At what point do you start contemplating OCD as part of the issue?

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    • #59712
      smschanda
      Participant

      I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD, and only recently diagnosed with ADHD – but as far back as I can remember I’ve had these limited period of times where I am obsessed to the point of not being able to get anything else done until I do this thing. And rarely are they useful things like putting away the dishes or cleaning my room. Today for instance while trying to get work done in my office, I just had this persistent thought that I HAD to go clean all my hair brushes, and once I had given in to that and done it, I could go back to working. When I worked in the office it generally would turn into hours long online shopping or researching for things that really I didn’t need. But if I don’t indulge, I just keep hitting this metaphorical wall and can’t concentrate at all.

      I also tend to be this way about things that are “wrong” with my skin or hair, picking at scabs, rough patches, irritants, and other abnormalities until either I am satisfied or I bleed and need to stop myself. It’s not a self harm sort of thing, it doesn’t “make me feel better” it just falls nicely under the same obsession listed above, just with more physical evidence. I also pick at rough surfaces and loose fibers, often destroying things that were only slightly damaged by slowly tearing them apart.

      I noticed when my doctor put me on Prozac for anxiety a few years back that this got slightly better, but that just means I generally stop now before I’m bleeding, but I still pick at things until it hurts. Often if I’m driving somewhere and I don’t have nail clippers or tweezers I’ll stop at a store along the way and buy some so I can continue picking/paring/poking at things.

      Stress definitely makes things worse, as does being stuck in traffic. My doctor’s recommendation was just to stop it, which isn’t terribly helpful. I’ve tried things like bitter spray on my fingers to keep from biting, but then I just pick with other materials. When I know I’m going to be in a situation where it will be stressful and I shouldn’t pick (like an airplane, ew germs) I exfoliate everything that could possibly be a trigger and moisturize until I can’t stand it anymore. But that’s not really practical for every day.

      Is this just another part of ADHD or should I be looking further?

    • #59728
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      My son does this as well. He doesn’t feel the need to be “groomed” but does pick at and further destroy EVERYTHING (he’s almost 15).

      Several years ago, a friend suggested Natural Calm, which is a powdered magnesium supplement. She said it helps with that. And it really did help a great deal, when he would take it. I’ve struggled to get him to drink it the last couple years unfortunately. It does seem to need to be this powdered formulation. Comes in several flavors and gets mixed in water or juice.

      Hair Pulling! Skin Picking! Nail Biting! Oh, My!

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #59778
      smschanda
      Participant

      Thank you Penny,

      Interestingly my doctor has me on the whole foods version of that powdered magnesium supplement, which amazingly doesn’t seem to make much of a difference with my constantly tense muscles, she recommended I try the Natural Calm next, though as the ingredients are exactly the same, I’m a little leery of purchasing another bottle until I’ve finished the whole foods version. I’m continuing to drink it, mostly because I like the taste and perhaps it will do something over time.

      • #59987
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        Hopefully, what you’re taking is the same form of Magnesium and the same ratios of ingredients. Those can make a difference. I forgot that our therapist had recommended Inositol for this as well. It’s also a readily-available supplement, but the studies that show it reducing anxiety use a lot higher doses than what is recommended on the supplement bottles.

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #59989
        smschanda
        Participant

        Yeah, the ingredients are exactly the same and the percentage in a dose is slightly higher, but basically the same. I need to look into a few more supplements that the doctor has recommended, I’ll take a look at Inositol as well.

        Thank you!

    • #71127
      howe.kelsey
      Participant

      At the start. My therapist has been screening me for co-occurring conditions. Also helps narrow down if it really is ADHD, since most of my answers to the OCD questions sounded like ADHD responses. Although I do pick at my scalp, skin picking is generally localized for people so they do one or several things. It’s pretty bad I’ve been doing it since 6th grade and now have a few ongoing scabs on my scalp that just make the picking desire worse. But picking isn’t exclusive with OCD, but there are certain things like Sensory Processing Disorder that isn’t found in all ADHD people but is in OCD people if I’m keeping things straight.

      So essentially what I’m saying is always talk your symptoms out with a medical professional and don’t self-diagnose, its easy to mistake symptoms for each other, or the root of your frustration itself can be hard to put a name on some days. My therapist gives me a lot of examples which is invaluable in answering the screening questions. Whats in our mind doesn’t always apply or does and we didn’t think it would.

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