personality traits of skin pickers?

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September 14, 2009

Oh, and then I have such problems deciding and chosing among stuff. My friends keep laughing and joking about that (in a loving way, thankfully). It is in a way similar to picking, I can stand in a shop for ages, knowing that I want to "break free" and get away from the horrible environment - children screaming and the narrow corridors and way too much peolpe - but still being unable too decide what bread I should have, picking one up, putting it back, taking another one, and so on. I often read all the contents and prices and so on, but I just cannot find the perfect product, not even the best one. Often I just give up and decide not to take the product at all... I waste so much time on this and on picking! It's like an involuntary hypnosis! If I rent a movie, I would prefer to scan through all the movies before starting the decision-making process. At first, my company has ideas of which movie to rent, the second stage is "OK, whatever will do", and finally there's a frustrated "We take this movie now!". (So then I can blame my friend if the movie's all crap! Smart, huh? :)) This "problem" is just stupidity and vanity, but quite humorous too, in a way. Anyone sharing this ridiculous trait?
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September 16, 2009

I also feel like its a waste of time to get in the car and even attempt to go to the grocery store. I know what's there its not like very much has changed...but when I go there I have no idea what to get. I also go with by boyfriend and is patietn to an extent and then gets aggravated with me b/c I wonder all over the store. Sometimes I have a list and sometimes I have tons of coupons to use as well...other times I go and pick up the same stuff...knowing that that's not what I want to eat but I force myself to eat it so I don't waste money or go hungry because that's what I bought. Again, I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this...Yeah I get picked on too...I know they sometimes only mean it to be joking and I have built up a tough skin to it but when it just seems to keep rolling on and on it tends to dig into that thick skin & really upset me. Then I feel like I have anger issue but I don't really what they say just pisses me and I have no way to release it. Yeah you would think my boyfriend would stick up for me but most of the time that is not the case unfortunately. Thank you Noscrubs for posting all of this!!!:)...I am seriously glad I'm not the only one feeling these ways...:)
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September 23, 2009

I've been diagnosed as bipolar II, I also have asthma, anxiety issues, and a weight problem. I've been picking my scabs as long as I can remember. I go thru periods where I am fine, and periods where things are totally out of control
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September 25, 2009

Could you tell me more about your Bipolar II? I am interested in this...If you do not want to share that is okay too. I have always wondered if I were some what of that... You can post it on here or go to my thread entitled "pick...pick...pick...<sigh>...pick...pick...". Thanks for sharing.
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September 25, 2009

I'd be happy to share. Bipolar II is very similiar to bipor I, or manic depressive. the main difference is it not as extreme. I have many periods where I'm so depressed I can barely function. Since being medicated its not nearly anywhere near where it used to be. I used to get so low, I couldn't do anything. I'd even go days without showering. Than I would rebound. Sometimes to a period of normalcy, sometimes to a period of being almost high (but only on my own brain chemicals) going for days w/o sleep and not stop moving. I used to joke, that is was the only time I'd get anything done. It also affected my thinking and my moods in general. I didn't just get angry, I'd get a rage (often over small things), occasionaly escalting to borderline out of control. I remember standing at the top of the stairs just screetching at my ex. He was/is a jerk, but my behavior was way over the top. I tend to over-feel a lot of things. Where as others might be happy or sad at cerain news my pendulum swings way wider. I've had issue such as this since I can remember. But it wasnt' until my late 20's I was diagnosed. It took me years after that of on again/ off again doctoring to finally find the right doctors (both a p'doc (meds) and a councilor) that could help me (I was also much more ready). I currently take, ativan, celexa, Lamictal (my little miracle) and trazodone (for sleep at night). I also take a few other meds right now due to my skin becomming infected, possibley with scabies (great for a picker/scratcher). I have a lot of anxiety, (caffiene makes it worse). The worse it is the more I scratch. Sometimes it calms enough that I can go periods with out picking. Right now I have a lot of things going on, which is makign it worse. If you have any questions I'm more than happy to answer them.
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September 27, 2009

Thank you Cranky for the post! It is so interesting hearing about everyones personalities! For me, it somehow helps me understand my self too! Please tell us more if you feel like!
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November 18, 2009

I get the same way in stores! Nothing is ever perfect enough, especially not myself. I think that's a big part of the problem for me.
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September 14, 2009

I'm sorry I'm having this monologue, but I just came to think of that it is like I have a lack of will power. Sometimes I have problems moving because I can't gather the will power needed to get my limbs in motion. I may not be picking, but still being unable to break free. For example, I may be lying on my bed or sitting in a chair, just staring. Or writing on my computer like now. :) Right now I'm like a baby refusing to go and brush it's teeth. What I need is a dictator forcing me into that bathroom... Uhm, am I just a natural born slave, incapable of taking any initiative whatsoever? No, really I would prefer to being the master of my own body, but I am not! My body won't just obey me... :(
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September 16, 2009

I CAN TOTALLY RELATE!!! I feel like I have to get someone else to get me to go brush my teeth..I just got braces off back in June...I was so good when I had them on but now it i feel like I just don't have the energy to move. It's like the simplest tasks to do (ie brush teeth, brush hair...even get something to eat or drink)...I told my mother I wasn't trying to be lazy on purpose I just don't feel like moving. I'm glad I'm not the only one...thanks for this post:)!
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September 27, 2009

