Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

purplesugarbowl , 06 Jul 2010

Need help, encouragement, support - to stop the picking

I just found this site, tonight. I have been picking at myself since i was very little. I remember biting my nails until they were bleeding. My babysitter asked me why i was doing it. I told her I didn't know, but i couldn't stop. And i haven't been able to stop..... 25 years later. It wasn't until recently, that i even realized the scab picking, nail biting, nose picking, pimple popping and scalp mutilation, was even something that other people could be suffering from. My 16 year old sister, told me how she has been picking at herself for years - and i never noticed. Just the way that most of my family never noticed me picking. I guess we are good at hiding our flaws. Is it true that this obsession comes from abuse? It would definitely make sense, if that were the case. Last week, i really started focusing on why i was picking at myself. I tried so hard to stop - i did for a few days. My scabs were starting to heal, my skin was looking nice (for once), and then life got crazy at home. My husband has been really sick, finances are even more depressing than usual. I stopped taking my zoloft for some reason, and my anxiety/stress worsened. Finally i couldn't take it anymore, i picked off all of my scabs - even made nice fresh cuts in my scalp. Now - i can't stop scratching. Everywhere, it itches. Even though i read all the articles, describing the desire to pick and how it was caused, i still can't seem to stop myself from doing it. My husband has been lecturing me for years - and finally i can see a way out. I just need some help, advice, support. Anything would be appreciated right now. Thank you. Sarah
3 Answers
July 16, 2010
I think you should know that it is really brave of you to put your story out there. I'm a mild picker, myself, and although mine may not be the level of severity you're experiencing, I understand how strange the compulsion can be. A really great website if you haven't heard of it already is, they pretty much have every problem possible on there if you're looking for more support in your efforts. I think this problem is under the OCD support groups category. And by the way, good luck.
July 17, 2010
Thanks for sharing your story. I was abused as a child and I think that it contributed to my picking and hair pulling but I have also heard there is a genetic link which makes sense too because my mom is a hoarder and a picker and my grandma was a picker as well. When I was younger and going through the delights of puberty, they encouraged me to pop pimples and I can remember my mom even squeezing on my face. So....for me personally, I think there is the combo of environment and genetics. I am so happy that you have found this site ( is a great one too!, I love both). I know how frustrating all of this is but you have made the most important decision, to find a way out! I think you will find that most everyone is very supportive here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. =)

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now