Posted September 11th, 2012 by Why-Do-I-Do-This
I am a 34 year old woman who has struggled with this disorder for nearly 25 years now. I feel this disorder may be triggered by both a biological predisposition, as well as a learned behavior. Growing up, my mother established a weekly ritual in which every Sunday, after my sisters and I had bathed before getting ready for bed, my mother would routinely exam each one of our bodies for ingrown hairs or areas of skin that appeared to be flawed in one way or another. It seemed to provide her with a sense of relief or relaxation after a seemingly chaotic weekend. Almost as if a time for her to unwind before returning to a new work week. I resided with her from birth until the age of 13, but then moved in with my father. However, I continued the behavior. It grew from sporadic periods of examining my skin for blemishes and ingrown hairs to me having put together a special "pick kit" which contains pins and needles, tweezers, and even a pair of hemostats. I now use these "tools" to assist me in the removal of what I perceive to be "flaws" that need to be removed. As I mentioned, this behavior has been going on for 25 years. My skin is severly scarred and I am mentally disturbed by my behavior. Despite all of the pain and shame I have created within myself, I continue to mindlessly do this to myself. I slip into a trance like state that allows me to temporarily escape from myself...from my mind...from my agonizing thoughts and worries. It is not enough for me to know that I am not the only one suffering from this illness. I want to stop completely...once and for all, but the compulsion takes over. It's almost like my body/mind is on auto-pilot and that I have no control. Can somebody...anybody...please help guide me so that I can conquer the beast?