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NJ , 26 May 2013

Scared to Admit

For the first time in 15 years, I am admitting that I am completely obsessed with picking my skin. I have never admitted out loud or to myself of this sick obsession I have and may never do anything about it because I need it. Picking and one other lifetime habit I should have grown out of are my coping mechanisms for my anxiety and stress. They have gotten me through stressful situations and prevented panic attacks. Why should I stop then? Isn't it better than abusing drugs or alcohol? Please know that I am a very happy, humorous, outgoing person living a successful life. I am grateful of the wonderful life my parents created for me and I strive to have a positive outlook on life. So many people have lived a life I could never imagine. Thankfully, nobody knows the extent of my picking, other childhood habit, or my anxiety, even my boyfriend that I have lived with for 3 years and dated for 7 years. He is aware and upset that I pick my ENTIRE body but I manage to hide or prevent him from knowing because his interrupting only heightens my anxiety. I lock the bathroom door, tip toe around during the day, and even slip out of bed sometimes just to pick without any interruption. Once I start, I have a routine that I cannot mentally handle being stopped. I have never suffered from acne just a few blemishes during my time of the month or blackheads. My major issue is that I have keratosis pilaris all over my arms, shoulder blades, inside and outside thighs, and a few on my calves and cheekbones. I am glad that I have unintentionally discovered this site. I wonder if anyone out there suffers from the same mental quirks I practice or think before, during, and after I pick. I'm sure, like myself, others think about pick all day. Especially if you can "feel" a pimple on your face. I have gone as far as categorizing the different types of pimple by the way they erupt. I have favorite types of pimples I enjoy popping and spots I like to pick. After I pick, I'll even put the white pus on the mirror to examine. I rate the eruption not by how much comes out but the way it comes out and the sound it makes. Then I think about which pimple I popped was the best and think about past favorites. I have favorite lights in my house for certain areas that can be seen better. I LOVE when my boyfriend is out of the house just so I can pick in peace. I pick almost everyday but never in the morning and experience pure satisfaction. The only time I am upset after I pick is if I do it during the day because It prevents me from wearing short sleeves, skirts, shorts, and dresses and my face looks absolutely terrifying. For now I will continue. I am not mentally strong enough to quit.
4 Answers
June 01, 2013
Yes, it is better than alcohol or drug abuse, but that doesn't justify continuing with it. I've been living with my fiance for 6 months now and that's definitely decreased the amount I pick because I'd be mortified if he found out, but sometimes I'm on my own in the house and I just take the opportunity :( I can't say that I 'rate my pimples' or consider its size and compare to other zits, nor do I recall any 'favourites' (though I can think of a couple of good ones from years ago when I was just starting out that probably spurred it on to a full-blown habit). I think you need some good motivation to quit, as it sounds like you enjoy rating them. My personal motivation is looking good for my wedding photos, and three days in and I'm making baby steps towards progress :)
June 07, 2013

In reply to by picker87

NJ, I agree with picker87. Just because we get gratification from doing this, doesnt mean we shouldnt CONSTANTLY motivate ourselves to stop. As someone who has tried time and time again to kick this 9 year old habit of mine and experienced multiple relapses.. you need to BELIEVE that you can do it. That's the first step! so your last sentence is actually false.. you ARE mentally strong enough to stop picking!! :) "Whether you say you can or can't, you're right." and picker87 congratulations on your 3 days!! I know you can continue the streak and will look gorgeous in your wedding photos :)
June 06, 2013
Hi there, today I found out that my skin picking is a type of OCD and I always just thought it was just my anxiety. I realize that I have been picking since middle school years and now I am an adult suffering with scars. I enjoy my picking so I have never sought help to stop. I pick everyday and always feel guilty afterwards, but then the guilt subsides. I always felt I was alone in this. It is embarrassing to go out with freshly picked sores. I cover my sores with makeup but you can still see them. When I see pictures of myself I am sickened by the way my face looks. I live a pretty good life and am successful. I also have a boyfriend who knows I pick. I feel like my picking is now a really bad habit that I can not stop. I have also gotten many chemical peels and microdermabrasions to help take away the scarring but then I just revert back to the bad habit. I am just thankful that I am not alone in this.
June 11, 2013
Wow,I am so happy to find this site!I just started therapy again and realize that my face picking is becoming an issue.When I was younger it was really bad,but for almost 12 years, I was better because I didn't have any well-lit mirrors and no high magnification hand mirrors.I lived with someone who adored me and really would not have understood my face picking and somehow I stopped..Now 15 years later,I have a high magnification mirror, I am on psych drugs to deal with my anxiety and depression and dealing with flashbacks from my abusive childhood..and now my skin is a wreck.I thought I was the only one who treasures alone time so I can pick for hours..I promise myself not to do it,but it is all I think about! Sometimes it is because it is so very calming, then as it looks worse,I do it out of destructive impulses..I will be reading this forum so I can heal and actually confront this.I am not even strong enough to get rid of my magnifying mirror..

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