Thank you Becca for your answers! Hopefully we will get out of the zombie state eventually!
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November 18, 2009

I have the same problem: I feel like I don't any willpower. I seem to do better if I can get myself in a routine, then it's like my body can follow a known pattern and it's not so much effort. (Right now I'm trying to exercise first thing in the morning before work every other day). I think picking is the same way, its a well worn path that your body just does automatically. I guess the only way would be to replace it with some other routine, but I haven't succeeded yet!
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September 18, 2009

I really believe that you are right! I have some similiar personality traits; such as fear; this sounds crazy, but I have a fear of being attacked or raped, it's brought on by taking a shower when noone else is home. It's so weird! Ihave been picking my skin since I was six, off and on, and now I'm 49! That's a long time! I also have a fear of growing old and not having my own house (we rent now) and not having enough money to survive on. I am very sensitive about things; especially the c.s.p. I work in retail and about six weeks ago an customer called the store to complain about my "open sores"! They are so retarded! They thought my sores are contagious! They are so flippin stupid! So, one of the asst. managers solution was to have me wear long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves or cover my arm with a huge bandage! I have been sweating for the last six weeks because I can't let the ones on my arms heal! Sometimes, I really hate myself. You hang in there and please go the Dr. and also get a conselor; they really do help!
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October 04, 2009

I had similar problem as a child. the hairdresser refused to cut my hair cos i had sores on my face
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February 15, 2010

oh my gosh i feel so bad for you!! That must be so humiliating!! Strangers complaining about you 'open sores' as if they are contagious or something! Wow some people really have no shame at all! I mean, I understand that some people might be frightened of unfamiliar things and situations but come on!! I am sorry you had to go through that nonsense...that must make the situation a lot more stressful! I kind of wish that counselors did not cost so much. Talking to people on this site though really helps more than I thought it would. Especially when people respond with acceptance and first hand experience with what we're going through..
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March 24, 2010

aww! i work in retail too. a year or so ago during my review, my boss approached me about picking my scalp when i was out on the sales floor and zoning out. i was humiliated. it really made me realize how much people must see me acting crazy. that just added a new anxiety to my list. stupid retail.
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September 20, 2009

I have a huge fear of being watched constantly. I'm so convinced I swear there's someone stalking me constantly, video taping me or taking pictures of me. It makes very scared all the time. I feel people in general are watching me, judging me, or thinking thoughts I don't want them to.
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September 27, 2009

I feel really sad for you. That sounds extremely distressing. I deeply hope you will find a way to a more peaceful life. Hugs
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September 22, 2009

I'm insanely sensitive and I've been sucidal. I'm also jumpy, nervous, and antisocial.
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September 26, 2009

It's actually nice to hear someone else with "weirdo" thoughts. When dating I often would look for signs of the guy being a ped. And I mean it would worry me sick at night laying in bed. That was a long time ago. Sometimes I can't look in to peoples eyes. I get two totally opposite thoughts in my head....1. They are going to find a flaw on me and they are going to think I'm gross 2. They will think I am pretty but I don't deserve those thoughts so look down or away. That is totally bonkers!!! But it's been for most of my life. I had addiction problems for 10 years and went to rehab for 2 months. I was still picking in the bathrooms there. I'm clean now...2.5 years but the picking has GOT to stop. I am missing out on my life by wasting lots of time. I don't know how. I never thought I would be able to quit taking drugs but I did. Now I need to find a solution for this. It makes me hate myself. I have also been told I am extremely sensitive to critisism. I have gotten much better by not focusing on myself so much, but it is a trait I still have.
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September 27, 2009

You're amazing for quitting drugs after ten years of addiction! And how did you get away from the "ped thing"? Or did it just vanish by itself? Does it bother you still, or what are you thoughts on the subject? Thnx.
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September 28, 2009

wow! i thought that people could read my mind when i was little too. and i have alot guilt even when its not my fault. another thing is that i (used to) let my friends walk all over me.
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October 03, 2009

Characteristics I have along with picking. All of these symptoms wax and wane as - sugar addiction - alcohol addiction (sober 3 years) - gender dysfunction - social anixety - kleptomania - hording and random compulsive behaviors like making sure EvEry Single clothing item i have is in the baskets before I go to the laundry mat.. ----------------the best thing i have found to manage my symptoms is exercise, imagry and meditation, trying to be concious of my behavior and not give into my obsessions!! and to be easy and kind to myself. One day at a time.------------------ also, I have some kinda amazing talents i think go along with being such a unbalanced individual. - talented artist - underdog but excellent view of society and social understanding - perfectionst - in complete control under pressure, great in emergency.
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October 03, 2009

