I'm working on an article about the chemistry of Adderall, a mix of amphetamines commonly prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy, and came across some interesting information relating to other stimulants. While you may know Adderall and other amphetamines can cause psychosis (in addition to other effects), were you aware other stimulants can cause psychosis, including caffeine? This is called stimulant psychosis
and is characterized by:
- disordered thinking
- catatonia (extreme cases)
Physical symptoms are those of stimulant overdose, which you can get without suffering stimulant psychosis:
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- rapid breathing
- hyperthermia (elevated temperature)
- sleep deprivation
Drugs that are known to cause stimulant psychosis include:
The effect typically occurs at high doses or from chronic use. Often it is temporary, although sometimes recovery is incomplete. In the case of caffeine, psychosis may be related to lack of B-vitamins, nervous system exhaustion, or a pre-existing mental condition. It's somewhat controversial because the drug by itself may not be sufficient to cause the condition. That's probably good news for readers presently finishing up a pot of coffee or their third energy drink.
Gives you something to think about, doesn't it? Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms associated with stimulant psychosis? Feel free to post a reply.