No one knows why it happens. Not even me. I've been picking my skin for more than 10 years!!! now.
At first I didn't give it much thought. It kinda happened by itself, and I let it go. It started, as it often does, in my adolescence. I had acne problems, and as any teenager does, I "played" with my skin. Pushing out the black spots...
There came time when I could no longer persist. It becomes evident. You begin to feel shame, that there's something utterly wrong going on. You would not want that to show to other people, you want to be seen as normal, not triggering any "alarms". With me it was a self-made decision (when I say "self made", I mean my subconsciousness, the imperceivable part of me, not "me" as I know myself). I had to move on, to continue living as a normal human being. So the "self" picked a solution, a way out. And the solution was as simple as it can be - make it unnoticeable. I began picking at my scalp.
Till now, it remains a mystery, in the sense that I don't acknowledge any weighing factor in my decision. It was made by myself, but in some weired way, it was made without my notice, without conscious intervention. Strangely enough, like many others who have Dermatillomania, I remember the exact moment when this decision took place. It was like "from now on, your life is going to change, and you know it" (some deep voice talking within myself). It is then when I'm sure I first acquired my disorder.
Since then, I've been more or less taken by it. I had periods in my life when I was too bruised to turn to a hairdresser for a haircut. I was too ashamed. In other periods in time, when everything seemed to be going fine, I felt secure, and the problem seemed to go under the surface. I never got rid of it for good.
At first it perplexed me. I was stunned by the severe unnaturalness of it. How could it be that I'm harming myself? It doesn't make any sense! I began to ask questions, existential ones, not necessarily pertaining to my disorder as such (though it always remained in the center). I started to explore and to learn. I started reading, I saw a shrink. That experience helped me a lot - first time in my entire life I felt that I'm doing something right, inquiring, looking for solutions, in some way looking for the truth behind our being. This experience was an important developmental step in my individuality, alas, I couldn't stop picking.
At some point, I can frankly say, I gave up trying to understand. The tools I acquired through my therapy helped me deal with life in a better way. I became less anxious about things, being more prepared for life's downfalls. I never learned the reason why I pick. I never learned to stop. I do pick much less than I did at the beginning, just cause I cope better with everyday life. I couldn't find a cure.
Is there a cure? I frankly don't know. Who said there should be one? I believe in nature's way. I learned to accept the fact that everything happens for a reason (as corny as it might sound). Just think about it - You do it to Yourself! No one is forcing you. It is not an illness in the ordinary sense of the word. On the other hand, it's not a mental deficiency. In the course of years and inquiry, I came along many 100% smart, intelligent and self aware people who have this disorder. They are not mentally ill, in the accepted sense of the term. Except they have this disorder. I see myself in this light precisely. I regard myself to be a totally normal person, except the fact that I seem to have this skin/mind disorder no one can explain.
I believe that nature (God, or call it whatever you like) has its' ways. I believe that Dermatillomania is there for a reason. For some it's a way to alleviate stress and anxiety levels. For others it's a way of subconsciously punishing themselves for something. For others still, it builds focus and allows better concentration and thoughts gathering. In any case, I believe that it's there for a reason. And it's trying to tell us something.
This is why I built this website. My name is David Florendale, I have CSP, though I no longer regard myself as a sufferer. I created this place out of fascination for this disorder, and out of the will to decipher its' meaning and help others do the same thing for themselves.