately it is a very hard to get into office, no way to talk to anyone except in person, no emergency line and appointments are nearly impossible to get and are weeks out. However there aren't any other options where I am in regards to other doctors. The doctor had an emergency and had to cancel the appointment, which really stinked. They weren't able to get me in right away and rescheduled the appointment for another week out.)

Around the 14th/15th I felt normal again. I was happy, I didn't feel the severe paranoia I had been feeling. I felt life was hopeful, I didn't feel like for some reason my 25 yo life was over. I couldn't stop eating and even gained 15 pounds in the last week. I literally am always eating, and I feel horribly bloated but it's like I can't stop. That part I laugh at. I cut out all caffeine. I feel amazing mentally. However I haven't been productive at all, my house is a wreck, I could care less on how I look. I've been sleeping a lot. I'm like a happy go lucky, no care in the world individual. From other threads, I know others have experienced the same type of adderall 'come down' or withdrawl. I don't hate my job like I did the past two months (typically I like my job, I have a great one) I went for a bike ride, something I felt for the past 2-3 months was 'a waste of time' ... so many good things came back.

But I lost the things that the adderall was helping with. The control and pride aspect is diminishing fairly quickly. I procrastinate things like I used to before adderall. I've tried making a scheduled of how my day will go, I've planned workouts, I've tried to make myself do the things I've been doing that are GOOD for me like I have been with adderall, but at the same time - I don't care. I end up not following through. This past week every day I planned to do all these different things and wrote them down. Then threw the paper away the next morning. I am happy sitting on the couch and eating candy instead of going outside and getting fresh air. I laugh at this part too because although I know it's not good, I'm happily enjoying it for some reason. It's in no way a depressed type of lazy, more of a carefree type. As I type this, I've been wearing pajamas for the past 24 hours. Hakuna Matata?

I would hate to have to chose happiness over being on top of my life because that in control feeling is something I never remember feeling. However if I had to choose, I would choose the happy non paranoid, non mean person in a heartbeat. I almost feel like a different person than the me of the past 2 months. Even my friends sat down and discussed the dramatic change with me. At that point, every word they said ****** me off and it went in one ear and out the other. It wasn't that I wasn't listening, and even though I knew what they were saying was right, I was so defensive and angry. I would get angry at anyone over anything they said. I cut off my closest friends of years, I wanted nothing to do with them - but there was no reason why I felt that way. I understand everything they were telling me NOW, but at that time I felt they were attacking me.

I am hoping the doctor thinks it may be the lexapro he added that is causing the issue. I would be more than open to trying other things to manage the tic (it's always been there on and off through life which explains why he thought there had to be another reason other than just the adderall causing it) and continue the adderall. As you can see I'm not too familiar with different types of medicines in regards to what they can do off-label so I'm hoping some of you guys have some experience or insight.


Long story short:
Now the long backstory is over - sorry for rambling : I'm posting here to see if anyone else has experienced this with a. just adderall or more hopefully has anyone experienced this with adderall and any type of SSRI and was able to find the problem and fix it! It'd be awesome to get some hopeful thoughts or positive experiences from you guys while my doctor and I try to figure out what is going on.

dvdnvwls
03-18-17, 08:06 PM
The problem is almost certainly a simple one: your Adderall dose is too high.

namazu
03-18-17, 08:06 PM
I've never had problems with Adderall, but I developed serious depression not too long after starting Lexapro. (I'd had a prior history of depression, but it had been a good 10+ years without an episode, and I strongly suspect the Lexapro triggered it.)

Since I don't know which of the medications (or the combination, or something else) knocked things out of whack for you, I'm hesitant to make any suggestions. (Also, I'm not a medical doctor.) But it may be that a slightly lower dose of Adderall (or a different stimulant, or one of the non-stimulants) would give you some benefits with fewer side effects (and avoid the tics and anxiety and need for Lexapro).

Hopefully your doctor will have some good ideas next week! Best wishes.

dvdnvwls
03-18-17, 08:08 PM
Ah - in all the text there, I missed the Lexapro. It might be that. Or both. I still think it sounds far too much like too much Adderall, to be anything else.

madhadder
03-18-17, 08:24 PM
That's unfortunate but hopeful that you experienced similar side effects from Lexapro namazu.
As you said dvdnvwls, I thought too at first that it might be a high dosage of adderall but 25mg worked for a while with no bad side effect, it just ended up wearing off too soon after a while. Since the 25 to 30 was the smallest XR increase, I hoped there shouldn't be that dramatic of a change personality wise.
I think the problem identifying what med went wrong was that I started the lexapro at the same time as going to 30mg. It wasn't until I went to 30mg that I started the lexapro. There was about 2 months after going up to 30mg/starting the lex that I was fine. I thought about asking the doctor if he would agree to take the adderall down but then I thought that if it was the adderall causing issues, I should have know within a month of him upping it to 30mg, right? I read online (where all info is right haha) that lexapro takes a few weeks to work so I guess that could explain the 2 months where I was fine?

