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whyme , 04 Jun 2010

New. Etc...picking, reasons, shame, lots of ■'s

Hi, my name is whyme (can't believe I got that user name ;) and I obsessively PICK. ■ Funny, it says "Body:" above this box and I immediately want to start listing what I pick. So, here goes... ■ The worst: → face; mostly around my ears, hairline and temples → neck → back; yep, I can reach pretty far → scalp; any tiny bit of anything → nose; can't remember ever NOT doing this and I do consume the "results" =( → lips; I bite off any tiny piece of skin that is rough → any loose skin inside my mouth, usually on the inside of my cheeks → chest → stomach ■ To a lesser degree: → arms → legs; mostly thighs → hair from my head → hangnails (very rare and I bite these off) and I've never been a nail biter ■ I am a female in my mid thirties. I have been diagnosed with atypical depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Right now my picking is at an all time high. A stimulant was recently added to my cocktail of meds and it is essentially negating the help the anti-depressant was doing for this obsessive picking. To make matters worse, I have been woking from home for the last 6 months so I am doing it more than ever before. I would do this in public previously at jobs, but once I realized it, I'd usually stop. And it was Never to this severity. I am in actual pain from two spots as of yesterday. One under an ear, toward my neck, and another on my back...the back spot was a pimple and boy did I make it 20 times worse. ■ I am SO disgusted right now I can't even convey it. I'm sure if you're reading this you can relate anyway. ■ Not taking the stimulant is an option of course, but I still picked without it and it’s helping me greatly in other areas. But yeah, the picking has been worse for sure as of late. ■ Amazingly, I am not worried about going out in public. I even go places WITHOUT make-up, which I never did prior to a year ago (I mean NEVER). I attribute that to my Amazing boyfriend though who has boosted my self-esteem to an all time high. Even with all of these scabs and scars and drawing blood he tells me how beautiful I am. I am SO fortunate. ■ So, I saw a link in one of the threads here and I plan on starting there for help: ■ No one's ever asked me why I do this. If I think about it, it's habitual of course. Actually for me, most of the time it IS a choice I do choose. Sometimes I just ignore the disappointment, disgust, pain and lack of control and just say "F" it. Occasionally though I will be at my computer, working, and look down at my fingertips which are covered in blood. Those moments are usually anxiety/habit based – like I can’t figure out how to answer an email etc and I just pick and pick and pick and then oopsy...blood! ■ When I “look”, or I should say, “feel”, for things to pick I find it very comforting to find bumps and any other raised surfaces. I have NO IDEA why this would bring me comfort. It’s also debris; like I will just feel around for anything I can remove from my skin (i.e. sand or other loose, non-skin material). Once in college I got the worst sunburn of my life and I stood in front of a mirror for hours peeling my skin. I loved it (?). My roommate was so disgusted. ■ I am sitting here right now fighting the urge, on occasion failing, as my skin is also very sensitive so I scratch many areas which leads to finding and sometimes creating places to pick. ■ Lately I have tried wearing dozens of band-aids, gloves, a scarf, using a stress ball and sitting on one hand. I have to type all day though so…yeah. In the past I have also tried a self-hypnosis MP3 which made a lot of sense...regarding hurting the skin etc. I guess what I learned didn't quite stick - or I never learned. I would listen to it every night too. So much for self-hypnosis ;) for me anyhow. I have also been in therapy countless times. Right now I have no insurance. I have a great (though VERY pricey) psychiatrist, but I would like to get back into therapy at some point ■ I think I NEED to be ashamed right now. My neck hurts SO bad it’s ridiculous. Today my boyfriend said it looked infected. I washed it with hydrogen peroxide a couple of times and then imagined an infection spreading to my brain. Luckily that was a brief thought! Gotta love my mind. haha...........Later I picked the scab…again. I just had to! WHY!!!??? The scabs form and then I pick again. The cycle has been never-ending. ■ I have good products for scars and acne (namely "Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment" and "Bach Rescue Cream" -- if I could just not pick [well, I wouldn't be here writing this embarrassing post though, so yay!] these products would clear it all up in a week, I'd venture to guess). Every scar on my face is due to picking. I don’t need products, I need a mental breakthrough. ■ And the nose. Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t just read a new gal’s confession. Thanks to everyone who shares here! Getting caught is fun, isn’t it? It’s so freaking embarrassing – I always play it off like I’m wiping my nose – then I feel like people will think I’m a cocaine addict (never touched the stuff, but think of movies. heh). I only complete the entire “process” when I am alone. I cause nose bleeds maybe once every few months…not too bad. I read once that 'consuming the contents' (no, I can’t say the “e” word) actually boosts your immune system, helping to fight off diseases. I could kind of see that being true, but I would still much prefer to NOT do it AT ALL. I always hear my late mom in the back of my head, circa the late 70's, saying "are you diggin' for gold in there?" and feeling the heat on my face as it turned beet red. She knew of course and she'd also tell me it would make me sick...which I think it has a few times, but mostly not...I think?! Who knows, maybe it is the cause of every issue I have. That would be quite unamusing. I also know of one other person in my life who knew for SURE. An ex. He just told me one day that he knew...and that was that. I couldn't believe he still wanted to be with me!...and a dentist I used to have ALWAYS commented on how Thick my saliva was. I knew why. Not sure if she did. ■ Ok, I’ve reached the point of shame...It’s a start anyway. ■ Best of luck to all. ■ ~whyme (whyyou, whyanyofus?!) ■ P.S. "Lines and paragraphs break automatically." is not true in I.E., Chrome or Firefox, hence the ■'s =D
10 Answers
June 04, 2010
Thank you for sharing. It's hard to openly talk about csp as it pertains to oneself. Being online and sharing with others who also have this problem makes it a little easier. Good luck to you and thank you again for sharing your story.
June 05, 2010
I feel your pain! It is so good to know we are not alone. Thank God. I feel like you all are my only support right now! The other night I was picking at a scab inside my nose and stopped before making it bleed. I swear I am going to get cancer right in my nostril because I have picked on particular scab open inside over and over again. I never knew this would be so out of control or difficult to cope with.
June 05, 2010

