Proof that Adderall caused skin picking


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August 19, 2010

I take Vyvanse and go to a therapist who knows about my picking. Vyvanse does not CAUSE picking, it makes you more aware of it. Any ADHD/ADD med can have that side affect. I balance the Vyvanse with Prozac. The prozac balances because it has a calming affect.
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August 19, 2010

Thank you for your reply. I am aware that the stimulants continue the picking. My daughter was 6 when she began and wasn't picking until she began on Adderall XR....now that it's begun,it's continuing. I just found out that the VYvanse or any of the ADHD medication stimulants help to contribute to this now that the Adderall has started it. They give her Zoloft and NAC but she still picks. Has anyone tried Inositol? Picking isn't her only issues with these drugs however...since 2007 she's had tachycardia. She also has had severe anxiety and panic attacks since she was young (They have progressively gotten worse over the years) and tics brought on by the medications. We go to both a pshychiatrist and a counselor. These drugs are not perscribed by her pediatrician. So,one question Rachel---did you pick BEFORE the ADHD meds?
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August 24, 2010

I am on Vyvanse and Prozac. I was not diagnosed with ADHD until I was an adult - but I have been picking since I was 6 or 7....so the meds definately didn't cause mine. I have noticed since I have been on Vyvanse that I am more aware of it now - which I guess could help me in trying to stop.
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August 28, 2010

Hi there, I have been taking Adderall for several years now and have noticed that my picking became uncontrollable directly after starting it. I did a self test where I stopped taking it, this was financially induced halt. I stopped Adderall for 3 months. It was a very difficult there months. However, I noticed that my skin was healing, I was wearing shorts and could put on a tank top without wincing because of how my skin looked. Let me say, I was a picker before Adderall but I never got out of control. I would pluck my eyebrows until they were very thin and pick my face a little but that was it. Now, I pick everything. It gets so bad that I wear long sleeves in Miami summers. It was not until I started the medication did my picking become insane. The worst part is, I need Adderall to function normally with my high stress life style. The only solution I could come up with was to put on gloves right when I got home. The gloves make you aware when you begin to pick and at the same time harder start picking that makes a scar. I have also noticed that when I have a meditative workout I will pick less. I cycle or run. I think something that is constant but active can clear the mind and keep your attention is key.
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August 28, 2010

I agree. I was diagnosed as an adult as well and started on Ritilin. And yes sure I picked before, but once I started that med, that's when I feel like I jumped on the roller coaster and went haywire and attacked my body. I never went after every little bump or pore to this extent before. I've always been weird about things like blackheads around my nose. That was my hangup. But it didn't extend to this over-attacking to the point of embarassmet. I don't want to go out in public now. I used to. A lot. I asked my doctor if there was any association because that's what/when I noticed it as well and he said "no" that there was no such "side effect" as this in association with taking Ritilin. So I had to write it off, but in my head I did make a mental note of how and when this thing got so out of control. I've been made to believe it's my imagination, but I never fully bought into that.
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August 28, 2010

I want to thank everyone for responding. After reading your posts I am only more set on finding the answers. I know in my heart that my daughter did not pick before these medications and it just irks me that none of the doctors have been up front about the panic attacks,anxiety and picking. When I asked this last doctor she said "well there are side effects with all medications." THIS was the one confirmation I had ever gotten that these drugs did cause this. I will keep you posted. I am trying to see if there is some legal recourse. If I find anything I will let you all know.
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September 02, 2010

Yes, I do believe there is a pharmacological connection between dermatillamania and concurrent use of stimulants, i.e. Adderall, Adderall XR, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta, and Desoxyn, to name the most common. I personally suffer from ADHD-Hyperactive Type with a comorbid Impulse Control Disorder. For countless years I took Adderall XR 30mg daily until I was diagnosed with a terminal illness and began suffering from anxiety and panic. Instead of treating my anxiety with benzoidapines my dose of Adderall XR was doubled. He justified this saying, that while paradoxical, those with ADHD often can manage the triggers of their anxiety if prescribed more of their stimulant. Suprisenly doubling my daily dosage to now 60mg daily did control my day-time anxiety. Unfortunately when the stimulant wore off come night I found myself 'picking' alongside managing rebounding anxiety issues. Now I take Xanax 2mg tabs at night as needed to control my anxiety and ironically COMPLETELY HALTS my urge to pick!! Further supporting evidence can be found when I often chose to not take my Adderall XR on a weekend, so I can sleep, etc.. On those days in particular I find absolutely NO urge to pick. A temporary remedy for you might be switching to a less potent stimulant like Ritalin or Concerta. Adderall and Vyvanse both are comprised of amphetamine raceamic isomers, dextro-amphetamine the most potent and Levo-Amphetamine being less.. (Adderall is 3:1 Dextro to Levo, and Vayanse, I believe, free of dextro completely. (Dexto-Amphetamine is potent and addictive, crossing ones blood-brain barrier as Dextro-Amp, the same end chemical that Methamphetamine breaks into before entering our brains!! Maybe switch to a Ritalin formulation and ask of Xanax or Valium could help manage the urge to pick... Hope I've helped
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September 02, 2010

