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AMK , 22 Aug 2010

How do you keep yourself from picking?

Hi. I'm new here and I'm so glad to be reading about other people that have some of the same issues that I do. I've been picking at the skin on my face and body since I was a teenager. I'm now 33 and fed up with myself for continuing to do this. It's like I can't stop my hands from scratching and picking at my skin. Even when I tell myself to stop, sometimes I just can't. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it either, especially if I'm sitting down to read or watch TV, my hand almost automatically begins to scratch at my scalp, sometimes until it bleeds. I feel like things are just getting worse and I've almost given up hope in having normal skin like other people. One day, I would love to be able to go out in something sleeveless or to even feel confident enough to wear a short-sleeve t-shirt. But, I've picked at my arms so much that I look like I've had chicken pox. I'm just so tired of hiding it and I'm so ashamed that I just can't get it under control. I'm already on anti-depressants for a panic disorder, but it hasn't helped much with my picking problem, so I know the only way I'm going to fix this is if I can somehow keep my fingers away from my skin. I don't really have the money for a therapist nor do I feel comfortable asking my GP for a referral. So, that's why I'd love to know if any of you out there have been successful in stopping your compulsion to pick on your own and if so, how did you do it?.
5 Answers
August 24, 2010
I wish I could offer you some solution, but like most of us on here, I'm still an active picker and I am 47 years old. I'm smart enough to know that what I'm doing is downright stupid and counterproductive, but I still do it. It's one of the major things that is contributing to my marriage being very rocky. He's disgusted by how I look and also what he can't understand is why I don't "just stop" doing it, like I have a magic switch. I'm also on antidepressants for panic disorder, I'm highly anxious, I have high blood pressure, I'm a total neurotic and I can admit that. And while I can logically and intellectually understand that as well as knowing it's as "simple" as just keeping my hands away from my skin, but it's automatic, I don't think about it, I do it without realizing it. I've scratched and scarred everything from my scalp to my face, breasts, shoulders,...all the stuff that makes us women feel and look feminine are the very things I've scarred and dug at and picked at. I know even as I write this how stupid it sounds, it's so illogical. But, that's my reality. Also part of my reality is not one single person in my real life is there for me. I'm only faced with judgment and I can feel how my husband is embarassed by me, making me even more embarassed and ashamed than I already am. I made my living when I was younger based on my looks, which is so ironic....yet it sort of makes I got older and "lost" my face and body to the years of age, the more weight I gained, the more I picked,....totally illogical,....I'm doing all the things that go AGAINST what I identify with as being attractive, feminine, engaging. I've lost my soul, not just my body. Man, that sounds pathetic. But this forum is the closest thing I've had to a friend.
August 24, 2010
Not sure about anyone else but I've actually found as Ive increased my daily exercise, my picking has decreased slighlty. Grant it, its not a HUGE change and certainly not a solution but its something to think about. Then again I dont know about your personal activity levle, Im usual a coach potat by nature. I think while working out Ive become more relaxed, and even maybe too tired to pick somedays. Good luck
August 27, 2010
I have the same problem as you I pick my scalp until it bleeds constantly. Don't give up hope, you are not alone. Everything will be ok :)
August 27, 2010
Sometimes I don't pick when it hurts, but that doesn't always stop me. I have heard that keeping your hands busy like knitting, writing, any activity that will keeps your hands off yourself might help. Even writing down in a diary why you are picking and keeping a picking diary. My therapist told me to wear a rubber band on my wrist and every time I feel the urge to pick, to snap the rubberband. I don't know if this will help u, cuz I certainly haven't taken any of her advice in keeping my hands busy, cuz there is a part of me that doesn't want to stop, cuz it does something for me. It gives me something to look forward to, as weird as that sounds and I get some of my aggressions out on myself. I used to pull my hair out, any hair on my body, pick my scalp, pick at my feet with a nail clipper, and clip my cuticles off. I am not as bad off as I used to be, but I still skin pick. I hope this post has helped u some and given u some alternatives, if u are so motivated to trying them and stop ur picking. For me I kinda don't want to stop, but then it bothers me and then I do.

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