15 years old and no one understands my csp


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July 19, 2010

Hi "ninjaface", my name is Brenda, and I just read your post. I want to say that I empathize with you, meaning I truly understand how you feel and the daily obstacles you encounter, as I am a chronic skin picker myself. I am a chronic face picker however, where as you seem to focus on picking at your body. But it's all the same to me - we are both suffering and being self-destructive. And when friends and family tell us to " just stop" - you are right- It is not that easy! I've been stuggling with this disorder since I was 17, I am now 24. It's been quite an emotional ride. Makeup seems to be my only savior. Foundation and coverup helps cover the damage I've done- the scars, but I'm not thrilled having to always wear makeup to feel presentable because I know it's only a temporary "fix", and a natural look is always more beautiful. But I have no choice, so makeup it is. I notice you said you wear sweaters and jeans all year round, I can understand that, knowing the situation, you doing that makes sense to me. But I am proud of you for attempting to educate your soccer teammates about your issue. Unfortunatly, the reality is, girls at your age can be immature and judgemental, thus probably not the best support group for you right now. As for your staff infection in your ankle, that is no joke. I had a staff infection on the side of my jaw line due to picking, it was a scary wake-up call. I swore I would never pick again, but as you know, it's an addiction, a compulsion. And I continued to give into the daily urges. Some days I will pick at my face in front of a mirror for hours...until blood is dripping down my face. Some nights I wake up at 3am to pick at my face in the bathroom. I get a "rush" when picking. At the time, I'm relieving anxiety I guess. But then I look at my face the next morning and it looks like a battlefield. It's a vicious cycle. But I understand what you are going through, you're not alone. I've tried therapists, it was unsuccessful. I'm currently taking Zoloft, it doesn't seem to be helping all that much. Things that have helped me: I got nails put on, a french manicure, this made it much harder for me to pick at my face. The nails make it tougher to do damage. It was a temporary fix, I'm kind of a tomboy, I love sports, so the nails didn't last more than 2 weeks, however they were effective for the time being. In regards to helping heal your scars, rubbing Witch Hazel on your spots daily, as well as Palmer's Cocoa Butter and Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil really helps improve the tone of scars if used daily. You can get these products affordably at CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, etc. - Also, try to keep yourself busy at all times to help distract yourself from wanting to pick. For example, on a nice day, go outside and weed the yard. Sounds silly, I know, but the pulling up the weed roots from ground is a similar satisfying feeling to skin picking. Sounds weird, but it works for me. Also, keep pursuing soccer...you sound like you have great talent making Varsity as a freshman, plus it'll help release energy towards something positive. As for now though, ONE DAY AT A TIME, and we must be realistic. Try for just 1 day of no picking, start tomorrow. Just 24 hours free of picking. If you do that, go for Day 2 of no picking. Challenge yourself to see how many days in a row you can go. You will have set-backs, but don't be discouraged. You're an athlete, strong enough to try again. Also, one last thing, a phrase I like to live by: It's my favorite song from The Beatles- "Let It Be" "When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." I personally interpret the song "Let It Be" as simply 'leave it alone, let it be, don't try to do too much and mess up what is already good (your natural skin).' I hope my reply was of some sort of comfort to you. You're not alone. Let me know if you ever want to talk, or vent. Like I said, I truly understand. Take Care.
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July 26, 2010

I'm a huge sap so your comment made me cry. Thank you for the scar treament advice. I've reccently started wearing fake nails again and taking vitamin b inositol. The nails are helping but I haven't been able to sleep at night because of the urge to scratch and not being able to. I've been having breakdowns like twice a day and have resorted to biting at my skin. It's really hard for me right now and you're comment has helped, thank you.
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July 26, 2010