Dear smgrac0, You sound very knowledgeable about the ADHD drugs. I agree completely with you about Adderall and Vyvanse. The doctor is wheaning my daughter off of the Vyvanse and sine this process began so has her urge to pick. The habit and urge is still there but she told be she hasn't been picking the same amount. I am hoping once this process is complete that she will have control over her urges. The one thing that bothers me is at first the doctor dropped her from 60mg to 30mg and when this happened so quickly it caused my daughter to see faces in the mirror and she had terrible nightmares. We went directly to her doctor and then they began wheaning her slowly from the drug. She isn't seeing the faces anymore but now she's so petrified of any shadow or noise as that event really traumatized her. Have you ever heard this happening before? The doctor has my daughter on Zoloft, which she is also supposed to reduce now that she's nearly off of the Vyvanse (2 more days). You have helped tremendously and I appreciate the explanations.
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September 27, 2010

Agreed concernedmom! I am a huge advocate for my 16 yr old daughter that is physically and learning disabled. However, she began taking Adderall 30mg daily 5 years ago but didn't start picking her scalp until almost 2 years ago?? Since then it has continually gotten worse to the point of severe. Being mentally challenged its quite hard to get to the true emotional causes. If there is a connection why did it take so long to manifest? Additionally, she is also on Prozac and Abilify. (behavioral issues) I guess my question is has anyone had a similar experience and has anyone's physician ever confirmed this connection with these types of drugs? Also you mentioned medication induced tics, can you tell me more.
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September 27, 2010

Dear Gigismom---It's been several months now that my daughter has been weaned off of her medication. I want you all to know that since she has gone off of Vyvanse she is no longer picking. For the first time in 5 years of being on ADHD medications (Adderall XR and Vyvanse) she is finally beginning to heal her physical wounds that these medications have left. The physchiatrist that prescribed the Vyvanse is in agreement that the picking was caused by these drugs but since my daughter came to her after the fact she said she can only testify to what she has seen. She told me to go back to the original prescriber and ask them but the problem is this doctor is no longer with the same medical faciility. I have talked and written to several lawyers about my daughter but they say her case would be too costly and the burden of proof is on us to prove these medications did this to her. Gigsmom---I don't recall the exact time her picking began. My daughter believes she began about 6 months to a year after she began the Adderall. All I know is she could not stop and every time I said something to her pediatrician they kept dismissing it. It was finally one of the PA's that said I think she has some kind of OCD and recommended us to a physchiatrist. Things didn't work out with that counselor and then about 1 1/2 years ago we swithced to a new doctor. It was this last doctor that agrees however without the first doctor backing up that claim it isn't going to work. She suggested putting my daughter back on the vyvanse to document this fact but after seeing what my daughter went through to get off of the Vyvanse I am afraid to do this to her again. They cut her medicine too fast and she began seeing terrifying images. When this happened they tried weaning her more slowly and the images went away but she was so scarred by these images that she is now scared to death to sleep alone or even go upstairs by herself. She spent about 2 weeks covering up the mirrors so she wouldn't see anything again. She is better now but still fearful that these images will return. It's sad that a child has to go through this. I am still looking for anwsers and if I find them I will post. ps---my daughter also picked her scalp as well to the point of losing patches of hair. It is better now and she has stopped piciking.
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October 06, 2010

Wow, I didn't make the connection between the increased ferocity in my face picking with the Vyvanse ive been on for 4 months. I've always picked and dug holes in my face, but the SEVERITY, frequency, and lack of self control over the picking has SKYROCKETED.
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October 21, 2011

Dancingpopes---it will only get worse,trust me. My suggestion is to stop the Vyvanse before it damages your skin.
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October 21, 2011

