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Dont-Pick-Me , 06 Jun 2010

Cuticles, scabs and zits, Oh My! New here.

Hello everyone, my name is Lisa. I'm 29. I just found this website and I feel such a sense of relief! I seriously thought I was the only one to do this, until I started reading up on a diagnosis my doctor gave me almost a year ago. In talking with my boyfriend last night, I approached the subject of my long list of "mental disorders" as Dr's like to call them. I have been diagnosed with OCPD (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and of course anxiety. My boyfriend knows of my obsessive skin picking, and fully understands that I just can't stop! I hate it. I am consumed by it. We don't live together yet, but I spend hours picking. The majority of it is picking at my nails, cuticles, and skin on my fingertips. I always feel for imperfections or visibly "dry skin" that is starting to peel on its own. I will spend ALL DAY picking it until it is either bleeding, hurting, or there is no dead skin left to pick at. I even carry a cuticle cutting tool in my purse at all times to help the picking process. Every day I will scan my face for the slightest imperfection. A bump, a blackhead, a zit, anything. Usually I can leave my face alone. Unless there is an imperfection. Then it morphs into this picking adventure that I can't stop and it makes my face unsightly and horrid. I have scars and red spots that won't heal from months of picking. Then there's the scabbing. Probably since I was a little kid - under 10 years old - I have picked at scabs. It started just as that - picking at the scabs from falling down or scraping myself accidentally. Then over the course of time it morphed into this unstoppable cycle. When the skin on my face, hands, and of course feet (forgot to mention that - I pick at my feet the same as I do my hands) is all seemingly un-pickable, I get stressed or upset. I always have to have SOMETHING to pick at! Over the last few months, I've started scanning my legs for things to pick at. Again, any blemish, imperfection, ingrown hair, and pick at it. It becomes this - thing - for lack of a good descriptor. This huge redness of ugly. And I pick at that. It then becomes a scab. Every day I will pick off the new scab. It will bleed. I put hydrogen peroxide on it, neosporin and a band-aid, in hopes that it will just get better already!! I don't WANT to pick it... but I cannot stop myself. A year ago I started medicine to help with depression and OCPD. It seemed to have made the picking worsen. My anxiety has worsened. I haven't gone back to the Dr. yet to discuss this, and I know I should go see a psychiatrist. I pick at work all the time. It never seems triggered by anything though... I just scan the fingers sometimes to see if they're ok... find an imperfection... and bam! Start picking. My boss and co-worker sit near me, and always say "Stop picking!!" And I tell them I can't. They just think it's because of OCD-symptoms. They don't realize the half of it. But they do at least know I can't stop unless it's on my own terms. I cannot physically stop until my brain is satisfied with the pick. I hate this. I make myself bleed every day. Some of my shoes hurt so bad because I've picked at my feet so bad. I can't wear skirts to work the past two weeks because of the scratching scars I've done, and picking at scabs afterwards. My hands/fingers hurt so bad sometimes, I can't open things, or type, etc. It feels so "good" at the time, and then afterwards I feel so guilty and embarassed. I'm just glad I know now that I'm not alone. I can't believe I seriously thought I was the only one with this problem. It wasn't until I told my boyfriend, "My dr. said I have something like Borderline Personality Disorder or it's tendencies" and he asked me what that was. I said "I don't know actually." After looking it up on the computer, and researching it, I saw that a part of it is self-mutilation, excoriation, picking at scars, etc. So I researched excoriation and here I am. Anyway, just wanted to get this all off my chest. Feels better knowing I have resources now to help, but to be honest I'm a little more stressed about it all right now! Going to smoke a cigaratte... thanks for reading.
3 Answers
June 06, 2010
Hi Lisa, welcome to the community! I'm glad you found this forum. You are not alone. We all have similar symptoms, whether they are called Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, OCD, or an addiction. No one can figure out why the heck we do it. There has been some research on an amino acid called N-acetylcysteine that skin pickers and hair pullers are deficient in. Apparently taking 1200 mg of NAC a day stops the picking and pulling urges. I started with 1000 mg and didn't see a difference. I just started taking 2000 mg a day. That may sound extreme but there is a clinical trial starting up at the University of MN on NAC and skin picking that involves taking up to 3000 mg a day. There are no harmful side effects. You can get this amino acid online or at vitamin supply stores like GNC. If you're interested in reading about the clinical trial check out: Good luck!
June 07, 2010
Again, welcome and glad to have you here! Wildflower posted the thread "How to stop picking" and shared the following link: I have started reading it, but got distracted. That's another issue! lol...I'm gonna read it through though! Here's the link to Wildflower's post: ■ ~why me (whyyou? whyanyofus?)

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