Has anyone met another "in person?"


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August 27, 2010

hey!i totally share with u this trauma of never having met another person ever in 20 years who ate thier skin.and it is higly depressing 2 b thus singled out as a wierdo who bites her nails.and it may seem very selfish but i actually wish there was sum1 i knew who did the same.just 2 b understood for once and share how i suffer.
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August 27, 2010

That's definitely where I'm coming from. I wish I knew, in person, at lease one or two other people in real life, who struggle with this. It can't help but be frustrating to read how common these afflictions are and yet having come across so many people, I've never, ever met another person dealing with this same stuff. If it weren't for this forum I truly would feel like I'm a crazy person who is the one with these issues. I also wonder if it's why so many of us isolate ourselves from socializing because we can't help but feel alone when it "seems" like we're alone in this. I'm just surprised I haven't met anyone else....I wish I would. I wouldn't wish this affliction on anyone, believe me....I just mean, I wish I could see with my own eyes in real life another person like myself...and be able to talk to them, and them to me. To confide and let our guards down. It'd be such a relief.
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August 27, 2010

u know i have been doing this since 13 years.i have virtually no memories of a life without it.but was such a dumbo that never thot 2 google my problm untill last week.even then i was searching sumthing els and accidently came across a wiki page that gave a name to my condition.i was so so shockd,i cried for an hour.wen i found this wecsite and read other peoples comments on it,u cannot imagine the feelings that flooded thru me.i was lyk,thank god thank god i am not the only one.and...hoe cum all these people have wrote the EXACT things and feeling wich i go thru.it was like i had a hundred clones out there who ever EXACTLY lyk me.and even this meeting on net has given me a corage 2 deal with the world.and made me secure.thaku ALL of u!!!!!!
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August 27, 2010

I know they say that what we have is a psychological disorder and we manifest it by digging at our skin. But like you said, it felt good to not feel like it was all "in my head" as in, I'm alone, I'm imagining this, something unique is wrong with me, stuff like that. I agree about the clones. I felt that way too when I found this forum, I couldn't believe so many people actually felt and did the same things as me. We're not alone in this world.
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August 27, 2010

The only person ive ever met with a similar skin picking disorder like myself is my mother and brother. Im sure this is gene related by my research and its kinda discomforting because seeing us all with a similar problem that we cant control sucks. To make it worse, were always trying to get the other to stop, because we understand, but in the end we'll all end up in the bathroom picking together and laughing about it. I always tell my mom "THERES NOTHING ON YOUR FACE TO PICK AT! I have acne your skin is fine" i find myself always trying to get her to stop and sometimes i feel bad because she only has the same condition as me and here i am being a hipocrit making it seem like an easy habit to kick. It really sucks to see them in the same boat, cause i wish i could help them, but in a way, its nice to know im not the only one going through it.
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August 27, 2010

The only person ive ever met with a similar skin picking disorder like myself is my mother and brother. Im sure this is gene related by my research and its kinda discomforting because seeing us all with a similar problem that we cant control sucks. To make it worse, were always trying to get the other to stop, because we understand, but in the end we'll all end up in the bathroom picking together and laughing about it. I always tell my mom "THERES NOTHING ON YOUR FACE TO PICK AT! I have acne your skin is fine" i find myself always trying to get her to stop and sometimes i feel bad because she only has the same condition as me and here i am being a hipocrit making it seem like an easy habit to kick. It really sucks to see them in the same boat, cause i wish i could help them, but in a way, its nice to know im not the only one going through it.
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August 28, 2010

I have absolutely no family members who do this. The ones that are still alive are disgusted by this habit, and they all have very nice skin. No one in my family has any type of skin disorder or anything like csp. It'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has so much as a blemish. I guess that makes me feel even more like I'm standing out because I cannot draw any type of genetic link. And no one on my husband's side has a problem so it also isn't like I was "seeking out" to connect with someone else on any level that had something similar that I could relate to. Again it just all goes to further alienate me. I'm still amazed that so many people seems to have this csp yet I've never come across another single person who has it.
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October 16, 2010