Hi...there are so many common threads here. It does make me feel not so alone! I was pretty well-adjusted as a small child, then started showing signs of anxiety, OCD when I was in middle school. I was very scared and paranoid of everything...contracting far-fetched diseases, other kids disliking me, my mother leaving me. I always had nightmares of being abandoned, and of natural disasters. The more afraid of stuff I became, the LESS I spoke of it to anyone! I had so many fears spiral out of control that if I HAD only confided in someone...anyone...about them, they wouldn't have made so much of my younger years such hell! I too, like I am amazed to see others having written, have had a devastating identity crisis since my early teen years (and now I'm 38, and only in the past few years have I finally become a bit more comfortable. Perhaps it's just "old age" mellowing me out! See there may be some hope for all!). I have always been a perfectionist, got really good grades in school (until I discovered self-medication in early high school and my grades were sporadically not so good), but was very reclusive. The only times I would come out of my shell and pretend to be social was if I was drinking! Lo and behold, I became alcoholic, and in later years, also abused Rx meds. In retrospect (now being SOBER for almost 8 months!), I can now pretty clearly see my trend of self-medicating with substances, alcohol, food, spending, and yes, PICKING. I think probably all of us have FEAR and ANXIETY tightly woven within our very fibers that makes our every move painfully difficult. We are SO tired of living this way, that we are mentally so worn out, that even the prospect of getting our behinds off the couch to brush our teeth, or drive across the street to buy a few groceries, costs more thinking than we have to spare! I don't know about you guys/gals, but I am a major THINKAHOLIC, and I am never, ever, able to quiet my thoughts. Of course, my thoughts are all thoughts of fear, worry, self-analysis. Constant "What-Ifs!" All self-destructive thought patterns. I wish for once I could clear my mind, and just think of something pleasant for a change. Like to recall a relaxing vacation I had, loooooong ago before my anxieties. I just don't have the ability to get out of my own head! It interrupts my ability to ever live in the moment, and to be spontaneous, and to be a genuine friend, mother, wife, person. My mind is always elsewhere and I feel as if I am always "acting", as the present is always secondary for me. Does this make any sense to anyone? I lost the ability as a child to enjoy life, and take every moment as it is. I think we have so much emotional PAIN, for whatever reason, and it HURTS SO MUCH, that we take it out on ourselves, maybe just to be able to punish someone/something. Or maybe we are so uncomfortably numb to the real world, and to true emotion, that we hurt ourselves just to feel something "real". Or, as in my case (I am also ADHD and cannot focus very well on one thing at a time, and get distracted very easily, therefore I rarely can follow through with anything and feel successful. Hey, I am amazing myself by even writing this comment so long!)....my point being that picking is something I can focus on for HOURS, and I do a damn good job of it. I wish I could put forth the same effort and dedication to other, important things in my life! I may have gotten off track, so I'll list a few other traits. People think I've got my stuff together, because I'm quiet, dress pretty nicely, and they think I'm the kindest most innocent person they've ever met. HA! I always think, if they only knew about the constant storms brewing in my head, and if they only saw the scars and scabs and blood under my clothes! What else, I'm a people pleaser. In my 12 step recovery for alcoholism, I am working on that, and now able to recognize some of my own desires, little by little, and how to dissagree or simply say no to others. I think I've lacked any trace of respect for myself, and have been a freaking door mat all my life, and now I recognize this, and am hoping to break out of this mold and take care of myself for once. I hope everyone is looking forward to a pleasant weekend! I know mine is going to be just a bit better now that I've found this wonderfully brave, honest and kind group of people to talk to! :)
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November 03, 2009

dear boobookitty. I'm commenting because your profile is similiar to mine. I am also ADHD. Your comments about your head never shutting up struck a cord with me. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I tell my husband that it feels like there are dozens of ideas in my head bouncing around like ping pong balls. I have started ADD medicine, but that has not helped with my picking. I feel that the ADD medicine will help me FOCUS better on dealing with my "picking" issues. Unfortunately, many of the ADD medicines start wearing off in effectiveness (tolerance). That is something else I need to keep up with. It is hard to "remember" or "focus" to call the Dr. to set up an appointment when my medicine is not working. Lets keep in touch. I'm in my mid 40s and have had issues with picking since my mid teens. It's getting worse. I do believe I have some sort of chemical imbalance. I have been on Wellbutrin (for depression)and realized that I will need to be on a depressant for now. I also feel that some food allergies are part of a culprit (breaking out gives me something to pick on). I also feel that I have an addictive personality. I have intentionally stayed away from illicit drug use and smoking and alcohol because I "instinctively" know that I would not be able to get away from them once I started. I really feel that If I smoked, I would not pick as much.. I would rather pick than fry my lungs. I have told people I am a recovering Hoarder (I was addicted to garage sales ....) Since I'm on ADD medicine now, I'm currently on my 3rd year of cleaning up my Hoarding mess. I get discouraged and disgusted with the mess I have made, but I keep trudging along. I do feel I'm moving the right direction.....Some days I get alot of things done, then on other days I'm a complete "potato". I've got to go pick up the kiddos from school, so got to go. Have lots more information..... Give me information on anything that has helped you.
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October 04, 2009

