Does Adderall Help with Anxiety? What is Adderall Really Help With?

As people become increasingly aware of mental disorders and their impact on their overall health, more are recognizing how they can come in different forms. Anxiety is one of the most common afflictions people struggle with daily across the world, so it’s only natural to look for the best medication to ease one’s anxious-driven thoughts.

On the other end of the spectrum, Adderall comes out on top as one of the most known prescription drugs available for treating mental health issues like ADHD, but can it be a good option for soothing anxiety? 

For those that are trying to treat anxiety with a prescription drug, Adderall might sound like a decent option, but it’s not something you want to jump into without thoroughly understanding the risk-to-benefit ratio.

Adderall and Anxiety: When is it Okay to Pair?

Does Adderall help with anxiety? Short answer is no.

Doctors may prescribe Adderall for anxiety, but only if the patient has an existing mental condition that co-occurs with other disorders such as narcolepsy or ADHD. However, Adderall is known to cause insomnia, which can be detrimental to a person’s mental health, especially if they suffer from anxiety. 

If you’re suffering from anxiety causing sleepless nights, Adderall can exacerbate the problem and make it more difficult to calm your nerves enough to get some sleep.

How Adderall Works

Adderall is one of the most common prescription psychostimulants used to treat ADHD, but it’s commonly used off-label as a performance enhancer by students who want to get ahead by studying more or the professional athlete who wants to increase their performance. 

Adderall also works to stimulate your central nervous system and help relax your muscles, but it doesn’t necessarily do anything to ease anxiety attacks. On the contrary, taking Adderall can worsen your condition in more ways than one. 

How Does Adderall Affect Anxiety?

When you take a high dose of Adderall, you may notice a calming effect that may help to alleviate some of your anxiety symptoms, but keep in mind that it affects the brain much the same way stimulants as cocaine or meth do. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that works by increasing norepinephrine. This positively affects alertness, but it also increases blood pressure and heart rate. 

In that regard, Adderall can do more damage than good to people with anxiety as it can increase its symptoms. As a psychostimulant, Adderall is a type of amphetamine that tends to stimulate your nervous system and, to a lesser degree, can make you feel more anxious. Adderall is a stimulant and can cause negative side effects, which can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tingling in extremities and loss of feeling in fingers and toes
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in appetite
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle spasms

How Does Adderall Increase Anxiety?

As a stimulant, Adderall can actually increase the amount of anxiety you feel, which can cause you to experience anxiety at a more excessive and uncontrollable level. Most people who suffer from anxiety are constantly worried about their health, and taking Adderall for anxiety can cause you to be more paranoid about your health.

what does adderall do
Does Adderall Help With Anxiety?

This can be disastrous for those with anxiety, who constantly worry about their health, and can cause them to over-exaggerate the side effects and symptoms of taking the drug. Not only do you have to deal with the physical side effects, but the increased anxiety can have a devastating effect on your mental health as well.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders that plague the general population. From social anxiety, to general panic attacks, it seems to be a prevalent issue that drives people to seek various solutions that’ll help alleviate their symptoms.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety comes in various forms. It can be chronic or come and go in waves throughout the years. Depending on what you’re trying to treat will determine what type of anxiety you’re dealing with. For the sake of this article, we’ll cover the most common forms that people choose to treat with Adderall, such as the following: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

Most people will turn to a doctor’s recommendation of a prescription drug to manage their anxiety symptoms, but will a psychostimulant be enough to help, or could there be a downside?

What are the Best Medications that Effective Treat Anxiety Disorders?

If you’re dealing with anxiety and you’ve been struggling to find the right medication that’ll help you feel better, you don’t have to settle for Adderall. There are plenty of other options that can help you feel better without many of the negative side effects of taking Adderall.

Before taking a drug like Adderall, you must speak with your doctor to ensure that it’s the best option for your needs.

Some medications that may be recommended for anxiety include:


Benzodiazepines are often prescribed in conjunction with therapy as they can help reduce the symptoms that come with anxiety. These drugs are known to decrease nervous tension and improve overall feelings of well-being.

Benzodiazepines work by increasing natural chemicals called GABA. These drugs have been around since the ’60s and have a long history of being used to treat anxiety, with high rates of success.

Some of the most common benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety include:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)


Some of the most commonly used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Zoloft and Prozac. These drugs are commonly used to treat depression, but they can also help treat anxiety.


While they’re a type of medication best known for treating high blood pressure, beta-blockers like Propranolol are also used to treat anxiety. This drug works by blocking adrenaline and epinephrine, which can help ease the physical symptoms associated with anxiety.

Signs of Adderall Abuse and Side Effects 

Adderall’s side effects can affect a person’s mental health by causing anxiety, depression, panic attacks, irritability, and hostility towards others. There are also a variety of physical signs to watch out for that may indicate abuse, including:

  • Sleeping problems, including insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Changes in libido
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood Swings
  • Forgetfulness
  • Concentration problems
  • Fatigue

If you’re experiencing any of the above side effects and symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help to discuss your options. You shouldn’t have to live a life of fear and anxiety. Instead of taking a risk with Adderall, talk to your doctor and work together to find out what the best treatment options are for you.

The Importance of Taking the Right Medication For Treating Mental Disorders like Anxiety

 If you’re dealing with depression or anxiety, you may wonder if Adderall will help you ease your symptoms. However, it’s important to realize that while this drug may help with focus and concentration, it can also worsen your anxiety.

Adderall is one of the most abused drugs in high schools, and it’s not just students who are abusing it, but professional athletes as well. Adderall can cause various side effects that can be damaging to anyone’s health.

If you want to feel better and improve your anxiety symptoms, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about your options. Only a licensed medical professional can tell you the best medication for your anxiety.