In reply to by Kait

those inside the nose are the worst !! i had to keep putting petroleum jelly on it for days to get mine to heal. the goop would remind me to leave it alone and eventually it healed but i could keep a nose sore open forever without the jelly. i hate those. my nose is really itchy all the time and i have had to alter the way i address those itches too so i don't create sores there. so far, so good. a lot of it is to learn how to touch your skin without harming it. changing the way you touch yourself to relieve whatever your mind thinks needs to be relieved.
June 06, 2010

In reply to by wildflower

I am going to put some jelly in there! It has been open for several months now and I know I need to let it heal. Thanks for the tip and support. I definitely need to learn how to be more gentle with myself.
June 06, 2010
This is my first time looking up my disorder on the internet, and this is the first post I've read on the forum. I cannot relate any more, and this is the first time I haven't felt alone. Just reading all the information on this website made me pick at the scratching scar on my leg! I amost immediately feel better when I pick at anything, but am SO embarrassed at work and out in public. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing, helps to know there's people out there like me!
June 07, 2010
Words can not explain what this site and your post means to me. I have been so embarrased and ashamed of myself for ruining my skin. I am constantly trying to cover up what I have done to my skin. It's even worse for me because I am constantly in the spotlight in front of large groups of people. Even my 10 year old gets on my case about picking my skin. I can relate to each area of picking that you have named. Wow! I am happy that I am not alone, but really do wish I could stop. If I see a pimple, I have to get it, not just on myself but on my child as well. Do these products actually heal & remove the scarring ("Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment" and "Bach Rescue Cream")? I have been searching high and low for products to heal my disasters and remove the dark spots from the scabs. Everytime they seem to heal, I pick at them again. Please Help!! Thanks again for sharing.
June 07, 2010

In reply to by OMGMETOO

Hi OMGMETOO (another clever name :). They DO work!!! I find generally that places that carry Burt's Bees do not have Res-Q Ointment. I'm sure you could request it (from a Walgreens or such - if you have a Whole Foods nearby they should have it). I actually found some at a candle shop (!)...The ointment is a miracle; however, you have to leave the spots alone which is where we have the trouble! Oh, you can also buy it online. I have bought from Burt's Bees before and I had no issues. Here's a direct link to thee product I love: I have started to apply it at night as I am much less likely to pick while asleep :) It also works WONDERS for bruises and cuts!! Thanks for the response and I'm SO glad you found comfort in my post. It was not an easy thing to fully you know. ■ ~why me (whyyou? whyanyofus?)

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