Is Adderall good for social anxiety?

Is Adderall good for social anxiety

What is Adderall

Adderall is a powerful medication that contains a blend of amphetamines (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine) used in the treatment of:

  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • obesity

  • narcolepsy

  • depression

Although more and more sport organizations have banned its use, a large number of athletes continue to take Adderall to improve their performance. Also, many college students use Adderall as a cognitive stimulant that helps them to better focus on studying.

Adderall is available in tablets with immediate release and as extended release capsules (Adderall XR).

How does Adderall work

Adderall enhances the release of important neurotransmitters such as epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine and dopamine and prompts the brain to trigger the “fight or flight” response. The user feels refreshed and his mental clarity is improved.

Due to its effect of stimulating the brain, Adderall is often called “the study drug”.

Adderall for social anxiety

Differently from the standard social anxiety therapy, which is based on anti-anxiety medications, Adderall is a brain stimulant that is possible to increase the amount of anxiety experienced by the user. In recent years, a lot of doctors began to prescribe Adderall for reliving social anxiety symptoms when the patient proves to be resistant to the traditional treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines.

How does Adderall help social anxiety sufferers

  1. Boosts your energy

When taking the proper dose of Adderall, the result is noticed in an increased amount of energy. On the other hand, a higher dose can make you bouncing off the walls so, it is important to follow the dosage set by your doctor.

  1. Increases sociability

Most patients on Adderall claim to feel more confident and willing to interact and talk to people during social events. Socializing becomes a task much easier and less scary than expected.

  1. Mood enhancer

The release of dopamine stimulates the feeling of happiness that makes life more bearable.

  1. More optimism

Social anxiety comes with an overwhelming amount of pessimism. The role of Adderall is to increase the brain’s activity and counteract negative thinking.

  1. More focus

Adderall helps the user to stay more focused and think clearly regardless the social situation he/she has to deal with.

Side effects of Adderall

Adderall side effects greatly depend on the patient’s age and the amount of substance administered. There are common physical and psychological side effects that usually disappear once the body adjusts to Adderall, and less common side effects that require medical assistance.

Common side effects:

  • loss of appetite

  • headaches

  • insomnia

  • dry mouth

  • nausea

  • abdominal pains

  • excessive sweating

  • blurred vision

  • tics

  • mood swings

  • irritability

  • exaggerated self-confidence

  • increased alertness

Less common side effects:

  • high blood pressure/ low blood pressure

  • erectile dysfunction

  • difficulty with urination

  • low blood flow to fingers and toes

  • delusions

  • paranoid feelings

  • rapid heart rate

  • liver and kidney damage (in the case of long term use)

  • dermatoses

Who should not take Adderall

Adderall is not suitable for people who:

  • have moderate to severe hypertension

  • have glaucoma

  • were alcohol or drug addicted

  • have heart diseases or hardened arteries

  • have a poor circulation in hands and legs

  • suffer from epilepsy

  • deal with an overactive thyroid

  • have a family history of sudden death

  • took MAO inhibitors in the past two weeks

Adderall consumption can lead to premature birth and also passes into breast milk, therefore it is not recommended for pregnant women or during the breastfeeding period.

Overdose and addiction

The extensive use of Adderall can lead to a sudden heart attack even in people who are not suffering from a heart disease. Adderall overdose requires medical intervention without delay.


  • increased blood pressure

  • compulsive behavior

  • extreme agitation

  • tremor

  • rapid breathing

  • pulmonary edema

  • inability to urinate

  • fever

  • kidney failure

  • swelling of ankles, feet, or hands

  • severe muscle pains

  • changes in personality

  • panic

  • vomiting

The risk to become addicted is a serious threat when taking amphetamines. Long term use of Adderall develops tolerance meaning that the patient needs a larger dosage to achieve the expected effect.


Adderall is mostly prescribed for treating ADHD. During the past few years many psychiatrists have prescribed Adderall for social anxiety too, although this treatment is considered a “counter-intuitive approach” because a larger dose of amphetamine is likely to induce higher levels of anxiety.

Adderall is a medication highly controlled and is not a first line treatment for social anxiety disorder. You should start taking Adderall to overcome your anxiety only if your doctor agrees and after you discuss all the possible risks.