Hello to all. I am posting here for the first time. I don't know if I'm glad I found this site while doing research or not. I AM HORRIFIED!!! I started taking Adderall about 6 months ago. Never in my LIFE have I EVER had a problem with picking anything on my body!! About a week ago, I thought I saw 2 ugly blackheads on my tummy. I am turning 58 in a few weeks. I have always had beautiful skin, no acne problems as a teen, and frequently am told I can pass for late 40's. My Mother is 87 and still looks great...I did get her genes in the skin department, thank God. But NOW, I must have over 300 picking marks, some so bad, they are actually HOLES in my stomach. I'm not meaning to brag at all, really I am not. I have been blessed all my life with very few body issues. I was very chubby as a kid, but was successful in getting my weight down as an adult (after having my daughter) and have (again) been blessed to still wear a 2 piece suit and feel comfortable. If ANYONE thinks Adderall does NOT cause picking, they are delusional. I saw my Doc 4 days ago, things weren't too bad then. He said is was an imbalance in the chemistry, agreed I should stop the Adderall, so I have a 4-5 week wean off period. I do take Kolonopin and Effexor. They have not seemed to help my anxiety since this picking started. I just started taking 5HTP in the evening as part of a new program I'm beginning to get off ALL MEDS. Depression runs rampant in my family so that is the one thing I've had all my life. Started the antidepressants 18 yrs. ago due to severe post-partum depression. My apologies this is so disjointed...so jumbled. I am honestly in shock right now. I thought this little picking thing was a weird passing phase. I've never been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, or anything close. Panic attacks and anxiety began about 5 yrs. ago after several major life-altering events that came one on top of the other. Didn't have time to process one, and they just kept coming. My life kind of fell apart. Not kind of ....IT DID. I share this ONLY to make the point again, that this picking just started. I know without a shadow of a doubt that its the Adderall. I'm concerned I will have scars now...I do not have the funds to afford any kind of special skin treatments after the fact. My daughter keeps telling me I just have to stop. I CAN'T. It's obsessive, and as someone else posted, I get lost in a trance for what seems like hours. I am horrified not only about my skin (face, arms, legs, stomach) but that I repeatedly read EVERY SINGLE WORD of the side effects and precautions of this drug. Talked with my Doc about the addictive properties. Expressed concern that I did not want to become addicted to anything - more. Never once, in any literature, or from my physician, was THIS mentioned as a possibility. I think this HORRIBLE DRUG should be banned, I will stand up in any court, align with anyone who's willing, to sue the Ba***ds for not fully informing parents or any patient what this stuff can cause. I'm heartbroken for the kids who have suffered so badly on this medication. Heartbroken for all of us who have seen what we've done to our own bodies - without any ability to just STOP. As a single, mature adult woman, this is the last thing I need in my life. Someday I do want to have a relationship again. I am now worried about ever showing my body in public - the pool or beach - and no way on earth would I attempt intimacy in this condition. Please forgive the typos or lack of spell check. I didn't expect to find this-- to learn what I've learned. At this moment, my anxiety is off the charts. Dear God, what if I can never stop this even after I quit the Adderall?? I'm too old and too tired to fight another major life battle right now. I'm angry, sad, worried, and want to cry. A LOT. If anyone does find legal grounds, I'm with you. I know exactly when this began....and have no prior issues with picking. Again, it's the Adderall. That is the only thing in my life that is different in over 2.5 years. Last note...my dear sister-in-law, referred me to the book, THE WAY UP FROM DOWN. While it's focus in healing depression naturally, it explains everything about our brain chemistry. Written in 1994, still considered to be the best book on the subject. The program I'm beginning is all in there. Blessings to all. Sorry to be such a panicky mess.....I'm very frightened.
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October 21, 2011

Dear Morgaine---You are doing the right thing in getting off the Adderal. I kept telling the doctor's that it was the medication and it fell on deaf ears. They kept telling me it was my daughter---that shehad problems and not the drug. In my heart I knew it was. My daughter picked every inch of her skin from her scalp to her feet. When she was getting worse and picking to the point that it was leaving holes in her chest and legs it really frightened me. I was so afraid that shewould get mersa or some other sort of infection from the open sores. We tried everything and when those things didn't work I demanded that they stop the medications and bingo---the picking stopped. I tried to see a lawyer and they told me it would be too hard to prove. I think we should write to the drug companies. We did try NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) it's an herb and it controlled some of the picking. http://www.puritan.com/. My daughter's pychiatrist recommended it. My daughter doesn't take it anymore but it did help somewhat if you are still picking it's worth a try. My daughter scarred terribly. She has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome so she scars and it leaves brown marks on her skin. Fortunately after one year we are seeing improvements in her skin and the spots are getting lighter. Having this damage does nothing for your self esteem especially if you are 17 years old. We tried Mederma and I am always looking for something else so if anyone has any ideas please share them with us. Morgaine---Hang in there and just know it takes time but they will heal and begin to fade.
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December 06, 2011

