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Parents of ADHD Children


My son is 12.5 and has ADHD.  He takes Foculin XR.  He’s taken medication for 3+ years.  I’ve noticed recently (past few months) that he does a lot of picking..either he will pick inside his ear or he will pick at his eyelashes.  He says he feels like he has a scab in his ear that he can pick out.  He does have a little dry flakiness on his eyelashes, but he is constantly picking.  I won’t see anything there, and he tells me it’s there and he is obsessed with picking at it.  He will stand in front of the mirror for a very long time (until I physcially make him move) and look and pick and look and pick.  Once he moves from the mirror, he will continue doing it as well.  His eyelids end up being red and swollen and he has lost a bunch of his eyelashes.  I’ve also noticed he does not do this on the weekends when he does not take his medication.  I’m guessing it has something to do with the medication.  Why would the medication make him pick…is he showing obsessive/compulsive behavior?  Anybody have experience with this and know what to do or say to him to get him to try to stop??  Thank you.


My daughter use to get a nervous tick and constantly playing with her fingers. I noticed this after she started medication. I think they just become obsessed with it. I mentioned it to her doctor and she switched her meds and she hasn’t had any problems.

Posted by pretty_eyes on Nov 14, 2013 at 5:04am

Hi. My daughter has been on countless medications from ,adderall, concerta and now Vyvance which thankfully is working the best for her ADHD.
She has what is known as a “tic” from her medications that aren’t as bad on the Vyvance.
Her “picking” “tic” is her nose. She rubs the outside or actually does feel the need to rub inside her nostrils as well. I asked her when this first started Why she was doing it and she just said it feels like I have to do it. We notice now that we have her on the Vyvance which seems to agree with her body the best she doesn’t do it hardly at all. Mostly when she’s really over tired.

Posted by kat13 on Nov 14, 2013 at 5:07am

Yes I have noticed the same thing in my daughter.  She is 8 yrs old ADHD sensory processing she takes Focalin Xr 10mg and since she’s started she has a BAD NAIL BITING. Problem and skin picking around the nail :(
At night I use Vaseline and hand gloves to help heal them.  I think that the medication heightens the OCD tic in my daughter and I think to myself doesn’t this hurt her ? At this point I really don’t want to change meds. I like the focalin for her during the day. I did find some sensory necklaces that help she puts it in her mouth when she feels the urge to bite or pick. But it’s a temporary solution.  I hope this helps

Posted by 15Girl on Nov 14, 2013 at 6:03am

My son picks and have nervous ticks and we still didn’t try medications for him.

Posted by adhdboy on Nov 14, 2013 at 6:21am

Yes, my son (11) picks his nails and the surrounding skin, and he also goes through phases where he is constantly rubbing the sinus areas on the sides of his nose (actually rubs from his nose across his cheeks).

His doctor said that the tics are already present, but that they can become more pronounced on certain meds (or on meds in general).

Posted by JAMurphy on Nov 14, 2013 at 5:58pm

My son is 13 and on Focalin too.  He picked his fingers at school and sometimes his feet at home.  He now has a book to read at school when he is finished with his work in each class. His teachers are ok with it.  When we notice it at home, we try and get him to help us with whatever we are doing at that time or he has also started making things with perler beads. It keeps his mind off of it and his hands busy.

Posted by jmw on Nov 14, 2013 at 7:47pm

My son has ticks as well, and he’s not on any medication.

He has two types…

One is that he will chew things (shirt sleeves, backpack straps that hang down, etc.)  I find he tends to do this when he’s trying to control/relieve his ADHD.  For example, we went to an event downtown that drew huge crowds.  They had speeches before the walk that lasted well over an hour and he was *bored*!!  But it was so crowded that he couldn’t run or move, so he chewed his sleeve.  I couldn’t stop him and he didn’t seem to be able to stop himself.  But he got through the speeches.

The other type he seems to do when he’s relaxed, like watching TV or reading a book (he loves reading).  He will crack his neck or elbows.  He does this until it hurts and says he can’t stop when I try to remind him not to do it.  I have no idea why he does it.  He says it feels better to do it, but if he does it too much it will hurt, so I don’t know? 

I’m hoping to ask about this as soon as I can get in to see someone (we’re waiting to hear if we can get an appointment with the specialists… it might be awhile…)

Posted by Rai0414 on Nov 16, 2013 at 12:18am

Sounds like he needs his medication changed or lowered immediately, this is a tic and if not addressed will continue for the rest of his life even when he’s off medication, I still have a jaw tic from Adderall and I was only on it for a year and been off of it for 8 plus months.

Poor kid, feel sorry for him and wish you both luck.  Remember medication isn’t for everyone, diet and nutrition can do wonders for adhd.

My friend Blair is 40 years old and had adhd and he still picks at his fingers, arms and face GROSS I tell you!!!  Its a left over tic from Elementary School adhd Ritalin medication.  He even does it in his sleep, he had scars and scabs all over his face, arms, fingers and the tops of his legs in the summer time where-ever he can reach while sitting or laying down.  He doesn’t even know when he’s doing this, my husband and I are always looking for ways to help him out.  Guess this is the future of an untreated picker… Luckily I only have the painful jaw tic thing, whatever it is

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 16, 2013 at 3:42am

In response to the story of Blair above.. a life long picker is different from a picker from a tick from medication.  Picking scabs like Blair does for so long is called “Dermatillomania” and is a form of Impulse Control Disorder. Which is often to believed to be caused from a chemical imbalance in the brain (which could have been caused by a medication who knows)  I have this & it SUCKS.  It’s like impossible to stop, the more people tell you to stop the more you do it (trust me).  I had the best success w/ mine on certain medicines.
Now at age 5 (actually it started at age 4) my son has started this awful issue as well as showing signs of ADHD, Anger, Aggression…

Posted by whirlwind_jeepchic on Nov 18, 2013 at 7:03pm

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