Hello - I've been reading this whole topic with a lot of interest, but I do especially want to comment on this post. I actually do not think there are very many of us, statistically, in relation to other behavioral disorders, or OCD, or neurological disorders, etc. Also, when I see everybody's posts, it is clear that there are a few different variations of serious skin picking that seem to exist. The behaviors of a handful of people are nearly identical to mine, down to like 90 percent of the details we do the same exact things. But I think we are one subgroup of pickers, and then there are a few other subgroups. But everyone seems to belong to one or another pretty clearly. So if it's actually 4 or 5 different disorders, then we count even LESS statistically, right? Which sucks, I think. Because (although I identify, on a personal level, most strongly with any kind of picker, because of the way we are all treated and stigmatized in the same awful way), I think we might be classified under different categories. Like - I have compulsive, sometimes uncontrollable face picking, where I may lose two hours in a fast-picking trance that seems like 15 minutes. Only sometimes can I stop it. This happens if I am forced to not pick at all for a very long period of time, and the urge builds up. On a more regular basis, I feel the urge to pick or at least touch my face and feel it, and have to do that every few minutes to every hour or so, depending on how tense I am. So I (and others who are similar to me) maybe would be grouped into an OCD or maybe even Tourette's category? I'm not sure - that is only a guess and I am not a medical professional. But it seems like some subgroups could be classified as Anxiety disorders, some as body image disorders. . . i don't know. I feel like this could be what makes pickers so invisible (ha ha - I wish - bad wording) and marginalized in the mental health community, and invisible to the public. But, yeah - there actually may NOT be that many of us. Honestly I'm glad though, that there are any of us at all - and not just me alone! idk - didn't you say you were in the medical field? any thoughts? Am I just way off base here?
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November 12, 2010

hey New, I have the exact same problem as you do! It is definitely not Tourette's since it's not a tick, but a type of OCD. I had no idea any other people have this sort of compulsion, as I do, and I am relieved to know that I can learn to stop! I occasionally picked, unconsciously, but now more and more, when I find myself stressed, I find myself in the same hour long trances, just extracting my glands. When I finally realize what I have done to myself, I am disgusted, but find myself doing it again later. I'm going to blame the stress :(
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November 23, 2010

I am in the exact same boat. I am awaiting surgery and cannot work. My picking has become terrible. I am a prisoner in my house. I just got married and am happy and just cant stop this repulsive picking!!!!!
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September 09, 2010

Hey Popcorn. I have seen quite a few people while walking on the street, on the bus etc. who I've guessed were pickers. I remember once I was in a drugstore, in the makeup isle.This woman walked past me and I knew for sure she had csp. She had a huge hat on, sunglasses, her hair was in her face, and she had a thick layer of makeup on. I could see underneath the makeup were big scabs/wounds.She had her eyes on the floor and it seemed like she wanted to get in and out of that store as faaaast as she possibly could. When I saw her I just had this overwhelming urge to go up and hug her! I knew exactly how she was feeling. I remember thinking that she probably thought she was alone(just like I always do when Im out in the world). But its true, we definitely aren't!! In fact two of my close girlfriends pick. From what I've seen they are less extreme than I am, but they definitely do pick. I've brought it up with one of them. She was totally supportive and non-judgmental. She mentioned her mom yells at her when she catches her doing it, yet it sounded to me like it wasn't such a big deal for her. Its possible, too, that she was too embarrassed to go into detail with me. I feel the same as you about wanting to connect in person with other people who pick. I wish there was more of a network of support groups out there (like a 12 step thing for pickers) so that we could not only meet each other, but also work on a solution together. For now Im trying to use the forum as much as possible, but I hope one day there is more support offline.
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September 09, 2010

Im on the same page as you. I desperately want to have some kind of real life interaction with other "dermatillomaniacs." I've met one girl online, and we chat about it and write letters to each other... its nice sharing experiences and all, but I dont think its the same as seeing the person with your own eyes... validating that this person is real, and yes, he/she has marks just like your own. You know? I would join a support group in a heartbeat. I think a lot of us would. I think, if any of us want to see any change with this in the psychological world, we have to work with psychologists in our areas to try and bring more light to this subject. Support groups aren't that hard to put together! We just need to find people with the right resources.
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September 09, 2010