Hey! I am twenty two and I have been picking my skin for years ( and I'm on adderall big suprise). However, I have to take it because I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I literally can't get out of bed without it. My mom always warned me that if I didn't picking stop I would get Mersa, and that is exactly what happened. I had a hole in my armpit and almost had to have my arm amputated. Luckily, it cleared up after months of antibiotics and constant up keep ( cleaning, antibacterial body wash, manuka honey). However, I still continued to pick at my face; which baffles me at how I could be so stupid. I have had quite a few DEEP scars on my face, so I went to the doctor. I am now using clindamycin face wipes, which is basically an antibacterial solution, but it is strong. That actually helps by clearing up acne if there is any, and preventing infection and more acne. At night, I apply a dime size amount of Retin-A (tretinoin) for scarring. It dries your skin out quite a bit, but the results ( for me at least) are truly shocking. It tightens my skin and the pitted scars have faded and filled in. I also apply Vitamin-E specifically from the gel capsules on the scars to moisturize and minimize the scars. I also recommend taking vitamins such as fish oil. biotin, vitamin C, and lysene. I have also found that I look forward to this routine everyday, which REALLY helps me not pick my skin because it feels clean and looks 75% better. I actually get many compliments on how beautiful my skin is... when in reality I cause damage to my own skin and to my own self-esteem. SO! maybe this could be something that you could look into for your daughter... also I have found that when everything is clean around me I am less likely to pick b/c I don't want to contaminate anything. This has had a major impact on my life but I am still a very happy and fairly normal ( hahaha) person. When I pick I am at my lowest low, but when I don't there is no other feeling in the world like it to wake up and not have to worry about how im gonna cover up my "wounds" before I leave my room. I truly believe that my skin at points would probably horrify even a lot of people on this site, but luckily there are ways to help it heal! I hope this helps and I know things will get better for everyone! Good Luck!
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October 21, 2011

Hi Everyone-----Just wanted to let you know that it has been one year since my daugher was weaned off of the Vyvanse and she has not picked since discontinuing the Vyvanse. , She was diagnosed with ADD at age 6 and had no picking issues, I truly believe Adderall caused this issues and two doctors agree with me. I will NEVER ever allow anyone to put my daughter on any kind of stimulant. If you are on any such drug like Adderall or Vyvanse be very careful.
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October 22, 2011

Wow....It never occured to me it could be the Adderall, but I don't guess it is TOO surprising. I am 36 years old and take Adderall for chronic fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis. I've been taking it about two years...probably the amount of time I have caused considerable TRAUMA to my FACE. I have always been a picker...and a little on the OCD side....but nothing that wasn't tolerable. Until this. The past year or so I have been obsessed to the point of hurting not just my health, but my family life, my JOB, social life, and causing serious mental and psychological ANGUISH to myself....omg...the amount of punishment that comes as a result of all of this garbage is surreal. Is it the Adderall? I don't know. But I DO have these behaviors, and I DO take it...so I suppose one could say there is a correlation there. Especially if umpteen other people come forward to say the same thing.... This is....SCARY....
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October 23, 2011

@Crow74----More than likely it IS the Adderall. I kept telling the doctors but no one would listen until I met my daughter's last doctor. I would cry with concern every time I saw her body. She is the only doctor I can sit here and say that had my daughter's best interest at heart.Ask to stop temporarily and see if it doesn't stop your picking binges. My daughter has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and ehlers danlos---both of which cause CFS and Fibromyalgia so I can understand what you are going through with MS. And,make sure they wean you off the adderal as it can cause horrific halucinations. (Been there for that as well....) Best of luck to you.
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November 13, 2011

Do not let the doctors tell you adderall isn't to blame because I know it is. I have picked scabs, my scalp, my fingers, my lips, for as long as I can remember (I'm 18) but a few years ago I had to have heart surgery and adderall also raises my heart rate so my surgery was right as summer break started and I went off of adderall for an entire summer. During that time my social anxiety went away, my self esteem was better than its normal low, and to me the most amazing thing I didn't pick anything my skin was completely free of any scabs or sores and my fingers finally looked normal and healthy, and I had ZERO compulsion to pick. Of course when school started back I had to go back on adderall and all my picking came back and went back to where I was. But now that i knew the picking was the adderall talking I asked my doctor what I could do and he didn't really help but I went to a psychiatrist and was told that the obsessive compulsive symptoms could be lessened by taking an antidepressent along with my adderall. This worked, but sadly I had to stop the antidepressant because it interfered with other medications I take for my heart. I am not saying you should try this with your daughter because antidepressants are a dicy affair with children and teenagers but maybe you should ask her doctor about it. And unfortunately I know that whenever i went to the doctor when i was on adderall I didnt advocate for myself and thats why im so glad my mom advocated for me. my thoughts are a little scattered but i hope you can maybe get something out of it, good luck!
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November 13, 2011

oh another thing I have also now stopped taking adderall and i tried vyvanse and that crap can really tear you a new one but have you considered strattera or intuniv for your daughters ADD I have taken strattera and it is the best ADD medication i have ever tried its non stimulant and for me it didnt have any of the old stimulant side effects.
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November 14, 2011