I am 26yrs old, with intense paranoia..... even as i started typing this my other half was looking at me and i had to turn my computer screen off momentarily cos i dont like light in my face, cos i think hes staring at my horrible skin... i dont goto shops i send the boyfriend down.. cos i dont like people looking at me... I also have fears of knives. if someone is holding a knife i flinch thinking i am going to get stabbed. I also dont like eye contact or giving eye contact for long periods of time. in a conversation i will generally look at them. and then speak to them with my head facing the other way. to avoid thinking bout them looking at my skin..... even this very minute i am itchy. i am itchy pretty much all the time. But i dont know whether i truly am itchy. or its my mind playing tricks on me... I also have paranoia about nibiru also known as the 12th planet which is apparently going to hit us in 2012... i am not religious in anyways. but for some reason its embedded in my head. and me living not far from a train line. every night every hour as a train comes. i wake up. rush to my window and look out of it. to make sure i can still see the stars and that no nibiru is crashing down. I often get depressed. and feel like doing myself in. seems that it would easier then dealing with this stress day in and day out. year in and year out. the only thing that is keeping me here is my children. I couldnt possibly do that to them. so ill continue living in misery to ensure they have a mum. my father commit suicide. so i know what that feels like. and i couldnt never put them thru that pain........So yes. My problems mainly consist of paranoia, stress and overthinking EVERYTHING
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October 27, 2009

Atarax is a med to help stop itching. I think alot of us have that itchy felling when we are uncomfortable with a situation. I also take xanax for the anxiety b/c I found that most antidepressants that the docs gave me that said they also help with ocd only made those symptoms worse.
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October 05, 2009

Nothing major here as far as personality issues. I have been dealing on and off with an anxiety problem. Went on Celexa for a while and that helped a lot, but I put on 15 pounds in one year. Went off of it and I'm doing ok, managing the anxiety w/out meds - or so I thought. My scalp and skin picking has escalated quite a lot this past year. I never really thought of it as an anxiety or OCD related problem, but in researching it, I'm finding out that I may need to re-visit the meds again. In all my years of skin/scalp picking, I've NEVER told my doctor about it - too embarrased. I've made a dr's appt to talk about it with him. So glad I'm not alone!
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March 24, 2010

ive been put on a couple different medications for depression/ anxiety, but they dont help the ocd. when i began briging this up to my doctors they actually told me that ocd is resistant to medication. for me perosnally, i have realized that meds dont fix the underlying problem. on meds or not, i find more relief in talking or writing, so i figure the meds are just artificially removing the symptoms. i ditched my meds and started talking to a therapist about my skin picking. i think therapy is a more direct treatment than weird drugs that dont actually fix anything. your definitely not alone. the more of us who come out to the medical community, the more they will be able to help us in the long run. good luck.
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October 08, 2009

I was a painfully shy child...in fact, all the way up to about 11th grade. I have never been able to look people I'm not 100% comfortable with in the eyes for more than a few seconds at a time. I have always thought people were looking (staring) at me and I hate that! I am generally a very confidant, well adjusted person, although when I hit 18 I started suffering terriable panic attacks. I believe these were brought on by the over use of pot combined with a stressful living environment at the time. I have been on Paxil and Xanax to control my anxiety and panic since I was 18 (13 years). I am currently weaning myself off the Paxil once and for all though. I used to fear "The End of The World" type stuff, but since becoming a Christian I have total peace about that stuff. Other than that, I grew up in a normal, happy home with both parents and a brother and sister. We all got along for the most part. My Mom has generallized anxiety but doesnt pick anything. My Dad has always been a nosepicker and thats where I am sure my picking all started. I have picked my nose ever since I can remember. From there it went to picking and chewing scabs and my cuticles. Then when I developed acne I started picking that. Its gotten worse every year!
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October 15, 2009

I'm weaning myself off Sertralin, an SSRI medicine, but I've been using it for only two years. Is Paxil also some kind of SSRI?
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October 16, 2009

I don't know about Paxil being an SSRI, but I do know it's an antidepressant that is one of the only ones to also effectively treat panic attacks. I'm soooo sick of being on pills!!!!!
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October 11, 2009

hi, I also have the fear that people can read my mind! and other personal things, like emails, letters and text messages. when i was in 9th grade i was dealing with depression, which lasted until 11th grade. Im very paranoid. which goes with fearing people can read my mind. sometimes I cant go in my bedroom or bathroom for days because I think there is someone in my closets or looking in through my window, and they will tape me in the bathroom or changing and show it to people. i have a hard time with emotional and physical intimacy, and i cant look people into the eyes. bleh
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October 12, 2009

Generally, I think I'm a fairly outgoing and friendly person. I have some anxiety/depression issues that I believe are mild compared to some. Most of my anxiety is about getting projects done. I procrastinate which causes me more stress...instant downward spiral. However, I have found that I am picking more frequently and worse than I have in a while. I have a lot on my mind...it just makes it worse. I was on Paxil for a while which was for depression. I found that it did reduce my skin picking but that wasn't the purpose. It caused me to gain weight, I was always tired and I felt rather emotionally dull.
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October 13, 2009

I am a very anxious person. No real major issues as a child but lots of feelings of not fitting in and being different. Felt and still feel that I let people down, that I'm not good enough and that is related greatly to the way I think others (especially my mother) feel about me. I get stressed alot of the time and feel that something really big / bad is just around the corner and it is only a matter of time before it gets me! Crazy huh? Can't relax and generally hate myself (not helped by the picking)... vicious circle.
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October 13, 2009

