Do Stimulants Change Your Personality?

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Do stimulants change your personality? If you look this question up on the Internet you will probably find that the short answer is no. But if you really do a deep dive into the research on how these medications affect the brain the longer answer is: probably. I think the reason for the no answer is because of how we define personality. Your personality is really something that develops in late adolescence or early adulthood and is based on a number of factors including genetics, environment, how you were nurtured etc. Probably the most popular personality disorder we hear about his narcissistic personality disorder. And I would agree that it’s going too far to suggest that these medications can make someone a narcissist.

I discuss how stimulants work in the brain and how this can lead to blunting of your emotions. I also discuss research that suggests that stimulants can have long term effects on the brains of children and adolescents.

Video links
Emotional blunting and Antidepressants

Brain shocks and antidepressants

ADHD as a brain disorder

Chambers RA Taylor JR Potenza MN (2003). Developmental neurocircuitry of motivation in adolescence: a critical period of addiction vulnerability. American Journal of Psychiatry 160, 1041–1052

Benoit Labonte, et. al. Adolescent amphetamine exposure elicits dose-specific effects on monoaminergic neurotransmission and behaviour in adulthood.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 15, Issue 9, 1 October 2012, Pages 1319– I1330

Urban KR, Gao WJ. Methylphenidate and the juvenile brain: enhancement of attention at the expense of cortical plasticity?. Med Hypotheses. 2013;81(6): 988-94.

Urban KR, Gao WJ. Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. Front Syst Neurosci. 2014;8: 38.

Urban KR, Gao WJ. Psychostimulants As Cognitive Enhancers in Adolescents: More Risk than Reward?. Front Public Health. 2017;5: 260.

Posner J, Kass E, Hulvershorn L. Using stimulants to treat ADHD-related emotional lability. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014;16(10): 478.

Coghill D. Use of stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: FOR. BMJ. 2004;329(7471): 907–908.

Emotional regulation
Posner J, Maia TV, Fair D, Peterson BS, Sonuga-Barke EJ, Nagel BJ. The attenuation of dysfunctional emotional processing with stimulant medication: an fMRI study of adolescents with ADHD. Psychiatry Res. 2011;193(3): 151–160.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this channel is for educational purposes and not intended to be specific/personal medical advice from me to you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments/question, does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help prepare you for your discussion with your doctor.

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