personality traits of skin pickers?

Hello! I think it would be interesting to know the personality traits of you skin pickers, if there could be any similarities that could help us understand and overcome our problem. It hasn't have to be really serious stuff, just things you find troublesome in your lives. Starting with myself, fear has been a major theme in my life. These are problems I have or have had: - Hypochondria, mostly for brain "illnesses" - Identity crisis, for example related to gender identity - Sexual fears, for example compulsively searching for signs that my boyfriends are pedophiles :( - Fears of being watched. As a child I was convinced that people stared at me, and I thought there was something special/weird about me... :o I often feel really uneasy when people watch me, at times I don't want to look people in the eyes. - As younger, fears of my thoughts being read - Guilt OK, I sound like a total wacko... It's not as bad as it sounds. :) But I would be really happy to know more about your personality traits!

I don't even know how to describe my personality traits. Depends on who you talk to ;) Positive: Very loyal to friends... its just finding the friends that stick around. I always think of others. I'm sociable and enjoy talking with people. A very hard worker and dedicated to my job(not always a good thing for my stress). I very rarely give up Negative: I can be abrasive to people that don't know my personality that great. I can also be shy. I'm learning to admit i have control issues. I like to be able to control everything going on in my life, and when i cant i panic. I can really sound like a bitch when i really don't mean it. I struggle with getting my point across in a nice way. Very high stress personality I've been diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, adhd, pmdd, and even ptstd(due to parents divorce when i was younger. Parents were caught up in their own issues and feelings and kind of forgot about me) I think anxiety is a huge common factor for those that pick their skin.
Shy, withdrawn, feels like people are always staring at me, I am always stressed and anxious, I get sick to my stomach if I have to be around lots of people whether I know them or not, I too have sexual fears about everyone secretly being a sicko, I have no close friends at all because I keep people at a distance, I really do not like people which can cause problems as I am married with three young children. I am a scalp picker, I scratch skin off of my scalp for hours on end and eat it. The tips of my fingernails are bent, my scalp is bleeding and burning and yet I keep doing it. I don't sleep all night, just scratch my head. I do it more when I get more stressed I think. I am 30 and this started when I was very young, my parents were abusive although they still have yet to admit to it and when asked for an apology I got yelled at.
Positive: empathetic, kind, genuine, intelligent, spiritual, confident, ambitious, mix of introvert and extrovert. Negative: perfectionist, neat freak, some control issues, mild OCD and depression, anxiety. I have many friends, but I keep to myself and often feel very alone.
Hello dear fellow pickers! Haha! Please excuse my amusement - I am literally laughing out loud as I read all of these posts about cuticle picking. I have been picking since my first year at university. I pick, unconciously while i'm thinking creatively, or thinking anxiously, until my cuticles feel 'even' or smooth - even if it means they bleed. What I want to say though, is that eventhough it may be a 'disorder' or indicative of an underlying emotional trauma which has not been dealt with, I firmly believe life is a case of mind over matter. Yes, it is gross, yes we shouldn't do it because it revolts other people, but yes we should also worry less about how others are seeing us. Worry first about how YOU are seeing you. Since you all have posted, and you all seem quite distressed - I can tell you are not CHOOSING to see the best possible version of yourself 100% of the time. First, you have to decide that you don't like the idea of having gross fingers. Then, you need to ACTIVELY make an effort to CATCH yourself in the act! And when you do, you command yourself to STOP. Against ALL OTHER REASONING, you stop. If you catch yourself before you've done damage, congratulate yourself. If you catch yourself while doing major damage, tell yourself it's ok, but you need your brain to please wake up and have the 'stop' thought earlier on in the process next time. It is a process, there is no quick fix, you can stop because you know you'd prefer not to have gross fingers. Once they have healed completely (approx one month) you will see how normal and beautiful your human hands can be. Love yourself, and others will naturally follow. If they don't, well that's not really your responsibility to change.
For me, I'm a pretty normal person. I'm not anti social or scared of social situations like a lot of people here seem to be. I love going out and meeting new people. Might make me a bit nervous at times, but it's just normal. I've picked my fingers down to the middle knuckles ever since I was little. When I was little I also used to pick my scalp, feet, and even my tongue with my nails and teeth until it bled. The only thing I feel I really have in common is the depression. I'm 21 now, but when I was 14 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety after put in the hospital for attempted suicide. When I was in grade 6 I remember my anxiety being so bad that I would hardly do anything. I felt, every day, like something terrifying was swallowing me whole. My mom had to sleep with me every night and I would just sit and cry for feeling so bad. After reading most of these I realize that I, too, feel like people are watching me a lot of the time. It's not like an overwhelming feeling of being watched or anything serious like that. But if I'm in public or sitting in class or on the bus or whatever, I constantly have to look around or look behind me to see if someone's watching me or something.