@chwityhaha: My daughter was on Strattera at one point as well but it didn't help her. I will not put her on any more ADHD drugs. I am done. Thank you and good luck.
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November 14, 2011

Hi Everyone---I am attaching a letter that I recieved from Division of Drug Information LL Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Food and Drug Administration. I followed their directions and reported my of Adderall and Vyvanse causing my daughter's picking issues. I suggest that if you too believe that these nedications caused your picking then you too should submit a complaint to this link. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm, click on "Reporting Serious Problems with the FDA," then "Reporting by Consumers/Health Professionals." Also, you may download and complete the form and mail it to the address provided or fax it to the number on the form. Perhaps our voices will be heard or maybe we can make a lawsuit. I don't know but we have to think of how this has affected each of us. When I filled out the form I couldn't answer all of the questions about lot numbers etc...as I didn't have the bottles anymore in which case I just put any number and then expalined it further in a written statement at the end of the form. These drugs cause physical scars that last a life time. The best thing I ever did was take my daughter off these drugs. I can sympathize with all you and want to thank you all for posting---please post a complaint to that link. I have taken pictures of my daughter's scars in case we can find a lawyer to handle our case. Maybe we can make a group case? Who knows I am not a lawyer.
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November 19, 2011

I can't believe I found. I used to pick my skin when I took adderall back in high school. My shoulders, chest and upper back were destroyed, I still have minor scarring. In my second year of college I took adderall for about 7 months, and I had the same issues. I recently started taking adderall again and the same problems have formed. My skin is producing cystic like acne, and sometimes I get very carried away with the picking. I really thought I just had bad skin or I wasn't taking care of myself correctly. I changed my diet, started exercising more, and tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nothing helped. I truly do believe that adderall makes your skin worse and also worsens the habits of one who picks skin. I hate it.
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November 20, 2011

@Jayzee---It's best to stay away from these stimulants. Use the link in my one post to report the problem so these companies are aware of this problem.Good luck.
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December 07, 2011

Adderall most definitely causes skin picking.I use meth regularly and thats when my picking is the worst. I have always had kind of had a somewhat obsession with popping pimples and things like that but adding meth into the mix takes it to a whole other level. I usually dont have problems with my skin when im not using
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December 07, 2011

renafie, u are 100% correct.
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December 07, 2011

I am humiliated to admit this, but I began taking adderall to stay "skinny" and get a little rush of euphoria too. Stupid, irresponsible, I know. I became addicted to this crap drug. I also began ripping my face, arms, and chest to shreds. At one point, i convinced my doc to prescribe this crap to me. Talk about self-sabbotage!! Anyway, Ive read some of the previous posts and my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from the add-induced skin probs. It truly is a hellish prison. Ive not taken add in 3 months, go to therapy, ( and speak honestly at therapy) and exercise and try to eat properly. Im 33, a mother of two, and aside from this issue am healthy and fit. When i was picking, I missed out on alot of things because i was horrified at what i had done to myself. Not to mention the effect it had on my relationship. Who wants to be touched when you r covered in lesions and scabs? I cant even imagine a child dealing w the skin pick thing as we all know kids can b particularly cruel. Bottom line-Adderall sucks, any stimulant causes "hyper-focus" which i think causes the skin picking. Good luck, and if you do suffer from add or adhd go non-stimulant
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December 14, 2011

@littlered---unfortunately sometimes we back bad decisions. Kids can be cruel and they were to my daughter. Having to live with this was extremely hard for her. No one tells of this horrific side effect and you are right this is a hellish prison. My daughter is finally gaining some confidence and all I can say is stay away from ADD stimulants. Hang in there.
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January 07, 2012

concerndmom u were only trying to help your daughter. i still struggle w the temptationfrom time to time when i 'forget' the pain. I also suffer from insomnia on my own without that crap! has her skin improved much? i hope so. take care.
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January 07, 2012

Littlered33---Her skin ihas improved slightly but it's going to take years to heal both emotionally and physically from this medication. She still has so much anxiety and gets panic attacks too. I blame it all on these medications and I wish I could prove it. My daughter's been under allot of stress the last few months as she has EHlers Danlos Syndrome and she's picked a few times. It seems once this picking habit forms it's hard to break the cyclce ----but trust me it's NOTHING like before,thank goodness. About your insomia have you tried melatonin? You can buy it pretty cheap through Puritan Pride. I take 3mg and it makes me tired. However I stop using it every few weeks because it tends to get me 4 hours of good sleep then I wake up and can't fall back to sleep. If I ever find help I will post it here.
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July 29, 2012

