Skin picking and sleep disturbances: relationship to anxiety and need for research.
ABSTRACT Pathological excoriation (PE) or skin picking is seen in nearly 2% of patients attending dermatology clinics and is often associated with anxiety, stress and frequent help-seeking behaviors. While anxiety and stress are thought to cause poor sleep in the general population, not all anxious people, even those with disabling anxiety disorders, necessarily suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems. The relationship between anxiety symptoms and poor sleep, therefore, remains unclear and sleep quality in PE is unknown. We examined the sleep quality and levels of anxiety in dermatological patients with PE. Dermatological patients with (n = 10) and without (n = 10) PE and healthy controls (n = 10) were assessed on standardized and validated measures of subjective sleep quality [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)], anxiety (Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory; modified Zung Anxiety Scale), stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and work and social disability [Sheehan Disability Inventory subscale (SDI-4)]. Patients with dermatological complaints as a group reported poorer sleep quality, higher scores on Spielberger State and Zung anxiety, perceived stress, and SDI-4. Among both groups of dermatological patients, only the PE group had significantly poor sleep, high anxiety, and perceived stress compared to healthy controls. In the dermatological patients with PE, PSQI-global scores were significantly positively correlated to Spielberger State and Zung Anxiety scores. Dermatological patients with PE are more anxious and have poorer subjective sleep compared to dermatological patients without PE and healthy. Future research is needed to elucidate these relationship factors and to develop new behavioral and drug treatments for the management of PE.
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ABSTRACT: Given the significant deleterious effects of stress on psychological and physical well-being, the present two-part study sought to clarify relations among putative vulnerability factors (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance) for perceived stress. Relations among anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, and perceived stress were examined using a large college student sample (N=400) in Study 1 and were replicated using a large community sample (N=838) in Study 2. As predicted, experiential avoidance moderated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and perceived stress. Contrary to expectations, simple effects in both studies revealed that anxiety sensitivity shared a significant positive association with perceived stress at low, but not high, levels of experiential avoidance. The moderating role of experiential avoidance was found to be robust to the effects of general distress. Moreover, anxiety sensitivity and experiential avoidance evidenced a differential pattern of relations with perceived stress than was evidenced with related negative affective states (i.e., anxiety and depression). The present results suggest that experiential avoidance appears to be a vulnerability factor of particular importance for understanding the phenomenology of perceived stress. Conceptual and clinical implications are discussed.Behavior therapy 09/2013; 44(3):459-69. DOI:10.1016/j.beth.2013.04.001 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sleep is an active process that occupies about one-third of the lives of humans; however, there are relatively few studies of skin disorders during sleep. Sleep disruption in dermatologic disorders can significantly affect the quality of life and mental health of the patient and in some situations may even lead to exacerbations of the dermatologic condition. Sleep and skin disorders interface at several levels: (1) the role of the skin in normal sleep physiology, such as thermoregulation, core body temperature control, and sleep onset; (2) the effect of endogenous circadian rhythms and peripheral circadian "oscillators" on cutaneous symptoms, such as the natural trough in cortisol levels during the evening in patients with inflammatory dermatoses, which most likely results in increased pruritus during the evening and night; (3) the effect of symptoms such as pruritus, hyperhidrosis, and problems with thermoregulation, on sleep and sleep-related quality of life of the patients and their families; (4) the possible effect of primary sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and circadian rhythm disorders, on dermatologic disorders; for example, central nervous system arousals from sleep in sleep apnea can result in increased sympathetic neural activity and increased inflammation; and (5) comorbidity of some dermatologic disorders with stress and psychiatric disorders, for example, major depressive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that are also associated with sleep-related complaints. Sleep loss in atopic dermatitis (AD) is likely involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD-like symptoms in AD. Scratching during sleep, which may be proportional to the overall level of sympathetic nervous activity during the respective stages of sleep, usually occurs most frequently during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stages 1 and 2 (vs stages 3 and 4 which are the deeper stages of sleep), and in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where the severity of scratching is similar to stage 2 sleep. Patient and parental reports of nocturnal itch and scratching in AD typically do not correlate with objective measures of scratching.Clinics in dermatology 01/2013; 31(1):118-26. DOI:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2011.11.016 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to important neurobehavioral consequences including cognitive deficits, hyperactivity/inattention, daytime sleepiness, and mood disturbances. Interestingly, the potential role of OSA in the pathogenesis of impulse-control disorders such as nail biting (onychophagia) is currently unknown. We present a case of a man with severe onychophagia and biting-induced finger mutilation that was completely resolved after diagnosis and treatment of severe OSA. Accordingly, this report represents an important clinical observation that suggests a connection between sleep physiology and the neurobiological circuits implicated in the regulation of impulse-control behaviors. Further research in this area may improve our current understanding of the neurobehavioral consequences of untreated OSA. CITATION: Nino G; Singareddy R. Severe onychophagia and finger mutilation associated with obstructive sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(4):379-381.Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 01/2013; 9(4):379-81. DOI:10.5664/jcsm.2594 · 2.93 Impact Factor