Posted October 21st, 2011 by marmalade
Hi, I just discovered this website today. I'm not sure if my skin picking problem is serious enough to get a clinical diagnosis, but it is definitely a problem for me! I pick and scratch my skin a lot. The damage I cause is not very severe, but I am very embarrassed by my behaviour, which is usually in public. I am at university and am very aware that everyone is sat quietly listening, not moving, whilst I feel like I cannot control my hands! I am constantly fidgeting, picking, scratching, tug at my hair, touching my face, etc etc. I feel awful when people comment on it, and it is also really stopping me from concentrating. I have a history of mental health difficulties including self-harm, depression and an eating disorder. I wondered if I had ADHD and the picking was hyperactivity so went to see a psychiatrist, but he told me he thought my problem was anxiety. He prescribed me some medicine but it has not helped. I have psoriasis and am quite prone to skin complaints, I think this may be part of the problem but I think a lot of it is psychological (e.g. I tend to pick most at areas of skin I can see, having clothing on that covers a lot of skin so I don't see the imperfections seems to help). I want to stop and am considering finding a therapist to help me. I have heard about 'mindfulness' and thought this might benefit me, as I often pick and scratch without even thinking about it, and I'm definitely not aware of feeling anxious. I wondered if others had tried different therapies and what had helped? In the UK some therapy is free on the NHS but I do not think my problem is likely to be serious enough, so I will probably see if I can see someone privately. It is a relief to read about other people who have similar problems to mine, but I also worry that my problem is not as serious as other people's and if I mention it to a doctor they won't do anything.