I know you wrote this quite a long time ago but if you would e-mail me i have questions about what you went through and what my wife is going through right now. Evans11_sun@yahoo.com . Jeremiah-Thank you
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July 29, 2012

I know you wrote this quite a long time ago but if you would e-mail me i have questions about what you went through and what my wife is going through right now. Evans11_sun@yahoo.com . Jeremiah-Thank you
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December 14, 2011

I have been wondering if adDerall caused skin picking. When I first started ADHD Medicean it wasn't aderall but I eventually switched to it and that's when I started picking. When I don't take my medicine I don't feel the need to pick as much. I hate what aderall did to me. I feel so embarrassed to even show my face in public.
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December 14, 2011

Hi Kayla---I complained for years that these drugs were causing the picking issues for my daughter. Unfortunately my complaints always fell on deaf ears. The last psychiatrist that I took my daughter to told me that we could put her back on it to find out for sure but to tell you the truth Kayla I do not want to have to put my daughter through that experience again. I know this drug did it to her as she never picked when she was not taking it. It's been over a year since she's been off of Adderall XR and I can tell you she doesn't pick. Her body is scarred and she very embarassed about some of these scars. They have gotten lighter (and so will yours).She puts merderma on then everyday now. I know exaclty what you (and the others) are going through and I wish the doctor's and drug companies would warn people that this could happen. My daughter still has bald spots and scars all over her body for this drug. The only way we are going to see action is to write and complain to these drug companies and the FDA. I hope you and every poster on this board will help me fight. Kayla---keep your chin up and know that you ARE beautiful no matter what. Hugs.
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December 27, 2011

Huh. I noticed that my picking actually got relatively better when I started taking Vyvanse. In fact, I am on both Vyvanse and Zoloft right now, and I noticed a much more dramatic decrease in picking when I started the Vyvanse than when I started the Zoloft!
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January 10, 2012

New to the Forum: Here is an interesting fact from a medical prospective. ADHD is a behavioral and mental health condition. With that in mind, especially in children, there is a much higher chance for tics associated with medication usage (specifically stimulants such as adderral). If you consider a tic an uncontrolled action then it is clear how you can make the connection with a picking behavior. I have even seen children who have ADHD go through dramatic changes with there tics after taking them off or switching them to another type of medication. There is scientific back up for this theory, just a different way of looking at it.
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January 10, 2012

@monk2b---it definitely makes sense but no lawyer will even touch our case. If any lawyer will please contact me.
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July 26, 2012

I've been on adder all for about 2 to 3 months. I've always had acne sometimes worse than others. But lately my skin looks HORRIBLE. I pick EVERYWHERE. My legs...arms....eyes ... Face even between my boobs. I am 18 and I go to college. I'm pretty sure everyone in my classes think a I'm a crack head. It's so embarrassing that sometimes I'll pick and plan not to go to school SO I CAM CONTINUE PICKING!!! I thought it was only me but it's like I can't stop. As I was sitting here reading all of these threads I continued to pick without even noticing. Right now I have 2 huge cysts on my face that will not go away and I continue to try to pop them... I feel like I'm crazy.... Literally. And i only eat once day so I'm losing so much weight. My fa,ily thinks there is something wrong with me. And there is. But I know what it is. It's adder all. I am prescribed to 60 mgs a day. Like most of y'all are prescribed to like20 or 30. So imagine yalls like 10 times worse. I'm embarrassed to look in the mirror. Like I'm ashamed for my boyfriend to see me. And usually I'll talk him into poping something on my back or where I can't reach it. I need serious help because I can't stop. Its so addicting.
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July 26, 2012

@Jessiedanielle615: My daughter's dose was high too and her skin picking ruled her life. It has caused her a bad self image,alienation, self loathing and so much heartache. Jessie,you need to get off of this drug. The picking will not get better unless you do. It's been a few years now and the scars are finally beginning to get lighter and heal. My daughter picked her breast too. It got so bad that I was afraid for her life. I was worried she'd get some sort of bacteria infection. I would clean her sores and cover them (thinking maybe out of sight may keep her from picking but it didn't.) Honey you need to get off the Adderall so that you can heal and get better. The picking will not stop until you do. When they stop it make sure they do it very slowly as my daughter had a very frightful experience (seeing faces and scarey things). To this day she is still afraid as it was so trumatic. Jessie---you are not crazy. It's the Adderall and all stimulants like these. So hang in there and feel better soon. Did you try NAC? n-acetyl-cysteine-1000mgThis was recommended to us by a doctor and it helped for awhile but it didn't take 100% of the urge away. Good luck.
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July 29, 2012

