Compulsive skin picking should never be dismissed as merely a nasty habit or poor hygiene. It is neither. And as intimate as it is, the private habit of picking one's own skin to the point of pain and disfigurement, it has public effects that reach far into the life of the CSP patient. Most people understand pain and disfigurement but it is almost impossible to describe the psychological damage compulsive skin picking causes.
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CSP patients tend to withdraw from their social circles as the intensity of the disorder escalates. Their entire day is driven by the picking cycle and even the most rigid schedule can come to a screeching halt the moment a wayward blemish hints of imminent appearance. The psychological trauma compulsive skin picking causes can carry over into a student's school work and related activities. Adults are likely to face performance issues on the job and in other social circles. Compulsive skin picking causes problems on the job, too, sometimes even before a job is offered. A person's appearance is an important consideration for many professional positions. Sad though it is, many people, including perspective employers, still consider CSP a bad habit or evidence of poor personal grooming habits. A highly qualified applicant with evidence of CSP on his or her face may not land the job, simply because of the general population's misperception and misunderstanding of the disorder. Some people fear the look of compulsive skin picking, afraid that it might be contagious. Some people who have it wish it were contagious. After all, once a contagious disease has run its course, it goes away.
Sometimes it seems the many forms of agony compulsive skin picking causes will never go away. Compulsive skin picking causes visible, physical pain and it causes personal, private pain. It even causes painful experiences in almost every social relationship a CSP patient maintains. Compulsive skin picking causes so much pain that most people experiencing it would gladly break a nasty habit or clean up their act to make the compulsion go away. And with awareness and the appropriate therapeutic intervention, that nasty compulsion may someday become a thing of the past, too.
For more information about the effects and damage caused by compulsive skin picking, get the Complete Guide to Picking Disorders today.