I guess it's so hard to determine because he upped to 30mg and started the lex at the same time. I knew he was hesitant to do both at the same time but did due to the tic getting worse. The more I think about it as I type this to you guys, the more I'm thinking it makes sense that it's the lexapro.

madhadder
03-18-17, 08:28 PM
I also wondered if the 'angry, crazy' feelings could be because of the added caffeine. I had never been sensitive to caffeine before however I went almost a whole year with little to no caffeine - then started drinking it along with my same dose of adderall about when this all started. I was drinking it like a fish, I didn't start a weekday without a few cups. I wouldn't think that something like coffee could have that big of an impact but I'm definitely not sure.

namazu
03-18-17, 08:29 PM
I'm still hesitant to commit to a cause in your case, but possibly something to discuss with your doctor:

When Adderall seems to work OK at a given dose, but wears off too soon, instead of raising the dose, sometimes it may work better to stay at the same dose, but add another dose (sometimes called a "booster dose", sometimes just a "second dose") later in the day. That way, you're less likely to get too much medication at any one time (and the side effects that come with that), but you may be able to extend the beneficial effects over a longer period.

And yes -- caffeine, on top of stimulants, can definitely increase the risk of side effects, including anxiety, irritability, and a crash later in the day.

dvdnvwls
03-18-17, 08:48 PM
Oh.

More information I missed, I'm sorry.

Caffeine is often the culprit with Adderall problems, even though the caffeine is just fine by itself.

madhadder
03-18-17, 08:51 PM
I'm still hesitant to commit to a cause in your case, but possibly something to discuss with your doctor:

When Adderall seems to work OK at a given dose, but wears off too soon, instead of raising the dose, sometimes it may work better to stay at the same dose, but add another dose (sometimes called a "booster dose", sometimes just a "second dose") later in the day. That way, you're less likely to get too much medication at any one time (and the side effects that come with that), but you may be able to extend the beneficial effects over a longer period.

And yes -- caffeine, on top of stimulants, can definitely increase the risk of side effects, including anxiety, irritability, and a crash later in the day.

That is something that the doctor never mentioned that I am going to bring up. He always told me to let him know what time it wears off and that is how he knows to up the dose.

And thanks, that makes sense re: caffeine. I would feel fine in the AM, like I had felt since starting adderall. I usually take it around 6:30am and would have my first coffee around 8am. It was around 11am-12pm that I started to feel angry and irritated. It impacted my job so much, my boss knew not to try to talk to me in the afternoon. That's also when the sad, worthless thoughts would kick in and anything anyone said to me felt like an attack.

madhadder
03-18-17, 09:03 PM
Oh.

More information I missed, I'm sorry.

Caffeine is often the culprit with Adderall problems, even though the caffeine is just fine by itself.



Blame my rambling :) In this case, I guess I was naive and felt a bit invincible of the side effects, figuring it would do nothing but what coffee is known to do and help focus even more.

I've seen a lot of threads on nutrition and ADHD medications and how it is important. Of course not eating makes irritability 100x worse. I stopped eating much after this started but I'm sure it didn't help with being angry. So the more and more I think about it.....

I've read to eat before taking ADHD medicine if it is hard to eat on it. I never had a problem eating with adderall (instantly feeling full or not wanting to eat) but could definitely forget to eat easily and go long periods without eating and feel fine. If it does turn out adderall that is causing the crazy moods, could scheduled eating also help? I know it may seem like a common sense yes BUT I don't feel different whether or not I eat when I am taking adderall so I figured what is the point, eat when I want otherwise it's just a waste of time. I never got hungry nor do I feel grumpy because I didn't eat.

I didn't think it made a difference but this week without taking adderall I noticed when I'd get hungry at work I was grumpy and couldn't even think until I ate. Could I be getting grumpy on adderall when I'm hungry and just don't realize that its from skipping a few meals?

namazu
03-18-17, 09:09 PM
I didn't think it made a difference but this week without taking adderall I noticed when I'd get hungry at work I was grumpy and couldn't even think until I ate. Could I be getting grumpy on adderall when I'm hungry and just don't realize that its from skipping a few meals?
Yes -- completely possible.

If the Adderall suppresses your appetite so that you don't want to eat a full meal, sometimes it can help to have some relatively healthy, easy-to-eat snacks around -- yogurt, banana, etc.

madhadder
03-18-17, 09:17 PM
Yes -- completely possible.

If the Adderall suppresses your appetite so that you don't want to eat a full meal, sometimes it can help to have some relatively healthy, easy-to-eat snacks around -- yogurt, banana, etc.

Very doable. I never connected it since I was never bothered by it. After reading some threads here and yalls help, it makes sense that it might be a culprit also.