I'm 22 years old and I have been picking my lips as long as I can remember. I just found out tonight that this is a disorder... I had no idea. I think for myself it's hereditary, I can remember spending weekends at my grandparents house and my grandmother had a habit of picking at her skin, never to the point of bleeding, but it's still something right? Reading through the posts is a little eerie... I too have the feeling of being watched, but it's only when I'm home alone. I peek out the curtains and check out the peep hole on my door in my apartment every so often (only if I'm listening to my iPod) to make sure no one is there. When someone is home with me I don't do that. If I'm not listening to my iPod I don't have that problem. I think that comes from having friends over and listening to music loud when I was maybe 12 or 13. If another girl came to the house and we didn't want to let her/them in sometimes they would peek in the window to try and get our attention... so I guess that's where it came from and perhaps that feeling stuck for me. I also like to talk about the past a lot. Friends, family, games, jokes, funny things that happened. Anyone else do that too? I get uncomfortable around larger groups of people... by larger I mean more than 10 people. Not if I'm out in public, but say it's a group of friends or family, just hanging out or something. I don't have a lot of friends, I tend to keep to myself. When I go out in public alone I sometimes feel very awkward and anxious, mostly when it comes to shopping. I feel like I'm being starred at, I feel like people are looking at me and I feel out of place sometimes. In regards to the lip picking, the only way I can keep myself from picking is keeping lip balm, vaseline, lipstick just ANYTHING on my lips that makes them feel smooth. No bumps. If I feel a bump or a small piece of skin that scratches when I rub my lips together I rip it off. Doesn't matter if it bleeds, it feels like it has to come off.
I'm almost 61 years old and have been picking my lips since I was 11 years old, so that makes 50 years. Cuticles too. I guess I'm more messed up than most. My mom died a long miserable death of a disease that no one understood at the time (emphysema caused by alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency) when I was 11. My dad was an emotional moron and could not deal with the tragedy, refusing to talk about it. I never really grieved until I was 21 years old and in therapy. Also my sister who was 6 years older, was never very nice to me and really enjoyed teasing and tormenting me. So there's another source of childhood pain. But there's also something else: When I was about 6 and would get a little liquid glue on my hands while doing some 6-year-old art project, I LOVED the sensation of peeling the glue off my skin! Also, back in those days we'd go to the beach and get sunburned, and (being pale-skinned whiteys) large sheets of skin would peel off and I loved that too! I think I recall family members taking turns peeling each others' backs. Weird, I know. So there's something deeply satisfying about peeling. So now when I peel the skin off my lips it is quite pleasurable and I try not to peel so deeply it causes pain or bleeding. But what it does cause, of course, is failure of my lips to ever fully heal. And now after 50 years I'm starting to see what looks like permanent damage. I worry constantly about lip cancer. Having lost my mom to a mysterious disease I've been a hypochondriac all my life. Imagine my surprise at still being here after all these years. :) Final note: I actually live a fairly normal life as a professional person with a job, a husband, a lovely 21-year-old daughter (who also has a little OCD but doesn't appear to pick), I am pretty introverted and really enjoy being alone, but manage to function pretty normally in the social world as needed. I LOVE reading everyone's posts!
P.S. -- When I say my dad was "an emotional moron", I mean that he had zero emotional intelligence ... didn't understand emotions and couldn't deal with emotions. Rereading my post I realized it could've been taken a different way. :)
i hate people looking at me and always feel like everyone is when they aren't. if i could stay in my house most days i would.
Hmmm..... I like being alone and find it hard to talk to people sometimes. I have a few close friends, but I hang around in a big group of other girls. However, I'm not very close to many of them and they fall out a lot. I like reading and doing stuff on my own. I think I get annoyed pretty easily. I like to think I'm pretty intelligent and I like doing homework. I get annoyed if I do badly (or what I perceive as badly) on a test and I'm pretty competitive. I can also get quite obsessed over things--once it was a band called My Chemical Romance, then it was Doctor Who, now it's Star Trek and astronomy. My mum and dad get annoyed because whatever I'm obsessed with at that point in time is all I'll talk about :) Glad to see I'm not the only one who is ever so slightly paranoid. Conspiracy theories are my thing. ;)
It is just crazy how much I have in common with so many of you. I had a great childhood although I was rather introverted for the most part. I have OCD, and dermatillomania. I've beat depression with preventative measures. If anyone wants help I'd be glad to talk to them but I beat it by sweating (running), using a light box, identifying my triggers and surrounding myself with the right people. I have anxiety that often triggers my picking. I am a senior in college, picking of course for many years. I do not have 'any' friends and by that I mean after high school my interests changed and I no longer fit in with my group. I rarely have contact with them. I also moved in with my boyfriend right after hs. I feel like a reject that I have no friends since I had plenty in high school but can't make any now. It's funny because people that know me think I am fun to hang out with but a real relationship never develops. I have grown accustomed to the fact that I am the odd one and now I love it!- but I think in a away it is becoming a subconscious block to making new connections. I wish i had s great circle of friends and had more confidence being outgoing. My OCD strikes everywhere, sometimes more than others. I am an extreme perfectionist although I am getting better. Because of this I have problems with keeping my house clean (see Flylady.net for help!) and many other things. I can't read magazines without taking notes. I clean my cleaning solution bottles. So many random things... I have had success with reducing my picking with the following techniques: first and mostly my medication (ac zone topical in the morning, oracea oral pill and differin at night), covering my mirror, becoming open with the ones I love ( the only people I have, my parents and my wonderful understanding boyfriend) and getting help. My boyfriend will shout out 'hey, whatcha doin in there!' if I'm in me bathroom too long. It helps so much! I hope any of this was of some help. You are SO NOT ALONE. Whoever you are.. Keep your head up. This does get better. For all you reading lovers, I'm big on personal development and loved the book Steve Pavlina's Personal Development for Smart People. It helps you look at truths in your life, create great habits and organize your life. Keep avoiding that mirror!, :) -Steph