I'm happy you read my comment and that it was somewhat helpful! I like to write to people who I can especially relate to. Your story really hit home, so I've been wondering how you've been doing, so I am glad you wrote back! You made a smart move wearing fake nails again. Good job. You're taking action. Also, good job taking Vitamin B inositol. This shows you are not in denial, and that you care, and are making efforts to get better. I have faith in you getting better because you're receptive of positive advice and acknowledge the issue -- and that is half the battle, my friend. Good for you. But, being realistic of course, we still have a lot of fighting to do to get this under control. I remind you I'm not free of this monster yet either, so we're in this together. ....I can't sleep some nights either, due to wanting to pick at my face in front of a mirror for hours on end. It's exausting isn't it? Not being able to sleep at night because of 'the urge'. I want to ask you: Do you find yourself wanting to pick/scratch mostly during the day or night? Before bathing? After bathing? When you're at home in private and just bored? Or even while you're busy in public? Let's try to pin-point specific times of the day when you find yourself most prone to picking/scratching? I want you to write it down. (I've noticed that I especially pick at my face when I'm home alone, only in front of mirrors, before getting into a shower, and after I get out. I try to be especially conscious of these situations to help mentally fight the urge.) Try to find your pattern of what times of the day you most often feel the urge. Document such things that relate to your CSP. Out-smart the enemy. Try even giving your CSP a name (maybe after an ex-bf, or a mean teacher). Make it subjective. You want to control IT, and not let IT control you. Don't let IT define you. The urges to pick stem from anxiety. Screwing up our skin is our outlet. It's a destructive action, but it's how we release our negative energy. Some people eat, or smoke, or pull their hair out. We go after our skin. It's silly - yup! But it's a hormone chemical embalance in our brains, it's the cards we were dealt. HOWEVER - I've read books on this and studies have shown that recovery IS possible, and that we can change our brain's chemical activity by changing our behaviors. Easier said than done, yup! But the glass is half full - so let's focus on the fact that 1. It CAN be done, 2. It HAS been done (people recover from csp), and 3. It WILL be done. (We're going to beat this). Instead of biting your skin at night when you can't sleep, I want you to write. Write a poem. Write a story. Just write. Draw. Color. Make something awesome out of silly-putty. Do any of these things with real passion and focus until you are so tired and you really want to just fall asleep! Even if you want to e-mail me your poems or stories, so you feel like they have more of a purpose. Go for it. Hey, whatever works. I support you. (p.s. If I wasn't writing to you the past 45 minutes I KNOW I would've been in the bathroom picking at my face... Instead I redirected my energy into something positive). I'm sleepy! Goodnight, ninjaface.
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July 26, 2010

i love your outlook and philosophy let.it.b !! you are inspirational indeed. your words are something that should be read each day. ♥♥♥
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July 27, 2010

Thank you, wildflower! I enjoy what you have to say as well. Your comments have much truth. Keep up the good work :)
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July 27, 2010

you're very welcome ... it was a pleasure to repeat your words ☺
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July 27, 2010

in fact ... i will repeat your words here ........ ................ ................ .............. ......... Words of Wisdom by Let.It.B ...... ........ ..... The urges to pick stem from anxiety. Screwing up our skin is our outlet. It's a destructive action, but it's how we release our negative energy. Some people eat, or smoke, or pull their hair out. We go after our skin. It's silly - yup! But it's a hormone chemical imbalance in our brains, it's the cards we were dealt. HOWEVER - I've read books on this and studies have shown that recovery IS possible, and that we can change our brain's chemical activity by changing our behaviors. Easier said than done, yup! But the glass is half full - so let's focus on the fact that 1. It CAN be done, 2. It HAS been done (people recover from csp), and 3. It WILL be done. (We're going to beat this).
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August 10, 2010

