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Mother’s Battle to Save Son from Adderall Psychosis

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Nokesville, VAPatty (not her real name) had known for some time that her son was taking Adderall to help him focus in school, but about a year ago she realized that the drug had made his life “out of control.”

“My son’s former girlfriend sent me some e-mails that she had received from him after they broke up,” says Patty. “They were very threatening and she was going to put a restraining order on him, which was understandable given what he wrote.”

Patty’s son is 36 years old. He had returned to university as an undergrad after a “spotty” education that she thinks was due to his ADHD. She says that Adderall helped him to focus - initially. Like countless other college students, he was prescribed Adderall to get through exams, to finish his degree. But Patty says that the longer he was on Adderall, the more unraveled he became.

“He had some alcohol-related incidents and I noticed personality changes,” Patty explains. “It was like everything negative was intensified and he couldn’t handle the bumps in life, like breaking up with his girlfriend. He got accepted at university but he was moving every few months and living in a delusional state.

“I think all these moves were due to altercations with people - my son had anger management problems. For instance, he had a cat and that wasn’t a good situation with the landlord so he threatened the life of the landlord. There is always a crisis.”

After the former girlfriend and landlord called Patty, it took some doing (she got nowhere calling the university and believes he was no longer taking classes) but she finally contacted her son. “He was so angry with me, he yelled that I should never call this number again and his voice didn’t even sound like him,” she says.

An intervention was needed. Patty and her ex-husband (her son’s father) got together with their son in a local hotel room after packing the remaining things from his apartment. “My son was more or less homeless at that time, but he was planning on exercising his rights as a tenant,” says Patty, sighing.

“We didn’t even know if he was still in school, but we did see his ADHD counselor. I’ve had many discussions with my son about Adderall psychosis and his total lack of ambition, but he thinks the drug was his salvation and couldn’t understand why I was so against it. He was stuck in this Adderall delusion.”

Patty took him back home. He had been getting free Adderall due to insurance. Now Patty had to pay out of pocket for it. “Having to pay for this drug was horrible but he was so depressed without it. None of us felt like we could find or even afford a facility where he could detox from Adderall. Now we have to pay $150 per month, and we are stuck with an adult son who needs constant intervention. We feel that he has held us hostage.

“I am in a quandary as a mother. He recently broke into our house and has threatened suicide so I called the police. He talked his way out of it and said he was drinking. I had to take action after he had a psychotic episode. I talked to a magistrate and he was convinced enough to order my son committed to a psychiatric institute for one week. Now the text messages have transferred from the girlfriend to me. They are the worst words imaginable and he is threatening to kill me.

“When the psychiatrist at the facility found out that my son was on Adderall, he said it was very dangerous and he should discontinue taking it. At this point I am scared that he isn’t taking it - I just hope he is prescribed the right antidepressants.

“Interestingly, the magistrate’s action happened within days of the Senator Deeds incident - I wouldn’t be surprised if his son was on Adderall before attempting to kill his father and then taking his own life. Apparently his state has the worst mental health care and now the Senator has gotten involved, trying to get people treatment when they need it. I hope it isn’t too late for my son.”

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