Ok, where to begin. Over-achiever, observer, self-critical, self-conscius, perfectionist, high demands on self - not others, calm on the outside, dreamy, artistic, highly imaginative, empathetic, protective of others feelings rather than my own, studdered since childhood but I hide it well by avoiding certain words and replacing them with "safe" words/synonyms, restless, when I find peace and concentration I can sit for hours (painting/writing/reading) forgetting about the outer world, ambitious, avoids conflict, difficulty expressing feelings/committing, reluctant to be dependent on anything/anyone (alcoholic mom), detail oriented rather than seeing the whole picture, controlling of myself and my environment, fearful of being misunderstood, fast to give advice but don't take advice from others as well etc etc. In my work-life I am outgoing and social, and I often feel like a fraud. Like I don't belong, but somehow I've managed to get a free ticket and it's taking all my time and energy to appear like I fit in, like I am happy and in control. Since I was a child I feel like i am "wrong", and I'm just holding my breath waiting to see when someone will notice that I am a freak. I have both bdd, dermatillomania and trichotillomania. The last 4 years it's taken more and more control over my life, since my skin's taken more damage and it's more difficult to hide.
Ok, where to begin. Over-achiever, observer, self-critical, self-conscius, perfectionist, high demands on self - not others, calm on the outside, dreamy, artistic, highly imaginative, empathetic, protective of others feelings rather than my own, studdered since childhood but I hide it well by avoiding certain words and replacing them with "safe" words/synonyms, restless, when I find peace and concentration I can sit for hours (painting/writing/reading) forgetting about the outer world, ambitious, avoids conflict, difficulty expressing feelings/committing, reluctant to be dependent on anything/anyone (alcoholic mom), detail oriented rather than seeing the whole picture, controlling of myself and my environment, fearful of being misunderstood, fast to give advice but don't take advice from others as well etc etc. In my work-life I am outgoing and social, and I often feel like a fraud. Like I don't belong, but somehow I've managed to get a free ticket and it's taking all my time and energy to appear like I fit in, like I am happy and in control. Since I was a child I feel like i am "wrong", and I'm just holding my breath waiting to see when someone will notice that I am a freak. I have both bdd, dermatillomania and trichotillomania. The last 4 years it's taken more and more control over my life, since my skin's taken more damage and it's more difficult to hide.
I didn't beleive this was a disorder but my husband kept telling me something is wrong with me. I feel better knowing I'm not alone. I really don't know why I pick. I've been reading these posts and a lot of you have had sexual, verbal abuse in childhood. I didn't have a great childhood, but nothing that bad. I bit my nails when I was younger. Nothing serious. I think my Dad stressed me out. Now Im 52 and pick my face and back until I bleed and it hurts so bad but keep doing it. I can totally relate to those that say they go into kind of a trance. That's what I do. I was also reading about OCD and realized that's me! I didn't realize I had that. I also have depression but I'm on effexor and it has helped my depression, but not picking. I found some really good natural oils that have cleared up my face, but then I just pick again and it comes right back. I've always had issues about fitting in. I do have a lot of friends and did when I was younger too but always felt like I wasn't good enough. I always had boys telling me I was cute and had a few boyfriends, but nothing really serious. I got married when I was 18 thinking that no one else would ever want me. After I got married I had men hititing on me all the time. I think it surprised me so much that even if I didn't like them or find them attractive I would respond to their advances just to make myself feel better. When I was in my 40's I had more men hit on me than ever. This totally helped my self esteem, but again, even if I didn't find them attractive, I would respond. I don't know if anyone else has had this experience. I would like to know. I don't even know if this has anything to do with the picking or not, or just the low self esteem.
I am definitely picking from fear and punishment. I constantly feel out of control of my life and that is simultaneously scary and disappointing. I punish myself usually by not allowing myself to do things that I enjoy, and I pick instead. My biggest picking trigger is my perfectionism, and its "floating perfectionism." By that I mean that my perfectionism moves around and settles on different things to attack, but its always stuff that is integral to who I am. Sometimes its body weight/self image, sometimes its that I'm not a good enough horseback rider (something I ENJOY if my perfectionism isn't ruining it for me), sometimes its that I'm not a good enough mother, etc. Its not a healthy perfectionism where I just strive to do MY best, rather I think I should be an Olympic level rider, a super model, the world's best mother, a chef, etc etc. I also have an issue with eclecticism that I'm trying to figure out right now. I want to learn everything to the extent that I impulsively jump on new hobbies and then they stress me out because I don't have the time for all of them. I want more calm and peace in my life where I can read a good book, but then I try to fill up every waking moment with making things or who knows what. Its a fear of being still, of NOT DOING ANYTHING. I feel like i have to be moving forward. And whats worse is when I find a hobby I enjoy I ruin it by trying to make it a lucrative career. I always wanted to work with horses and thats how I started that stuff. I was constantly driving myself to be the best. Now I knit (I find its the best thing to do with fingers that want to attack my skin next to hand writing) and I think I have to make stuff to sell and make money. Ridiculous! I don't have time to make enough stuff to sell and I'm not THAT experienced that I would feel comfortable selling things I made anyway. Sometimes I feel like I'm two different people. The rational one and then crazy one...
