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noone_understands , 19 Sep 2014

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Hi. I am new here. I have been diagnosed with dermatillomania(obsessive skin picking) about 2 years ago by my therapist. Although I am fairly new in the diagnosis, I gave been engaging in the picking since I was 19, im now 34. I have repeatedly tried to stop. My face is my forte but I will pick my back, chest, legs and scalp when my face gets too bad. So its obvious. I work in the public, government sector, and Im constantly worried about what people think(If I am a drug addict). Unlike many stories that I have read where people are telling themselves, in their minds, to stop, I am more in a trance like state where i disassociate myself with what I am doing. I do not sit for long periods of time, however, I do pick numerous times a day up to 15-20 minutes. I understand the reasons behind picking. Mine is emotional trauma. However, what adds to the emotional aspect of this disease is that NOONE understands what I am going through. Not meaning sufferers of the condition but family and friends. My parents and brother have witnessed me tourture myself for years, however the response is the same always. "you need to stop picking your face" or "you could stop if you want to and put your mind to it". Sadly, I cant stop. Self defeating statement? Maybe. But i have tried and have been taking medication for skin picking. I also see my therapist regularly. Nothing helps. Any thoughts or suggestions???
3 Answers
September 20, 2014
Wow, I understand your frustration. It must be really tough to deal with the complications of your disorder. So glad that this forum is here. Hang in there and know there are others who care and want to support you.
Plug Puller
September 20, 2014
Well, we all understand here on this forum. I'm always being told to stop picking too. 'You'll be sorry one day', I'm told, implying I'll get cancer from picking. I manage to avoid picking my face too much because I'm 50 and my skin wrinkles up more if I do. It's my chest that gets the attack! Also fingers, thumbs, dry skin from heels, and chewing the inside of my lips and cheeks. Maybe you could focus your picking on areas other than your face? I wish I could tell you how to stop picking altogether, but I'm in the same boat as you. I'm going to try knitting, it helped me once before when I was stressed, but that was before my dermatillomania got so bad. Good luck - and remember you're not alone.
October 23, 2014

In reply to by Plug Puller

I recently brought my husband to the therapist and she explained to him that I cannot stop this compulsion. If you can get them to go to the therapist with you, it might help. I have also showed my husband you tube videos that show the person struggling terribly. They never fully understand and I can relate to you.

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