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I'm in the process of trying to compile and decipher the latest peer-reviewed research-based information that is out there examining the correlation between psychostimulant medications used to treat conditions ranging from ADD/ADHA to narcolepsy, to libido issues (this may be an off-label use, but try me, it's being used for this purpose) and dermatillomania. Anecdotally, the overwhelming response to this question when asked by individuals on forums is "YES"; taking these stimulant drugs does not only exacerbate the urge, but is often the catalyst for the compulsion. So, what are the scientists saying?not too much really. Fact is, not much research (and thus not much literature) exists looking at these two factors as having any kind of causal relationship. Doesn't seems that comorbidity exists to a statistically significant degree between ADHD and dermatillomania but again, there isn't a lot of evidence based research on this topic. My own personal experience and overwhelming observation when comes to this topic is that yes, it definitely plays a role. Stimulants are stimulants, and with these drugs come predictable side-effects/ alterations in behavior (some of which are good, others not so much). Increased, almost manic-like hyper focusing is one of these predictable behaviors, specifically in adults (children's brains work differently and do not process increases in dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine , etc the same way as adult brains). If you are someone prone to picking, for whatever reason, it very well may be a stimulant that sets this picking-behavior in motion, or causes you to relapse if you have managed to keep picking at bay. Bottom line, as a seasoned stimulant veteran (age started at approx. age 10), my best advice if you want to quit picking is to STOP taking stimulant medications. Honestly, just stop, I promise you will be better off for having done so. If you don't believe me, at least give it a shot and see if you are better able to control your urges to pick. Society is stimulant obsessed these days, and I really think we're headed for a major psychiatric meltdown if this problem isn't addressed. Hard to do though since there is so much made on these drugs.... Another discussion for another time...
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