fear may be a similarity , also are we punishing ourselves, have we had something said to us that created this "i hate myself" scenario as Skin picking is a for of self harm is it not. i feel for me fear, stress, anxiety etc and guilt especially play a significant role. so if we can destress, live without fear, avoid triggers etc, and learn to not put ourselves in the situation of picking i.e. be distracted from the ritual would we stop? i am going to work on this for the next few weeks and let you know how i go. its learning to love ourselves for all our faults and forgive ourselves and others. i hope this helps, sharing is great by the way thanks for your ears and your hearts! tammy x
I can relate to alot of what everyone has posted. I never realized how crazy I really am(; All of my life I strived to be that girl; the one all others envy. I have the looks, I mean, I am not vain. But people tell me all the time how "pretty" I am. I know it, but in the back of my head there is always something wrong. This is different from just regular teen girl-poor self imagery. This becomes a problem for me daily. It gets so bad sometimes that I won't leave the house, or go to school. I can not have a "good" day if something about my make-up or hair is wrong. I have picked my skin for a few years now, I realize it is irrational, besides it just causes my nails to look nasty- but I do it to relieve stress. It really helps me. Its scary. Sometimes I bleed. I need support. Or motivation, to actually quit. ---Sorry for the book--- Basically, I can relate to the other "weird" problems. I don't always like getting dressed in my room, for fear someone is watching. I have come to realize that the government watches us, so that paranoia has overtaken my life. I have obsessive tendencies that effect me daily. Yall are not alone!
I'm introverted, organized and logical. I would consider myself a bit of a "love addict", which means I am terrified of living my life without a significant other. The only abnormal parts about me, I think, are the love addict parts and then random bits of OCD, anxiety and very slight paranoia.
i sometimes feel like people might be able to know what i'm thinking!
Well, I've been a very weird person since I can remember. I wasn't a "normal" child. I;m not a "normal" adult now either. Serious stuff I have: depression (almost recovered now), neurosis, social phobia, ADD. Strange things about me: - I also had thoughts of being watched all the time (Big Brother -style). Sometimes when I was a teen it got to the point that I would take a bath in my underwear. Really. I would also look around for cameras in my house. These thoughts were getting crazy after watching some films, like the Truman Show. I no longer have those thoughts. - A feeling that people read my thoughts. I get that especially when I fall in love with someone (who doesn't realize that) or when I fantasize about a person. It's funny since I'm a very rational person as in I don't believe in any supersticious things, mind reading, telepathy and the like. - I have a general obsession with privacy. I hate people looking over my shoulder at what I'm doing, or asking me what I am doing. I'm anxious to let anyone use my computer. I get angry/ancious when people are looking around my room too carefully (as in approaching my book shelf to look at the books, though I know it's normal that people would do that). In my room when I was a teenager I would arrange things and be very careful about what was on view, I'd want everything to say something about me (good things of course), as if anyone cared. -----split because of spam filter :D -----
I have the same exact "symptoms" , it's like you read my "in-my-head" life story. I still have urges to set up my bedroom just-so to give people some idea of me, even though I know that's all in my head. Growing up I could not take a bath or a shower without one of my family's dogs in the bathroom with me, along with all bathtub curtains drawn because I was paranoid someone was watching me or would show up outside the shower stall while my eyes were closed. I've been a picker my whole life, I'm 21 and forcibly stopped picking my hangnails/cuticles when I was about 12, and still have massive red scarring around my nail bed. I still compulsively pick my scabs, I panic when my bf tries to distract me from trying to pick.
part 2 - I'm obsessed with the thought that some people I feel even a little bit attracted to would think I'm in love with them and thus think of me as an "intruder" in their life, a weirdo, a stupid lonely girl that hits on everyone she meets. - I can't make serious decisions. And whatever my decision is, I always regret it afterwards. Even if it is a "good" decision. - I have trouble making small decisions too, like when I'm shopping. I spend HOURS browsing online stores and not buying anything. - I hardly ever eat something that I've never eaten before. I also have trouble listening to new music (I'm a music geek so that's really annoying to me). - In the evenings I obsessively think about minor things I said during the day that I feel someone might have misunderstood, even though the people probably forgot about it a second after I said them. I have a strong fear of being misunderstood. I still feel sick when I think about some silly little mistakes I made YEARS ago. I'm scared of making a fool of myself and it results in me actually doing things that DO make me look like a fool hahahaha.