I actually questioned before men vs women & their picking habits. But you have raised a really good question here. This goes much deeper & really interesting. I am (female), skin picker/eater, age 32 and had a difficult childhood. Father has Schizophrenia, mother worst for wear, divorced when I was 10 yrs old. Lived on food stamps/welfare. Thrown into foster homes. Back to mom but later sexually abused by her new hubby. Mom tried to protect me the best she could but I hid so much from her due to her poor health. So on and on.... I have been skin picking as long as I can remember. Don't worry, I have adjusted quite well since all of my childhood trauma. Although I do have EXTREME trust issues. I have managed stress to zero. I am considered an extrovert. Guess I'd say that my childhood obsticles made me become a skin picker. Cutting hurt & left scars so I chewed/picked my skin off of finger & bottom of feet. Continue with this topic. I think there is a common link in us all. Our own coping mechanisms to deal. Thx!
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October 22, 2009

im a female. 15 yrs old. i come off as a nice, caring person. sometimes people say im spacey or seem "high". but im only like that when im in certain moods. i love making people laugh. i love people who make me laugh. im always there for my friends, and i never talk about them behind their backs. and im in love with music. i write songs and poems all the time. i get straight a's. but i often feel like im going to implode. my parents divorced when i was three because they had constant fights, which i still can remember. when i was five, i was sexually abused by my baby-sitter's son. i've never told my mom. my mom is the definition of a control freak and stress case. i feel like im always doing something wrong with her, or that shes always critizing me (even though she probably isnt all the time). i feel like she only sees what is bad in me and she doesnt know who i really am. my dad is an alcoholic, since i was born. he used to emotionally abuse me. hes been sober for 6 months, but i dont feel like it will last becuase hes relapsed many times before. ive been picking since i can remember. but never on my face. i go through times where i feel on top of the world and then i feel out of it, in a weird mindset i cant get out of. when im in a down feeling, i wonder why im here, like what my purpose is. i used to get really paranoid about stupid things (i once didnt eat my food in restaurants for 6 months because i thought the waiters poisioned the food. i had an intense fear of someone breaking into my house, etc). i dwell on things i cant control. i feel like i cant handle too many things, and im not good at focusing on more than one thing at a time. but most people dont know all of this, especially not my parents. i try to ignore things when they bother me. i hate feeling like im not being heard. music and people are the only things that get me out of bad moods, and sometimes not even that. im really good at hiding my emotions. some weeks i go with eating about 900 calories a day and i count them. then the following weeks i'll eat about 2500. i dont get enough sleep, but ive noticed that worsens with bad eating habits. ive written alot. sorry .. im horrible at describing myself. thats another trait. (?) haha
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October 23, 2009

i inherented my grandmother's nature of worry. my mother (divorced) was never around to help me out with situation when i was a teenage, b/c she worked t osupport us. i was fearful of my brother and druggy friends that i would lock myself in the bathroom after school for hours til mom came home. i was scared. there was the mirror in the bathroom. it became a mechanism to calm my fears - something i could control or do while in the bathroom. i am a very functioning person, well liked, professional, but internally anxious. it wasn't til 3 months ago out of 30 years that i discovered my cause to my picking. my personality traits are all related to fears and family not being available to me.
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October 27, 2009

It is apparent that most of us have similar traits; fear anxiety, unneccesry worry of what if; and for some of us childhood trauma of one kind or another. My story, my real father died in a car wreck when I was 4 months old, my first stepfather beat my brother and my self ( yet I have 2 other siblings he didn't). My mom divorced and then moved and remarried again by the time I was 3. by the time I was 5 he was sexually molesting me and I felt alone and afraid. I was only five and he had me convinced that it was my fault and that I would get into trouble if I told anyone. This continued until I was around 13. So, yes, I have control issues, I am an artist, I am very sensitive to criticism, I am always on the defense, I defend my kids, myself, just about anything. I feel tons of guilt and shame from my childhood. My youngest older brother (whom was not beat) used to hit me and call me names as a child and teeneger, and my mom always took his side. Now as an adult I tend to allow my kids to walk all over me. I'm not a very good disciplinarian. Hell, if I can't control myself, how can I control the world around me? I feel depressed alot also. I also look suspiciusly at men as if they are all child molesters. Even my own spouse (now ex) I was suspicious of. I also self med with marijuana (luckily, in my state it is medicaly legal witha permit). I have been to counseling, taken presrip meds, even made up lies about why I have all these sores. I finally went to my doc and said look at me, what is wrong with me? She didn't know what to say or do exactly. It's only been in the last few years that "it" was even given a name, but it is still unfamiliar territory to most docs. Also have ocd and hording issues I believe.
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November 13, 2009