It's proven that all stimulants encourage skin picking. According to books and acquired knowledge I have, it has something to do with dopamine in the brain. The same goes for ICD disorders in general, which is the primary cause for skin picking among sufferers.
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July 29, 2012

Hello my name is Jeremiah. My wife has been battling depression and this picking problem for about 2 yrs now. As i have read in most of these blogs it sounds the same. Picking until she has craters in her arms, legs, face, everywhere. I cant stop her. She has a job at a high end club downtown and this effects her work habits. She is embarrassed to be out in public and at work. Just now I made her put my work gloves on and told her to lay down. She spends hours in front of the mirror, and it breaks my heart to see this happen. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met and sometimes when I come home from work it scares me to look at her. I feel helpless as so does she. It has effected our relationship, household, and all around well being. So I want to say thank you for everyone that has shared their stories because it gives me hope that she will stop and so will many of you with this problem. Please if you have any questions or answers to help with this please feel free to e-mail me. Evans11_sun@yahoo.com. Thank you again :)
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July 29, 2012

@Jeremiah---First let me say that your wife is very lucky to have soemone who is so supportive. When my daughter was picking she knew it was wrong and that she was hurting herself but it was way beyond her control. She too made craters and sores that would never go away. I tried everything to help her (ie...bandaids,velcro,other things to side track her and then NAC). It is one of the hardest habits to break but trust me it can be done IF you get off of these stimulants that are making it go out of control. My daughter occasionally picks but nothing out of the ordinary like before. I made the doctors stop her medication and told her I am so sorry I ever allowed them to put her on the stimulants in the first place. My daughter was diagnosed by Kennedy Kreiger with ADHD and you trust these doctors but boy have I learned that they don't know everything. I fought for years telling them that these meds were causing her picking and no one would listen to me. My daughter is now 18 and suffered so many problems due to these meds and I will NEVER let her take anything hurtful anymore. We learned the hard way but if I can just save one person it would have been well worth it. I totoally understand about the mirror---my daughter would stay in the tub picking for hours. It got so bad that I would make her wear a shirt so she couldn't see it to pick and I would sit in the bathroom while she bathed. Anything I could do to keep her safe. I hope your wife realizes what a special guy you are and listens to you so she can get better. The scars do fade but it takes time. My daughter uses AMBI and MEDERMA faithfully on each scar to heal it and make it better. Good luck---Mary
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October 01, 2012

I typed in this username jokingly, because of the awful experience I have had with ADD drugs, thinking that the website would not permit me to curse. However, it did- so sorry in advance! I suffer from severe OCD and ADD. I take 150 mg of Zoloft daily and recently began trying ADD medicines. I went from Ritalin to Concerta to Vyvance and now am back to zero ADD meds but am instead covered with scars, scabs and welts. One of the biggest manifestations of my OCD has always been tweezing- I would sit in front of the mirror every day for 10-15 minutes and tweeze my eyebrows. Sometimes, when I was really anxious, I would pick the skin on my face. While taking Vyvance, my picking got out of control. I did a one week trial of Vyvance and spent every moment of my free time using a tweezers to my arms, legs, stomach, back, chest, face and pelvis during that time. I was unable to complete my homework because I kept getting distracted by the desire to pick. From 12am-3am every evening of the trial, I would sit in front of the mirror with a tweezer and mutilate my body, completely unaware of the damage I was causing and the time I was wasting. It had painful, disgusting, embarrassing and scarring effects and I am now using a slimy antibacterial gel prescribed to me by my dermatologist to help the wounds heal, have to wrap my arms in gauze, cannot wear any clothing that shows my shoulders, arms, legs, or stomach, and am never allowed to take any Ritalin or Adderall type medication again. The only reason I was able to stop was because my mom happened to walk into my room last night and catch me picking and get me help. Never take Vyvanse. It is a bad drug. And DEFINITELY do not believe anyone who tells you that the Vyvanse does not cause picking.
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October 02, 2012

