My 14 year old daugther has been on Adderall fo 6 years

I am looking for answers really. It seems like adderall has caused more problems than helped. When she started taking the medication it seemed to help her concentrate in school.

However the emotional side effects in the evenings (meltdowns) were upsetting. We wanted to help her in school, so we kept her on it. Now that she has been on it for six years, the emotional ups and downs, are worse and worse.

She is very depressed, and I am wondering if it is the adderall. She is withdrawn and sad at night. On the weekends when we take her off it she is happy and a different person.

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Apr 21, 2011
by: Anonymous

Your daughter doesnt have adhd, she was 8 when you put her on the medicine, as was I when I first started taking it, which was probably just a kid bieng hyper. People with ADHD naturally have a lot of dopamine, which causes them to be active and happy all the time. Wane her off by progressing to smaller dosages, then to ritalin if she absolutely needs to focus. I know what I'm talking about I took Adderal til I was 13/14 and just last year switched to ritalin. I have never felt depressed afterwards, and the same goes for all my friends who take adhd meds.

Jun 01, 2010
Adderall can make you depressed
by: Paul

Adderall works by releasing a chemical messenger in your head - it's called dopamine. Dopamine is naturally released in your brain in smaller levels throughout the day. What adderall does is make all of these chemicals come out at once. The 'focus' that you get is from this chemical being released in large quantities.

The reason your daughter feels depressed at night is because her brain is undergoing a shortage of dopamine. During the day, she was probably focused and energetic. As the adderall wore off, the brain stopped releasing dopamine, and must go through a period of dopamine deficiency. This will cause feelings of depression and anxiety.

The reason she feels well on the weekends is because her brain isn't dropping all the dopamine at once, and is operating under a normal cycle.

Adderall is in the same drug class as cocaine, and you will hear stories of drug addicts who talk about the 'highs and lows.' This is what they're talking about.

I know - I take adderall too and I feel the same feelings. I just try and tell myself that "It's just the medicine." However, I don't know if the focus and energy I get from adderall is worth the depression. I have tried some other things that have helped me with focus - namely, diet and exercise. Also, fish oil has been known to help with some neurological diseases, such as ADHD (not fda approved). When I was 14 I couldn't really keep up with diet and exercise, but maybe when she gets older she can devote herself to a routine. It helps me.

Good luck.

Apr 29, 2009
14yrs old
by: Megan

Hello and thank you for your post. 6 years is a long time to be on adderall. Alot of pple become tolerant to it and it doesn't work as well over time. You may express this to her doctor and simply ask your daughter if she feels it is working as well as she needs it to. Depression is also something that can come along with ADHD. I take zoloft and adderall. This helps balance everything out well for me. I have had ADHD my entire life yet never took meds untill now and I am 25. I can tell you that when I was 14 that is when I started to have depression issues. It's just the age that the hormones change and for girls it is so very difficult in itself. If she has depression which it sounds like she does adderall should actually help. Being that she has been on it a long time this would be why it doesnt. I used to have meltdowns, crying fits, severe mood swings, and all those things. I went on prozac when I was 15 which helped but made me numb. Zoloft has allowed me to enjoy life and be myself as well as feel. I would reccomend sending your daughter to a therapist for a few weeks and let her talk to him about her feelings. Changing her medication for the ADHD and/or adding an antidepressant may be the reccomendation. Not only will she thank you but your life and relationship with her will be so much better. I promise you that. I know there alot of pple that preferr natural remedies however for pple such as me and others excersise and diet only goes so far and it literally is a chemical imbalance that needs to be corrected with the use of meds. I feel for your daughter because I have been her. However I never took the adderall until now I wish I had a mother such as yourself that had been so observant and cared enough to reach out and help her daughter. If your daughter seems hard to talk to and she doesn't like to open up alot to you then a therapist is a great choice. Many depressed teens shut off there worlds to there parents because they feel that no one could ever understand what they are feeling. However don't force her to go, just put it out there and wait for her to comply. My mom used to write me notes and leave them on my bed or print off articles for me to read and slip them under my door. I wouldn't talk to her so she talked to me. You sound like you are on the right path, don't give up. She will come around once she gets the help and understanding she feels she needs.

Mar 25, 2009
Common Side Effects of Adderall
by: TJ Chambers

I am glad that you wrote about your daughter. She has been on it for 6 years, so you would certainly see what kind of effects it would have on a child.

The effects you mention are very common for Adderall. Adderall is a stimulant just like the illegal drug speed. Do some research on people who use speed and I'm sure you will see some common side effects.

You can help your daughter naturally but it takes work and it cost more.


Because she needs all fresh foods. Not packaged, boxed, or canned goods. There are many items that should be removed from her diet because they could be irritants.

Also, she may need some minerals that are deficient.

Then if she has blood sugar problems (to many carbs and to little protein), then that problem will also need to be addressed.

Make sure you don't give her any sugar and reduce the amount of carbs (pasta, bread, cookies, fruit, vegetables) that you give her.

Let me give you an example. I was making a protein shake. I put a cup of frozen fruit in it. My brain was spinning so much. I reduced it to 1/2 cup and my brain didn't have that problem any more.

So, when you feed her, watch how she acts. See how her behavior is and her concentration and focus.

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