Well I just poured my heart and life story out under the post "scalp picking" so won't go through it all again. But thought of lots more to share after reading several posts. Seeing lots of commonalities amongst us. What I find most profound is the intelligence of everyone on here. Just the fact that everyone writes in full sentences with proper English, spelling and grammar is so refreshing! LOL I've been on a lot of dating sites over the years and the way guys write so poorly drives me nuts. I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father-but a happy one for the most part. My mom sure wasn't though. She spent a lot of time in bed crying and with chronic headaches like myself. I feel just sick thinking how my disfunction will affect my boy's lives. Like a lot of you I am also very creative and am presently back in college taking graphic art and digital media design. Love the graphic art part but hate the web design and technical aspect of the course. I sit and cry through many of those classes and have anxiety attacks when I have to build a website. Just not my forte! I'm a total right brainer. I'm not a loner, I'm quite an extrovert although I now hardly ever leave the house as it only costs me money. I've become extremely lazy, hate exercise and just don't have any desire to do anything most days. Having to "cover up" from the world (fat and sores) is just too much effort every time I want to leave the house - so another reason I'm content to stay at home. I've never been much of one for the great outdoors anyway. I too am a hoarder which really clashes with being a perfectionist. I have so much clutter and a 17 year old who won't clean up after himself. I know that I can't possibly keep the house up to my standards so I just gave up and don't even try. Before I had kids and much fewer belongings I was a great housekeeper. Now it's so overwhelming - just don't know where to start. And even if I do get something cleaned up it's back to the same mess in no time. I am so ready to be an empty nester it's not funny. 8 months, 10 days and 13 hours till he graduates - but who's counting! Okay so now you all know that I also have verbal (typing) diarhea so I'll shut up now and go to bed. 4AM-I'm a night owl too! LOL
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July 31, 2010

Again, heaps in common, think I should go to bed now too, its 3am!
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November 16, 2009

I'm an introvert, intuitive, thinker and judger (INTJ in the MBTI type indicator). I'm anxiety ridden, scatterbrained and analytical to the extreme. I appear confident and knowledgeable in public, even when being in public is the last place I want to be. I'm an all or nothing type of person. I either waste an entire day doing nothing except what needs to be done for survival or I'm working through without a break. I think, plan and organize well but seem to be incapable of putting things into action on a regular basis. I'm a control freak, but have no self-control when it comes to the picking/biting. I've come to the conclusion that the need for control is where the picking comes from. It all started after a semi-traumatic experience as a child that left me feeling out of control and unsafe. The biting relieves my anxiety like nothing else, save exercise.
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November 24, 2009

Omg your freaking me out because you just described me! I am 23 and have been picking for 20 years. When I was younger my parents thought nothing of it and did nothing for it. My doctors would make comments but it wasnt even a big deal to them. I have a lot of fears.. most of them are things I shouldnt even think about. I have a horrible fear of dying and whats after all this, I am a control freak but as you said have no control. And I too feel as though it comes from the fact that I could never control myself so I tried to control everything and everyone around me. It has cost me all my friends, because I have never been the best person to be around. As much as I loved them and cared about them, I was jealous of them. I always hated talking about my body because it was like people always thought I was fishing. My friends would always tell me our your so pretty and your just being dumb, but they have no idea what its like to hate your body from the moment you can think. People just dont see how this disorder effects you day to day. Besides that I am horribly anxiety ridden. I still feel guilty over things I did when I was a child. Its like my stomach is always dropping. My thoughts are wild, I can't concentrate on anything. And my mind always goes to the worst possible senario. I am like you in the way that you do nothing or everything, there are days when I just cant get off the couch. There are days when I just cant see the point of anything.
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December 28, 2009

Wow, I am exactly like that! I either do nothing all day or work through it like no tomorrow. Can't believe there are other people like that...I am so not alone! My boyfriend scolds me and sometimes laughs at me at the amount of work I do within a day.
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December 29, 2009

Thank you so much for your post. As I read it, I thought I was reading my own story. I've battled my skin picking/biting problem for the vast majority of my life (I'm in my 30s) and I've hidden it from the world out of total fear of what people will think and also because of the shame I feel for doing something so "nasty" and "disturbing." I am also introverted and over-analytical, which is why this condition frustrates me so much--I can't reason my way out of it. I am a well-educated and somewhat successful person, yet I often lack concentration and my work productivity suffers as a result. When my mind wanders during these episodes, I find myself picking and biting my fingers almost as a reflex. It has gotten to the point that my inability to focus at work has worsened my tendency to procrastinate, which only adds to the anxiety I am already feeling. I view myself as damaged because I can't quite get control of my life and my constant anxiety and lack of focus has, in turn, prevented me from taking chances when it comes to my career and my relationships. I am somewhat at a loss as to why I do what I do because I don't feel like I had a traumatic childhood, yet I have struggled with self-esteem issues, deep-seeded insecurities, and depression my entire life. I do believe some of these problems might have arisen because of my mother, who I feel was overprotective, critical, and controlling of me during my childhood, but overall I felt loved and thought she did a pretty good job as a mother. I don't want to blame her for the way that I am, but I just want to understand why I am this way and how to overcome my issues. I've been seriously considering therapy, but I'm unsure as to who has the requisite knowledge to best deal with my situation and I don't want to ask others to help me find that help because my secret is so embarrassing.
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February 15, 2010