Apparently the spam filter finds my story boring enough to call it spam :D . So I guess I will have to figure out how to be able to post the rest of my comment without triggering the f*cker.
part 3 - I have serious motivation issues that I noticed didn't pass with my depression (I thought I was so passive because of depression). I just can't get myself to do anything. I can go WEEKS without leaving if I have no obligations that make me leave. I'm a smoker and I can go days without smoking just because I can't be bothered to go out and buy some cigarettes. That means : laziness>addiction. Amazing, isn't it? :D I can't get anything done. I waste a lot of time. I;m wasting my life. The motivation issues and ADD is what ruins my life the most right now. I noticed some of you were mentioning the lack of will power before - that's exactly my problem. And I too have the problem with lacking the power to even move my limbs sometimes. When I was in a worse state (with my depression), while walking I had a strong fear that at some point i would just stop and not be able to move forward, that I would just sit right there and wait for someone to take me home. Every step was a f*cking marathon for me.
Part 4 My "body" has control over my consciousness, not the other way round, that's why I was scared that I would stop. At times I had to roll over to fall of the bed to somehow force myself to get up, because I couldn't simply lift myself off the bed. - I had some other compulsive behaviours also. At one point I would cut pieces of paper in certain way for hours. And I would keep the results, I felt like it was something special, even if it was just trash. I would waste hours and hours doing such things, and I would always keep the results. - that leads to another problem of mine: compulsive hoarding. I can't throw out anything. I feel everything is special, important, I have to keep everything. I keep even the most ridiculous and meaningless "souvenirs" of my past, which is often trash. I also sometimes buy stuff I don't need, especially books (don't need them since I don't read the due to attention deficit) I also get more emotionally attached to stuff than to people. Yep, I'm a complete effing weirdo. I cry/feel like crying if someone breaks something that belongs to me, or if I break it. I make a BIG DEAL out of such small things. I try to hide my feelings though not to come off as a crazy person / someone obsessed with material things / a childish person. When I was about 5 I got a doll from my father (I had 3 or 4 dolls) and some time later I broke it a bit - so the arm was almost falling off and I knew it would eventually fall off, so I cried all night because of that fear of it breaking completely. It was only one night because my sister saw me crying and somehow managed to comfort me ;). It wasn't even my favourite doll, in fact it was the ugliest one. Go figure.
Part 5 - I suffered from insomnia when I was a child/teenager. Now I can't fall asleep and I also sleep too much. When I have a moment during the day when feel like I have nothing to do, or I forget to control myself, I go and lie in my bed automatically. Sometimes i catch myself removing stuff from my bed preparing it to lie down. I don't control that habit at all. Spend most of my life in bed. - I don't control many of my habits, such as closing the door to my room. Sometimes i leave the door open so that I don't gas myself with cigarette smoke ;) - a little while later I notice the door is shut. I don't even know when I closed it. Also, when I'm lost in thought or excited about some thoughts I get up and walk into some other place (kitchen, bathroom) and come back, sit in the same place. I don't even know I'm doing that, my former roommate pointed that out to me. At two points in my life I had a habit of walking back and forth in my room when I got too overwhelmed with some thoughts and I couldn't stop. I once paced like that for 1,5 hour. At the time I had this habit I was really exhausted all the time from all the pacing hahah. It comes back at times, but is triggered only by some really intense thoughts.
Part 6 - actually, all the thinking-related stuff is pretty important here, since I find myself daydreaming and fantasizing for several hours every day. Back in the day I had a whole complex world created in my mind and my fantasies were set in that world. Now it's more chaotic, I don't create one long complex plot or set of characters, just many short stories. And nowadays I am present in my daydreams. When I was a kid/teenager I would never appear in those imagined scenarios. I also didn't appear in the majority of my night dreams. - Like some people who commented before, I also have gender issues (I'm pretty much non-gender or both genders at the same time. I wish I was perceived mainly as a human, not as a woman (I know it sounds strange/controversial but explaining it would take a looong time). I'm a feminist and I very much love the so called "feminine" traits, but it pisses me off that many traits that I consider "human" are seen as either feminine or masculine. Gender equality is important to me, and my gender identity issues are I think kind of related to that, or maybe not, I don't know. I just felt that it is important enough to add it in this post about "personalities of skin pickers" ;)
I haven't look in a mirror at myself in 2yrs,I'm in the worst depression of my life..Growing up I barely spoke a word to no one . I was sexually , mentally and physically abused. I might have social anxiety but I think it's more that I don't relate to anyone around me. You are not alone I'm afraid of everything too,I hate poeple looking at me, I have a fear that I might marry a pedo or woman beater so I don't ever want to get married but I don't think I could ever care for a guy that much to marry him.
Thanks for the reply...yea, Im afraid of marrying again...hopefully I do it right the second time. Maybe that's what I need to do is not look in a mirror or atleast put it up so high that all I can see is my eyes to do my eye make-up. I'll be thinking of ya!
