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I don't know how to help my roommate
Since beginning college, my roommate has been prescribed 20mg adderall and vyvanse (I'm not sure the amount per day) from two different doctors at school. She had perfect grades in high school and was never diagnosed with ADD/ADHD but these drugs are now given to her freely. Since starting them, her behavior has changed drastically. She is very irritable, denies responsibility for simple things, and gets very defensive. Worst of all, her skin picking is extremely disturbing. She has always bit her nails but about two months ago she plucked her entire eyebrow off because she claimed there were ingrown hairs. She has always always had very nice skin, but the extent to which she picks at her face leaves it hardly recognizable. Her eyebrow grew back, and she completely ripped the skin off again. She spends hours in the mirror with tweezers. There was blood covering the bathroom when I came home once after she had ripped skin off of her eyebrow and picked at some scabs on her arms. When a housemate asked her to clean it, she cleaned up a few spots and then was very defensive and rude about the situation. This is not normal behavior, I know she is embarrassed to show her face or go out on the weekends, and I'm not sure what to do. I do not have a problem with skin picking and I don't know if her prescriptions cause this but if there is any advice you have in dealing with someone who picks at their skin, please let me know. I don't feel comfortable in my own place or around her anymore, and I know she cannot be happy.
April 11, 2012
As a fellow picker who had been on meds & has feeling here is what I suggest. Medications, hormones, ect. can definitely impact moods and behaviors in unhealthy and undesirable ways. You should ask her if she has problems controlling her picking, but you must re-in force that your conversation will not go beyond the 2 of you. Offer support & help if she feels she has a problem. But if she doesn't think it's a problem then leave the issue alone. You can't force a picker to change. Just let her know if she needs support you are there. Don't say anything about medications, your not her doctor, but mention she seems more irratible than normal. If she gets pissed or blows up on you, find another room mate and be honest with her why.
April 16, 2012
This is tough. As a picker I have been super defensive about it, and felt incredibly ashamed, insulted and angry if anyone would dare to mention it - which is stupid because its impossible to not notice it and also a ridiculous behaviour. So, be warned that she will find it hard to listen at first and may react wildly. Usually however, the second thing I would feel if anyone mentions it is relief: with any luck that will be her second reaction. To be honest, only about 5 people have ever mentioned it in 15 years, and they never got beyond one comment before I shot them down. If I had let myself have a proper conversation about it maybe it would have been better, so do try.