I've read through some of the posts and it really seems like almost everyone is saying 'I felt like I was reading my own story after reading your post....' and I have to say, I agree with them! I think we are all discovering that we definitely all have a few things in common that has caused this picking disorder. Me, I am dichotomous like a Gemini I guess. I am like two people in one, and they conflict all the time. One one end, I am laid back and go with the flow. On the other, I am so high strung. Things stress me out! I will spend a whole day studying and doing all the work I need in a week - but in a day! Or, I will be lazy and KNOW that I should be doing things, and I'll think about them without feeling any drive to get anything done (but of course, when things don't get done, there are consequences, which stresses me). Either I think pessimistically and get depressed and pick, or I think positively and get more depressed if things don't work out my way, then I pick more. Traumatic childhood things...we parallel each other again. We have all seemed to have them, and I am no exception. Abuse, neglect, shame, depression and fear are all apart of my childhood as well. I started picking without realizing that it was the disorder's version of general stress release. My stupid abusive parents didn't understand it and didn't really care to either. Now I am left with this and all of their pessimistic voices have internalized in my head. So it's like I'm still suffering beneath them. And it shouldn't be that way for any of us. We are not attached to those lifestyles anymore, yet the effects of such lifestyles have followed us, as though they have become who we are. I am an introvert and there might be a control issue, I haven't really thought about that. I do go to extremes though. and picking does relieve my anxiety ridden mind for a moment or two. I hardly care to be around that many people anymore actually, which bugs me because I was fairly social at one point.
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November 17, 2009

I'm a 25 y/o female. Today is my first day actually having the guts to Google,"skin picking". I've been in denial for so long. I'm not entirely self-loathing. I am a little overweight, but I've been in shape before, and I have recently started a new routine. But I don't feel pretty anymore. I don't know what my problem is... other than I'm entirely self destructive at times. I've been picking, I guess, for a few years. It started when I was in the military, probably in 05 or 06. I can't say much else about it, other than I hate doing it and want to quit. If I can kick smoking and nicotine cold turkey, I should be able to handle this. This feels 10x harder. I just separated from the military in May... and moved to my husband's home state. I have no friends; they've all been left behind for the most part. I just started college and I find today's youth to be... I don't know. I want to say naive... but I know how bad it probably sounds. I guess I feel very misunderstood. And completely invisible. And jealous. And resentful in many ways. So... my problem has gotten worse. I've sought help with my husband, but he turns a blind eye. It's nice hearing you're beautiful, but it loses meaning when you no longer believe it. I just want help. I feel desperate. Sorry to unload... feels good to vent. Thanks.
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November 18, 2009

Hi. I'm new here. I have been removing the inside of my lips and cheeks with the aid of the nuckle of my left hand ( i don't know why left since i'm right handed). I do it constantly and am unable to stop. It is excruciatingly painful. My traits: I tend to talk and talk until i drive the people around me crazy and they just want to kill themselves or me. I jump from one topic right to another one. I am a fast talker and can get many words said very quickly. I tend to wear out the person closest to me- my mom. I tend to make lists or write down intrusive or worrisome thoughts and read them to to mom or with the intention of reading it to a therapist. I hate my body, i weigh 158 kilos ( but am dieting and eating healthy now) and my boobs have totally sagged and are now very huge. I constantly think about this and talk non stop about having plastic surgery done once i loose the weight. I have never been in a realationship and haven't worked in 8 years. I hardly leave the house, only recently started going shopping. I hate spending money and constantly ask what things cost and check how much money i then have left. I have anger control issues, am always getting picked on and belittled by family members, they call me a whiner. I tend to get verbally agressive and have crying spells. I also feel unmotivated most of the time and prefer to just stay home in apposed to searching for work or excersizing. I go days at a time with no or very little sleep, tend to overthink things, worry about things like: having nothing to offer the opposite sex, nobody will want me, will think i'm wierd, or negative, or don't like to havefun and so on. I have severe feelings of being inferior, different than others. I spend many hours online on depression and ocd forums, dating sites which i never answer a single message, msn, facebook. I obsess about the same things over and over. I am always very bitter, extremely angry and negative in nature. Am afraid to date and have a man see this in me. When trying to fall asleep, my mind will wander on thoughts, usually not important ones. I f i gotta get up the next morning early i'll feel stressed and can't sleep, or if i gotta get somewhere at certain time also i feel anxious and check the watch all through the night. I read about the same things over and over. I over analyse things.
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November 18, 2009

Im an eighteen year old female suffering from years of skin-picking. I also have acne excioree as a result of it. Generally an introvert. I am a complete slob and extremely unorganized, yet In my head I hold myself and my image to unreachable perfectionist ideals. I started picking when I was eight years old after a very close relative of mine passed on. My parents have been very aware of my situation and have exhausted all efforts to get me to stop. I've spent years coveering my bathroom mirror with paper just to rip it down on impulse and repeat the cycle. I've tried wearing gloves while in picking-situations (driving, watching television, in class, in bed) which have hardly helped, seeing that i always lose my gloves. I have been diagnosed with disorders such as depression, ocd, bipolarism and have been hospitalized for an eating disorder.
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November 19, 2009