Shorty 999-i can relate to a lot of the feelings u have encounterd. I can so relate to the imperfection thing,' if i can see it so can they'. Im now not going to mirror to examine face. If in bathroom i stand back frum mirror and if it looks fine from there i shouldnt worry. Cos thats how people c us. Ive also had trouble keeping jobs for a few reasons. (talk about self confidence knock eh) We are better than what others have led us to believe and what we have led ourselves to believe. Cast your mind back to 'who you are'..really think.. and stick with it. Dont let 2011 control you. Control 2011!! Give yourself that right to be happy again x x
Thanks sho1234...It's nice to hear that. I am hoping and trying to turn things around for 2011. My divorce will be final in March and all my work restrictions were lifted for the medical condition I have, so I will be able to work more, which will help with one stress financially. Thanks again.
I think a lot of my reasoning stems from anxiety and control. I grew up under an alcoholic where I was put down a lot and felt I never did anything right. Then, I went into an emotionally abusive relationship after highschool that has lead to divorce. I have also been diagnosed with a medical disability that has lead to several job losses. Now, my skin-picking is at it's worst. I feel loss of control like I don't know what is going to happen in my life next. When I am most stressed, I pick more. When I look in the mirror, I hate myself. I look at my face and see some imperfections and think "If I see it, then people in public definately see it, so I have to get rid of it." So, having eczema, I peel the flakes, which lead to pits in my skin and I won't stop unless it gets to the point where it's very painful or it bleeds. Then, I feel worse afterwards, but then i think "I'll just cover it up with some make-up." Again, I think it's a control thing.
I have fears of something bad happenning if I change the way in which I do something. I am a perfectionist. I am always anxious and have trouble making eye contact with people; however, I still can be quite outgoing at times.
That's what I think is so weird about me. I can't think of one personality trait that would have anything to do with my picking other than I am also an obsessive compulsive eater. I am very outgoing, and friendly. I'm very spontaneous. I am not a perfectionist at all. I actually like myself though I didn't always, and I think I am quite attractive. I'm not paranoid or anxious. I honestly don't even have anything that triggers my picking, I just do it 24/7. I don't think I have bad skin at all though I used to when I first started picking. I know the things I pick at aren't things anyone else notices. I didn't have a great childhood, and I know my picking stems from that, but it seems like I've adjusted well in every other way.
I've been seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist for my skin picking, for a few weeks now. It's been very interesting. She given me tools that I am supposed to be working...like wearing gloves at home so I don't pick, turning off the light in the bathroom when I wash my face and brush my teeth so I can't find things to pick, spending time practicing mindfulness meditation, etc.. We've also been disecting the triggers and have uncovered some interesting things with personality and anxiety. A strong desire for perfection - in which case I am supposed to practice allowing imperfections on my face, starting small with blackheads around my nose, etc. I've noticed that when there is something that I don't want to deal with I pick as a way of avoidence, both emotionally and with tasks that I don't want to do. I noticed that when there was an issue I needed to deal with or think about but didn't want to I would pick so that I would go into a trance and my mind would go off into another place and not be able to think about what was upsetting me. A big one is being able to deal with things that I can not control, such as my skin. When I pick at a pimple sometimes it's because I just want it off my face, but of course we all know that it unfortunately doesn't work that way. Hopefully some of this is helpful.
I'm 21 and have been engaging in some form of self-mutilation all my life. I have anxiety issues. I use to have fears of hurting myself or someone else. I have anxiety in large crowds and am very self-conscious of what others think of me. I've never really had any form of OCD besides skin picking. I over-think a lot of things. My thought when it comes to skin picking is that if I pick at it, it will make the skin smooth and better looking. This of course is never the case. When I pick, I seem to enter a trance and it calms me. It distracts me from whatever else is going on.
Started at a relateively young age. Noticed my mother picking and saw my own fingers and though they were too fat and rough. SO I began picking them. I incessantly try to remove scabs because they are blemishes. I remove every rough peice of skin because I dont like the way it feels (in cluding callouses that have developed from picking). I have control issues because of my mother and Im always paranoid that she can see me from whereever she is. I have a social anxiety and a irrational fear of crowds and females. I have a problem with authority which is PART of the reason I can't be told by people to stop picking. But generally around strangers in small groups, and my friends and family I'm very personable and friendly
Hello all. I've been picking at my skin since I was 9 or 10. It began when my stepfather started molesting me. Inside I wonder if I thought I could make myself damaged so that he wouldn't hurt me anymore. It's a relief to find a website that has OTHER PEOPLE like me. I was wowed. Thought it was just me. I've cut before too but it was never as satisfying and harder to hide. My personality- I'm bubbly, and outgoing with people who don't know me personally. I usually lie when they spot my scars and tell them that I have a condition where I'm allergic to the sun. At home, I am kind of manic. Happy, loving then sometimes out of control and emotional. I do tend to be physically violent and while it has gotten better for me since leaving home and moving in with my now husband, I still physically react before verbally. I am paranoid, I often feel like people hate me, talk bad about me, are out to get or use me in some way. I'm suspicious of most men and think automatically they are perverse somehow. I am attractive facially, and aware of it but physically I hate my body type/shape. I'm a nurturer and prefer to care for someone else. I've always felt different and alone. Glad to know that there may be others like me.