@FV---I have been saying this for years but no doctor would listen to me except one psychiatrist and she took her off all the meds at my request. She said the only way we could find out for sure if it was the ADD meds was to put her back on them and document it but by this time I had enough of what they did to my daughter's body. Like you these drugs have caused my daughter to mutilate her body and destroy any ounze of self confidence she may have had left. They have caused her years of self hatred, years of loathing, years of trying to put back the pieces of her life. My daughter will NEVER be the same and she will never be happy because of these medicines. They have robbed her of her innocence and made her fearful of even the simplest of things in life. When the doctor took her off of these meds they did it too quickly and she saw faces in mirrors. Not just any faces but scarey demon faces. To this day she is still afraid to be alone near a mirror because it frightened her so badly. The damages these drugs have caused are done and will never be turned around. I agree---Doctors are not God and they do not know everything. If they tell you it won't cause picking or issues and you are having problems don't believe them listen to your intuition and get off. I'm glad you have a great Mom in your corner who loves you and understands what you are going through. By the way...be careful with Zoloft too if you are overweight as we found out it holds onto weight and was causing my daughter to not lose weight too. Once off she dropped 40 pounds. Good luck with healing.
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October 02, 2012

Hi concernedmom! Although I can't relate to the ADD med leading to picking issue (my picking is not caused by meds, just my own neurosis!) I just wanted to send you an encouraging message. Thank you for standing up for your daughter. You are a mom who cares, and there should be more moms out there like you. My suggestion is to pursue this to the end--whether that's with a lawyer or getting a petition together or contacting your local television stations. Are you aware of the website www.change.org? There you can create a petition for any type of thing you want, and people sign it. Perhaps having a petition that states that your daughter was injured by these drugs and getting lots of signatures, you could get some TV airtime or an audience with law enforcement. Get the word out how you can. If you post the link to your petition on this forum, I will certainly sign it. I am aware that there are consequences to medications and vaccines that the companies are aware of and do not release to the public!
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October 02, 2012

Thank you OliveGreen. I will definitely add a link and continue this fight.
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November 14, 2012

I also have a picking problem And I know for sure it's caused by the medication I am now 40 years old And have been on medication for 20 years I won't wear tank tops I won't wear a bathing suit And I don't wear shorts!!!!! All due The way the scars are on my body When I ask the doctor about it He just wants to put me on another medication????? The bad thing is When I stopped taking the medication My OCD is crazy I have Twins And there diaper can never be clean enough Or their clothes Or their bottles ect......... Please while she's young Do something about it I don't want her to be the way I am Too scared to wear certain clothes She still young So she should be wearing teenage clothing My advice to her Is no matter what you are beautiful And don't let anybody Criticize her and make her feel bad about herself!!!!! I know I will definitely pray for her Because like you said there is no way to stop this problem Once it starts you do not stop I've tried therapy I've tried telling myself I love myself not to do it I have tried everything I'm just so glad she's got a mother to love her enough to show her the right way If you do get a petition started I will definitely sign it too! Keep going keep Having faith and I will be praying for you to Let her know that she is not the only one with this problem A lot if people had this problem and too embarrassed to share it Probably one of her friends has this problem Let her know to keep her head up and not worry about what other people say!!!! God Bless!!!!!
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December 20, 2012

I'm 24 and have only taken Adderall for months, however I've been picking for years now. Maybe since around middle school? So it hasn't caused picking for me. However since I've been taking it, I'm much more aware of the picking and really want to stop.
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December 22, 2012

Fred Penzel, Ph.D. says on p. 189 in his book, "The Hair Pulling Problem" regarding Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine that "I have also seen some adults suddenly begin biting fingernails and picking their skin as a result of the stimulation these medications seem to cause." I hope your daughter is doing ok. - Annette
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February 18, 2013

Hi. I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to say thank you for having this post up. I recently started taking Addlerall and noticed myself starting to have a lot of OCD like behaviors. In my case, nail biting and making making my glasses straight and balanced on my face. I thought these were due to starting an intensive school program, but now i think it is the Adderall. The Adderall also makes my blood pressure jump as it wears off. A month ago my nurse practitioner psychiatrist switched me to Ritalin. I got very depressed and switched back to Adderall, but now I am nail biting again. I think I'm going to just have to be done with ADHD medications. Most of the non-stimulant ADHD medications are atypical antipsychotics, which I'm not willing to take. (A few SSRIs and blood pressure medication are also thrown into the non-stimulant cataloger.) I hope everything is OK with your daughter. I work with suicidal teenager and some of the scar creams work relativity well. (Some of it is a total rip off, though.) I used to get panic attacks when I was younger. What helped me was being hooked up to a biofeedback machine, basically a lie detector. I could see my heart rate, blood pressure and many other things on a screen in front of me. I would then try and wiggle the numbers around. After a while I would think about all my triggers to trigger a panic attack. I would look at the screen and try to bring the numbers back down. It took a few months, but I got rid of my panic attacks. Sorry for the long post, thank you again for posting and I hope everything is good now.

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