Wow! I just read through everybodys posts and I can relate to so much of it. Please don't take this wrong because I do care about people, I want everyone to be healthy and happy and to do the right thing. However I don't really LIKE people all that much, I know that sounds crazy but I am sort of crazy so it makes sense to me. I am the youngest of 3, my sisters are 13 & 14 yrs older than me and my parents were married 14 yrs before I came along. I was an accident, my folks were seperated but got together at least once. My Mom was going to abort me but she was afraid she'd die since abortion was illegal in 1963 and she was afraid she'd leave my sisters motherless. Her own mother died when she was only 5 yrs old. So reluctantly she kept me and later said I was the joy of her life. Her actions as a parent to me however say different. My folks were officially divorced by the time I was 4 but while they were still married they fought visciously and my dad beat my mom often and brutally. I unfortunately got to witness this on several occasions as a toddler. I was terrified of the dark into my teens. It was paralyzing, heart pounding, trembling fear, I had to have the hall light on and my door all the way open, it had to be flush against the wall, the closet HAD to be closed and never would I let an arm or leg dangle over the edge of the bed. I would gladly have slept with all the lights in the house on every night and the TV too. I often awoke during the night to a dark house and would sneak into my Moms room and crawl into bed with her, this happened almost every night. I never could go anywhere by myself if I had to be in any significant darkness, I would cry and refuse to go alone. I was sexually abused by my mothers boyfriend at 4 yrs. sex abused again at 5 from the babysitters teenage son, then again by the next new babysitter at 8, my cousin forced me sexually at 8 -12 yrs old when I was dumped at my aunts house in the mountains for the summer months. I had always been a cooperative, passive, submissive and painfully shy child. By 12 yrs I occassionally acted out agressively, physically hurting those that bullied or hurt me and if they only knew what I really wanted to do! So these are some of my reasons for not liking, nor trusting people, yet strangely I am openly telling my darkest secrets and torments to complete strangers. My worst trauma though was when I was 16, my dad was a crappy father and seldom around, I therefore desperately craved male attention. At 15 I fell deeply, intensely in love with a troublemaker of a boy, who was just a few months older than me. After 5 months of dating we had sex for the first time, within a year I was pregnant and terrified. I fantasized about getting married and having our baby but deep down I think I knew this was never going to happen. I decided I wanted my baby but was afraid to tell my mom because of her longtime boyfriend who was so cruelly critical and verbally abusive to me. I finally told a friend about the baby and she told me about abortion, that it wasn't really a baby yet, just some blobby cells and nobody would ever know. I didn't really want to do this, I loved and wanted my baby, but she convinced me to go to Planned Parenthood and talk to them, so I did. The woman there was such a bully, she told me how irresponsible I was, that I was completely selfish and not even considering the welfare of my child. What kind of miserable life would I inflict upon him or her and that the most unselfish, mature and loving thing I could do was not bring it into a world of misery. I have never felt so horrible in all my life, I was still putting my trust in those of "authority" those that apparently knew much better than I how to make a decent decision. After all, it was my fault, I was told, that I allowed myself to be molested as kid, so who am I to trust my own instincts, right? So I let this woman set up an appointment for me and the next day, at nearly 3 months pregnant I PAID a butcher to kill my baby. This happened 30 yrs ago this past August and I am still devestated about this, nor will I ever forgive those that convinced me to do this.I don't think I will ever forgive myself either. I am furious with my now dead parents at their selfish, stupid and thoughtless parenting, I hate and wish an eternity of hell and torment on that Planned Parenthood woman,on the entire organization, that butcher doctor and I hate myself for being weak and fearful and not standing up for myself and my poor innocent baby. When I got married and had children and knew what it was like to have a baby to love and protect, the horror and enormity of it all came crashing in more than ever. I picked a little bit as a child, a skinned knee or pick at finger nails or bit them but the face picking started in earnest when I was 16. I don't like to look people in the eye and turn away if I feel they are looking at me too close. I am not social, don't like crowds, I like solitude, quiet, the forest and mountains and animals fill a deep void. I never speak in public unless it is about animals and it's to children or seniors, I don't do well with peers. I hate my body, I feel inferior, stupid and worthless a great deal of the time but try to hide it from others because nobody likes a cry baby complainer. I don't have many friends and don't let people get too close, but when I open up it always seems like I over do it. Kind of like now. Hi, wanna hear my whole life story??? I have some OCD issues, I don't touch door handles, faucet handles, I won't use the hand driers in public bathrooms and feel like throwing my clothes away after I come back home from a public place. I used to keep a meticulous house but over the years things have gotten so overwhelming I can no longer keep up. I am all or nothing, so nothing ever gets done or cleaned, I have a tendency to cut out great articles, recipes etc for future reference, it was starting to become a problem so I had to quit doing that completely. I no longer subscribe to magazines, I can keep them all on the computer though without the physical clutter. I hate clutter, I don't like high pitched noises, beeping sounds, makes me want to smash whatever is making the noise. Well I could go on forever I suppose but I will be surprised if anyone can finish reading this excessively long post. Thanks for listening if you've gotten this far. No offense because this applies to me too, but we sure are screwed up.
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November 19, 2009

Wow, so many of us have started out with trauma early on in life. Do we pick because we're taking it out on ourselves? Or maybe we're trying to gain control over something. Kali, it's interesting for me to see that you're bothered by high-pitched noises also, because that's a big problem for me. Sometimes the sound of a television set on mute makes me want to scream. I also have intense urges to smash things, which I sometimes give in to (much to my later embarrassment).

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