I am finding a lot of personality traits to be similar to mine but no one is saying what I am thinking or have experienced so here goes. I saw my father picking his fingers all my life and my mother smacking his hands to get him to stop or telling him too. I picked my fingers also but sometime after I became a teenager and I do not remember when, I began picking off the skin from the bottom of my feet and will do so until they bleed. I do not realize they are that bad and when I do notice I quit on that area at least. Egads, to the point! I meander as you can tell. My youngest son who was taken away from me by his father when he was a toddler also picks at his fingers until they bleed. This is unusual to me as he was not raised around me so I am wondering if any of this could be hereditary? My son's father who raised him was mentally abusive to him but not physically. My other 2 sons who were raised by me do not do this. My childhood had a lot of mental and physical abuse and one incident of sexual abuse when I was in Kindergarten. I have only one brother and he does not pick at his skin but he was raised by the same abusive parents so what is up with that? You know I really don't care that my feet hurt so bad that every step I take is pain but what I do care about is fixing what is making me this way because it is an outward sign of all the personality traits in my life that are holding me back from living my life as it was meant to be and making me so depressed and miserable. My mother threatened to kill herself at least once a week while we were growing up and I swore never to be that way or do that but these anxiety attacks or panic things are getting so out of control that I can see where they could not be staved off any longer and could totally overtake you to where you do something stupid just to get away from these horrid feelings. I really think I need to check myself into a mental hospital for some help. Like I said though, I believe the skin picking is only a symptom of a greater issue? malady? insaneness? I wonder if it would do all of us some good and enlighten us if we were to try and keep a journal of when we picked at ourselves? I seem to mostly pick at my feet when I am on the phone and I hate to talk on the phone mostly and sometimes even turn it off for days at a time. I love movies but I bet I pick at my fingers when I watch movies more than any other time, although it is only ever 1 thumb. Someone mentioned nail biting but not once have I ever done that. My feet though, oy vay! The Little Mermaid has nothing on me! Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated as I am so sick of feeling alone in this, enormously guilty for any and everything I have ever done or might do, (including I am sure stuff other people have done and I was just in the area lol), and ashamed of myself above all. P.S. Lightbulb just went on!!! What if we are punishing ourselves because we feel all this guilt because we feel like failures?
I'm almost in tears reading this... I thought I was the only one. After I stopped cutting I started picking. It's severe now. It was always bad, but now my entire arms, upper and lower, are covered in scabs and scars from just ripping off chunks of my skin... sometimes until they bleed. But my personality traits- I'm very, VERY paranoid. Skin picking sometimes distracts me. I'm anxious too. But being paranoid is the main thing...
I have just spent the past hour in tears reading through this forum. I am so relieved to discover this compulsion I have actually has a name and that I am not alone. I have picked my skin - face, shoulders, chest and back since I was around 14. My mother is also a picker and I watched her, from a young age, poised in front of a mirror with her tweezers cutting into herself. When I was 16, after years of mental and physical abuse, my mum left my dad and I for another man. My dad found it very difficult to cope as he is a big softy and we both did our best to make sense of what had happened. She had made us believe we were both completely incompetent and useless to anyone. Needless to say, the picking became extremely bad at this point as my confidence reached it's lowest ebb. A lot has happened since then (I am now 28) and I do have some sort of relationship with my mother, although I have never been able to forgive her properly. When I pick I think exteme thoughts - about how she wronged me in the past, about how I had to sit up through the night watching my dad in case he carried out his threats to hang himself, how I have been a good person all my life and did not deserve any of the things that happened to me. These thoughts fuel my picking. As someone else said, it's like going into a daydream and immerging bloody but satisfied. A few years ago I did reach out to my partner, I was extemely depressed and he took me to my doctor. I was sent to a councellor who basically told me there was nothing wrong with me and that I was just a worrier. Confessing to picking was a huge deal for me, but she didn't even raise an eyebrow. I think she saw me as a bit self-obssessed and even suggested leaving my partner! This put me off councelling altogether as I don't think I would still be here if it wasn't for my partner. My picking has not been mentioned between us since but sometimes I catch him looking at my horrible sores and I see how sad it makes him. I know he just wants to be able to help me but this makes me shy away and feel disgusting. I think now though I am ready to start facing my problem and hope that I can learn from and help the people here. It's so good to finally open up and accept that I really do have a problem.
The comment about feeling watched/observed struck home with me. I'm new to the site and interested in other posters personality traits.
