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cuddlefish , 21 Jun 2010

I pick EVERYTHING... I neet to stop

My picking is consuming my life, and ruining my relationship with the man who will be my husband in less than three weeks. Let me state, I pick EVERYTHING. I pick at my cuticles to the point of them bleeding. I chew my nails. I pick ingrown hairs. I pick blackheads. Pimples. I pick the back of my arms. I pick my back. I pull out strands of hair with split ends and tear the ends. I have chewed off the skin on the inside of my cheeks. I chew on my lips. I can not stop. I can not look at my fiance's face without my eyes hunting for something on HIS face to pick at. I can't run my fingers through his hair without them hunting for something to scrape off his scalp. I am taking breaks between typing to tear at an uneven fingernail. I wasn't always this bad. I'm mortified, and I don't know what to do. About ten years ago I had issues with self mutilation, cutting. I also had issues with eating, and dealt with intentionally starving myself for control. I've beaten those things. But they were conscious actions. I knew what I was doing; I was ritualizing it. The constant picking I manifest now is something that I do without realizing I'm doing it. For a while I coated my finger tips with vitamin E and wore band-aids. I would moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and sleep with moisturizing gloves on. I actually got my cuticles back to a normal state. My mom took me to get a manicure to "celebrate" my accomplishment. They ended up "trimming" my cuticles, which caused them to grow back jagged, and caused me to regress back to constantly picking again. Wearing the band-aids worked, but they were horribly embarrassing. I work in an office situation, and people watch me type regularly. I received several inquiries about the band-aids, and it was awkward to explain them. Not to mention, they only fixed part of the problem. I don't know what to do. I'm at my wit's end. I want to have healthy, in tact fingers at my wedding so I won't be ashamed to show off my new wedding band. I don't want the back of my arms covered in scabs. I don't want to be caught off-guard in pictures with my mouth in a raspberry because I'm secretly tearing off the skin on the inside of my mouth (not to mention the wrinkles I've already developed as a result of that.) I don't want to be ashamed anymore. I need help. Thank you for reading, and for any advice you may be able to give.
3 Answers
June 29, 2010
Cuddlefish, The fact that you used to have issues with eating is not a surprise as picking is really another manifestation of BDD... body dysmorphic disorder. Listen, the anxiety due to your wedding wont help you break the habit. Why not go see someone (a professiona)l that can maybe just get you something like mild antidepressant (if they fit) so that you can calm down before the big day. I think then after all the stress of the wedding day is over you can start looking into why you pick, what are your triggers, what have been your triggers for the other times you had issues with your body etc. That is my few cents.. you are not alone. There are others like you... be honest and take it easy. Take the time to breathe and every time a weird anxious thought comes into your head just count to ten while you breathe. You have broken bad habits before.. you can do it again. I believe in you.
July 05, 2010
I have this problem to. I feel like it has taken over my life. I have been so embarrassed about it for the longest time and only one my boyfriend of 4 years knows the extent of the problem. I used to only pick at my self because I didn't want anyone to know but after I became more comfortable with him I started to do it in front of him and then I started to pick at him...particularly his face and back. He lets me pick at him but he gets really angry because I leave red marks. I try not to but I really cant help it and if he doesn't let me then I get angry and really really pick at myself. I pretty much pick all the time...if I read a book, watch TV, study. I think I have always been a picker but it progressively got worse when I got to college. When I was younger I would pick the insides of my cheeks with my teeth. But in college it really took a different turn. The first place I picked with my fingernails was my nose and I started that as a freshman in college. I had been complaining to a friend about the dark pores on my nose and she said that she uses her finger nails to scrape them out and that is where it started. Then it moved to my breasts and that is where i reek the most havok these days and it is generally so easy to cover up. I simply just try not to wear anything to revealing. I now pick at my face, my scalp, my breasts, my arms, my neck, my legs....pretty much anywhere. It has really taken over my life....I think when I am alone I spend most of my time picking at myself. I am currently trying to study for the MCAT and my picking has really started to interfere. For every five minutes I try to study I spend a half hour or more picking at myself. So nothing really gets done. I tell my self not to pick but I always end up doing it. There is always this urge to do it. I try to study in public because people tend to be a deterrent although I still pick at my arms some but not to the extent that I pick when I am alone. I leave small bruises, welts and also draw blood often. I always though I was alone in this until I decided to look it it up today. I relate to most of the comments left on these forums.

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