A diagnosis of psychogenic excoriation can be confusing and frustrating. It can also be embarrassing.
The term implies the reason for the excessive scratching that led to medical intervention is not physical. The word itself, psychogenic, means that something, in this case the urge to scratch, got its origin, "genic," in the mind, "psycho."
It can be very difficult for some people to accept the idea that the reason they are scratching themselves to the point of injury and permanent tissue damage is all in their heads. After all, it's the face, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs that are usually the targeted skin zones for patients suffering from psychogenic excoriation, not the head.
Many patients diagnosed with psychogenic excoriation find it very frustrating to convey to physician and family the full magnitude of the compulsion to scratch. Even when there is supposedly nothing real to be scratching in the first place. One's credibility comes into question.
With the diagnosis of psychogenic excoriation, treatment options become available. Some patients find they enter treatment with doubts for its success. After all, they may be still engaged in persuading the people in their world that there is, in fact, a real and physical origin behind their need to scratch.
When a course of treatment is given several months to reach maximum benefit, however, the patient may be experiencing enough relief from the itching and scratching cycle to re-evaluate the disorder and it's effect on one's life. Sometimes these patients get a little embarrassed when they realize the source of the problem was, indeed, all in their heads.
Some patients don't achieve the desired relief that an initial course of treatment may provide. There are other treatment options that can be explored, either separately or in conjunction with others. If the first method doesn't work, try the others.
There's no need for embarrassment, though. The confusion and frustration are pretty much inevitable. Once history, and proper treatment, have given the patient a new perspective on the disorder, the thought of embarrassment should be replaced with those of pride and accomplishment.
For more information about Psychogenic Excoriation causes and treatment, get the Complete Guide to Picking Disorders today.