Hey ninjaface and everyone, really. I've been on this forum for at least five months now and although I'm not actually participating everyday in conversation, I have to say its been a huge part of my healing. I'm 19 now, but this all started at 13...eight grade, ewww. Went all through high school with this and my first year of college. First off, there was no way I could quit at your age ninjaface, not to say we're not strong enough, but society isn't kind enough to let us heal. Skin picking is NOT rare. Let's put that out there. There are so many of us, but part of this terrible addiction, is that through clothing and makeup, we can hide it. and we do everything in our ability to hide it. But let me tell you, I got to such a serious breakdown four months ago that I couldn't hide it. Not to say this was my first breakdown, everyday I faced breakdowns, sometimes multiple breakdowns in one day just like you.This breakdown was different though, I was sad, I was PISSED. I was pissed that I couldn't even remove my makeup in public because of the vain discrimination I faced, just like what you faced when you stopped wearing long sleeves and pants. Part of the reason people don't understand and treat you this way is because no one knows about this. because we hide. Well I was so pissed ninjaface, I washed off my makeup, bagged everything up...everything and gave it to my parents to dispose of, just in case i got tempted and knew where I disposed of it. How was it, well, the first day was horrifying, but no one said anything, the next two months, I literally could not look in the mirror, because of that mortifying image looking back at me. But I didn't pick that much, I think I picked only a few times in two months, which is amazing to me. Knowing that I didn't have makeup to depend on, kept me from picking a lot. The third month, I was able to give myself a few glimpses, but I still cringed. But this is the amazing part, my fourth month w/o makeup is ending and not only can I look in the mirror, but I can actually admire myself. The marks are pretty much gone and I receive compliments on my skin everyday! Makeup was not the answer to all of this, there were other factors that played a huge part. I stopped using usual face care products such as clean n' clear, or neutrogena, etc. I started using all natural products on my face, but cut down to only two products. I didn't do much research, I just thought it to be logical to not clog my face with unnatural ingredients or too many ingredients, when it was already in a sensitive state with me ripping it apart so much. So I used Burt's Bee's face wash and a seamoss face moisturizer. For your body, I would suggest any lotion with aloe vera...and that's it. And I would say be brave and wear your scars and wounds. Honesty has been the biggest part of my healing. I'm telling people that I would never, ever tell, like my boyfriend. Yes, boys are the hardest to tell. We want them to see us as beautiful, but you know what, I've found the love of my life my first month not wearing makeup, I found a man genuine and loving and caring...he sees me as beautiful even before my face healed and those are the people you want to be with anyways. I commend you for telling your team, I could've never done that at your age, and that makes me think, you are at the point that you could break this. I've had about six years of chronic picking under my belt and in four months my skin has forgived me. I'm telling you there is hope for us and we come out better as people because of it. I wrote a ton, sorry, but if you make it to the end of this, visit my facebook page I just started, its called 'skin picking'. I want to promote awareness about CSP so that people are less judgemental when we come out of hiding and so that we can all support each other. Share the page with your friends that don't understanding this addiction and maybe they will be a little easier on you too. I wish you the best of luck and hope I can offer support. We can do this!
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July 19, 2010

Hiii, Im 15 too. I know exactly how you feel with people not understanding. Don't worry what they say or what they don't understand. You'll meet people worth meeting.
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August 02, 2010

Im 16 years old and I understand a lot of what your talking about. I have been struggling with picking as long as i can remember, but just recently been diagnosed. I was so ashamed for all the scars i still wear pants and hoodies in the summer if im too imbarresed to go outside. I often would come up with exuses like I had exema or bad acne but really it was just because i am obsessive about scratching. When i was diagnosed i felt so much better because i knew there are other people like me. and reading other forums and all the advice has really helped. Im now on meds and im afraid they wont work. My friends have been amazing and some dont understand as well as others but they are all super supportive. Just remember you are not alone and people love you just the same no matter how you look!
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August 10, 2010

I'm 14yrs old and i always have thought that i was the only one who picked my legs. I've done it ever since i was little, i never knew why and i never thought anything of it. My friends would always ask me about it & i just tell them i pick my mosquitoes bites. And a few summers i would never were shorts. I stopped picking my arms in the 5th grade, And im going into high school and i don't know what too do i don't like too show my legs off b/c off some of the scars i have, and i play sports i do Cheerleading, Soccer, And Track but i wear socks that cover up some of my legs so there less noticeable. And i get embarrassed when people see my legs esp Guys, i normally always were Capris instead of shorts ill sometimes where shorts but some boots with them & i go tanning alot to help hide the scars. I've never knew why i pick them i always wonder why, & i've thought about before about getting the laser thing done where it peels some of my skin away & after a few weeks some of the scars are gone but idk. And when we have dances i always think about how my legs will look in it. I hate it sooo much and i blame myself for itt. I've cut back aloot on picking my scabs. & i hopefully want to just stop but it hard i dont know why. I normally do it when im bored. And my parents hate my legs they tell me too stop like as if i could just stop in snap of a finger, and my grandma feels sorry b/c of my legs. I've never been picked on at school about my legs because i just tell everyone if they ask. And today i finally thought i should just look it up why people pick there scabs and i saw that im not the only one. So if anyone could help me please comment me back, Thanks.
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August 10, 2010

I even take two valium and two gabepentin a day, and it still does not stop me, these are for anxiety and nerves. :o( 1/2 of it now for most of it is "habit" and we do it without even realizing it. I am now "nursing" my horrid breast rippage/destruction because I have a pap and mamogram in early September, I shrill at the thought of my doc seeing this mess I created. :o(
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August 13, 2010

All I can say is get help NOW. I have been picking since I was a child. Nine or so...NOW I am 40 and live with SO DA*M many scars it is embarassing, I can sympathize with being the teen wanting to "cover up" etc...Get help now, because honestly it only gets worse. Hugs.