Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

ADD Meds Harmful to Sz Condition?

Hi, all. I have joined a FB Schizophrenia group and some members (who are sz) were discussing how bad ADD and ADHD meds are for sz, specifically Adderall. My son is on adderall and has been on an ADHD medication of some type since age 6. I am wondering if anyone else has heard this? I am presently trying to find him a new p-doc but in the meantime, I thought I would throw this out there for discussion and input. Thanks in advance to all.

My son has been prescribed Adderall in the past.

In small, prescribed doses, I couldn’t tell you if it hurt him or not.
But, since he has addictive tendencies, he wanted more & more so that he could “feel” it.
That definitely did not go well.

But any stimulant, even too much caffeine, can be bad for you if you have psychosis.

I am glad that the doctor he sees now will not prescribe it for him. He’s asked her for it.

I have read that ADD, Bipolar & Schizophrenia, maybe Autism too, are all genetically related.

My son is on 25 mg and he is constantly saying that it doesn’t work anymore, he needs a stronger dose, blah blah blah. This morning, I left him a note to do a small chore (pick up dog poo) and since I didn’t give him his Adderall this morning, he just didn’t think he would have the motivation or energy to do it. I was thinking “Really?! If you could follow me around and see all the things I accomplish in one day, you would be worn out following me around…” But I also know his illness does have a complete de-motivation aspect to it. (Which my husband thinks is B.S. of course). I will ask his GP next time we go in and see what she says. She’s actually a pedtrician and a really savvy one at that. I feel blessed to have found her.


My son’s Pdoc is adamant against it. My son used to take it and credits it for his academic success briefly in high school but it might have hurt him with the Sz. He was on 25 mg Adderall. He would love to take it and just get on with his life but doc said it would cause psychosis.

Mom2 - Thanks so much for the input! Glad to know that. Of course, this will be a battle to get him to give it up since it gives him energy, but perhaps if a p-doc or other doc tells him it is not good for him, he’ll listen. If I tell him, he just doesn’t listen. :smirk:

Silly Mom, what does she know?! I just read everything I can get my hands on…

I’d definitely leave it in the doctor’s hands. If he’s like my son, he’ll be upset that they’re taking away something he likes instead of giving him more.

It will be nice for you to be able to honestly say you had nothing to do with it and have no control over getting it back for him.

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Yes, let it come from a doctor. You don’t need the battle. If you go to crazy you’ll find many people taking both stimulants and sedatives at night. My son’s doc thinks less is better but I have had therapist say I should find a doctor who will give him a cocktail of meds. Who knows what is best.

I do prefer not having to worry if the meds are making things worse. Then again worse for whom?

My son’s doctor pretty much only sees people with disabling schizophrenia since she’s dedicated to the intensive treatment program. She believes less is more too - especially since so many of her patients don’t want to take anything at all.

I don’t have a problem with keeping him on just a few medications - I agree with that if it’s possible.
My only argument with her so far has been on dosages.

But, she doesn’t prescribe anything addictive at all - no stimulants, no benzos, nothing. I’m good with that too. He’s had them all & they haven’t helped him with anything but getting high.

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This reminds me of something that happened when my son was little.

One day his dad and I got a call from the preschool asking for us to come in for a meeting. When we arrived, most of the school staff was in on the meeting. They told us we needed to get our son ‘evaluated’. He was exhibiting behaviors they didn’t understand.

We took him for evaluation, and were referred to a psychiatrist. He wanted to prescribe a mood stabilizer. He said our son’s behavior didn’t fit any specific diagnosis, but that he wouldn’t be surprised if he was diagnosed as bi-polar or schizophrenic when he got older.

My son’s dad was very nervous about giving our son meds. Ritalin was something that was used a lot at that time, and he somehow talked the doctor into prescribing that instead.

We had about a week of hell. Our son lost control repeatedly, window panes in french doors were broken. He was switched to the mood stabilizer after that.