Mine stems from horrible long term childhood sexual abuse/neglect/torture and life's crap basically. I am a very loving, intellligent, college schooling, caring person and you would never tell by looking at me. I am an attractive (give myself SOME credit lol) 40 year old mother of two girls and one granddaughter and married. I do my picking in places no one can see unless I am unclothed.
http://www.acne.org/habit-reversal.html go to this website for ways to help cure your disorder
WOW..honey dont take any of this lightly , it your life and you shouldnt have to deal with that ,i really dont want u to have ta go on feeling so uncomfortable.Girl you can do it ! take control every step you take to put your self in those Situations is just one more step toward overcoming it and take the control away for it and giving it to you...here is a assignment for you now whenever you see a or hear something coming in your way . Then Stop right there and do the exactly the opposite of what your normal reaction would be , which would be something like avoiding it or ignoring it .Face all your fears in life head on and you will be strong and respect yourself for having the courage to do that.. Please just don’t be one of those people who just walk away in regret... YOU only have one life to live , live it comfortably , proudly and put yourself and what u want first, don’t let messed up things that happened stay locked away so it can eat at you. Life is truly a pursuit of happiness, dont let anyone or any memoire interfere with that!!! Be strong .now is the time for action and addressing, expecting, closer. Healing and moving on free!!!!
i dont want to pick, i hate it! i know it ends with horrible consequenses and feelings of shame about myself. yet i still somehow forget about that at that moment and start picking. in highschool i never really picked just the one zit i would get i would make it worse , but nothing more than that. for some reason since ive gotten married and had kids it when it got bad! i have had 2 episodes of this . this is my 2 one. and im trying to get it takin care of by going to the dermatologist .
I'm absolutely blown away! I have just stumbled across this site, I had no idea that what I have been suffering for so long I cant remember is actually a condition! I always thought there was something wrong with me but I actually thought it was just me! I'm 38, a mother of five and have been happily married for 18 years, BUT, I have been suffering depression and anxiety for years,I have some serious issues with my mother and dont have any other family support, I isolate myself and sometimes find it difficult to pick the kids up from school in fear that I may have to talk to someone. I can relate to nearly every persons comments on here, I cant really believe that we are all so similar, I am seeing a psychologist at the moment to try and nut out my head. OMG I just picked! Shit, now I know it is 'something' I think I will be able to try and do something about it! I sooo related to the guy that said he was sick of friends and family slapping his hand and saying stop picking! That drives me crazy, I always let them do it to me but now I feel like slapping them back and saying hey its a condition that I am trying to deal with! Goodluck to all.
I am coming up to 50 and have picked since I was 14. My mother was psychologically abusive to me and my father just hung back and let it happen until it reached the point that I was being physically abused by my father at the age of 17 at which point I 'ran' away from home. I am married with 2 daughters and at times dread doing the school pick up and 'socialising' with other mums. I pick on my face so my shame is on show/. I have worked night shifts in the past to avoid people but now I must come out into the light..I have a lecturing job at college. This can't go on. But it's the childhood traumas and coping patterns developed as a result which I need to change. I attempted suicide when I was 21 thinking I was the ugliest girl about , which was an untruth, and when I began to explaind the pain and misery I was feeling and about the skin picking, the psychiatrist dismissed me. I went back out into the world in a worse state and have had this 'dirty' secret for years. I will garner strength from others who suffer the same. My sincerest wishes for healing are with you all.
Whew. I thought I was the only one with his disorder. I remember my mom telling me years ago that when I was a baby, I picked my skin so much she had to put mittens on my hands. So now with this support group, I can learn how to deal with this genetic condition. Right now my scalp is a mess because I have been suffering some anxiety. I hope to relieve the situation soon with the help from others.
ok, wow. i just read through most of the replies on this post and everybody here is essentially the same. i was so happy to read this and find out how similar everyone is to me. i have been really upset about my lack of friends lately and i was wondering if other skin pickers had the same experience. seems like most of us are pretty antisocial. i wont go into specific details since everyone told the same kind of story already but i am also intelligent, ocd, depressed, anxious, have a history of eating disorders, overanalyzing. i also noticed that many people have had sexual abuse. my story is a bit differnt here, and i wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience. im 19, i started picking when i was probly 6 or 8.. and as i got older i always had justa couple friends. by middle school i started seeking reassurance from having a crush or a boyfriend. it was almost compulsive, i felt like i needed someone to want or "love" me. In 8th grade, i remember the first time i let a boy take advantage of me. after that year i met my first real love and we were together for 15 months before he went to college. when he left i jumped right into a relationship i was never comfortable with just to fill the void. that guy was older than me too and kindof forced me to have sex with him, but wouldnt believe that i had been a virgin. throughout our relationship i constantly submitted to sex that i didnt want and wasnt gratified from. i eventually broke up with him over it but it left me with a really warped sense of self worth. in the years since i have only continued down this humiliating, boy to boy path and it is only making everything worse. i have never admitted all that before, and i know that it is different from being molested as a child, but it still breaks me. even writing this i fear that you all will just dismiss me as a slut or say its my fault or something like everyone else seems to. i accept fault but at the same time i dont look for sex because it makes me feel good and i dont want to sleep with a million guys. i have really low self esteem and trouble connecting with people and i feel like relationships-no matter how fleeting, are the only way i get a sense of being wanted... thank you for reading that if anyone did, i hope someone can identify with the need for being wanted?
For information on the skin picking disorder (Dermatillomania), symptoms, causes and treatment methods, get the Complete Guide to Skin Picking Disorders.

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