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I would wish this disorder on absolutely no one, that simultaneously, since we know it exists, that I would like to meet in person someone else who does this. I live in Boston on a college campus, so you can bet I get my daily dose of everything from young girls being insecure breaking into womanhood, and young guys still at that adolescent stage covered in angry acne, and I've seen enough steroid use in my previous line of work to know when a man, or a woman, is juicing. That acne, and even them picking at that acne, I personally view differently. I think the average person probably does pick at their zits, pull out the occasional hang nail, and tries to squeeze out some of those nasty black pores. But what we have, what unites us, is that this has become our life. It's something we look forward to doing. The teenager popping zits is embarassed AT doing it. We go in search of MORE stuff to pick at, preferably with utensils. The difference is I do believe there are many people out there with moderate to severe acne. When I raised my question of wishing I could meet another person (mostly so I could cry on a shoulder that won't judge me as being a bad person,...and I know that's selfish of me),...but I do see people with acne, pustular acne, and so forth. But most often they try to take care of their individual "problems" and get on with their life. Many of us here I have learned are so affected by the trauma of this, the fact we inflict this on ourself, the fact we enjoy the trance we get into when we discover fertile ground, and the fact that we will go way beyond the call than "merely" popping a zit. It's almost a maniacal thing we share, followed AFTER by the embarassment and shame and guilt. I think the "average" person feels embarassment FIRST, before they pick, and that's why they pick it and remove it. We on the other hand, are less embarassed about a barely showing whitehead that probably no one else notices,...but to us we'll get excited about the prospect and even plan it out, how to dig it out this time, "so it'll never come back," and many of us have shown to get more and more aggressive as this disorder grows. Instead of growing out of it, as if it were a "phase" everyone goes through, take a good look around you, at work and school, on the T or the bus, and do you see people who have acne but are dealing with it, even if embarassed? Or do you see people who have shreded their facial features with pins and tweezers, and has holes in their skin and scars from wounds, and freshly picked scabs......the list goes on, but does that make sense to anyone? I've seen "acne" in multiple versions. But in my heart, I think that what we all here share isn't acne. Acne is the byproduct, acne is a symptom, acne can be a trigger or outlet. I don't know about anyone else, but this is unique for me in that I'll absolutely dig at my face (and other areas I mentioned), but if I wipe out and skin my knees or shins, I don't get excited, and I don't have any intention of ever picking at any scabs that may grow as a result of that. Somehow those wounds seem legitimate, so I leave them alone. The wounds on my face and upper body, I guess in my mind I figure, I created them, I know what I'm doing, been there done that, gonna do this. It's like night and day for me anyway. It's the behavior and actions taken and views of, the acne/zits/scabs/skin or whatever, that separates us. And for the record I personally, (this is just me, okay), but I would never go up to a person who I thought might be a "picker" and offer to help them or share with them.....I wouldn't even bring attention to it. This is a deeply personal issue, the embarassment runs through our veins. We want desperately to think no one else really notices, and even by offering comfort, you've acknowledged to this other person that they have a disease (regardless of if you do or not). I think that would be like a personal trainer going up to someone obese and saying to them,-- "I know you're fat and I know how you feel" (thanks for pointing out the obvious sins of my behavior that I cry myself to sleep with every night, and besides, no you don't know how I feel because I am not you, nor you me.),..."let me help you" (who the hell are you to tell me anything about my life)....."I've been there too" (I doubt it. I seriously doubt it). I know you didn't actually approach the woman and your restraint is probably what helped this woman the most in retaining some sense of dignity.
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September 10, 2010

No I didn't approach her because I didn't want to embarrass her. I did feel compassion for her though. And you make a good point, it is not about the acne. Acne is the trigger. I was talking to a friend once (when I was at rock bottom and my face was at its very worst), about how I just wished my skin would heal and then I would be okay. She said something like " okay so your skin heals, what part of yourself are you going to go after next?". We have got to treat the psychological stuff first. Thats why today I try and catch myself when I start hating on my skin. Yes, its true my skin is bad, but directing hate at it only makes me more sick. I've realized that it is not ok for me to permit that kind of self-loathing. We so desperately want to fix ourselves externally, but it is an internal problem. Even if my skin were perfect, if I keep on with these horribly negative thoughts (thoughts that started long before the picking) Im not really better. In a weird way Im am grateful for the attention picking has brought to my inner world. Im someone who goes into deep denial about things/numbs out and if my self-harm didn't show up on my body I don't think I would ever address some of the issues that drive me to pick.
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September 10, 2010

Hi Cherry. Oh I totally agree with you on all accounts. I didn't mean or intend to imply otherwise. I think many of us are caregivers of sorts, either professionally (look how many of us work in some area of the medical field, myself included) or personally within our family and friends. I think that part of us that's our "dirty secret" gets bottled up and is put under so much pressure, that we ourselves want a release, and sometimes, for some people, that release can come in the form of helping someone ELSE deal with their problem/s, whether it's the same or not. I think we all, deep down inside, wish we could somehow all meet in person and just have one of those big group hugs and group cries and group support network system, a sponsor to contact when you feel like you're going to pick, have another "picker" as a buddy, in my opinion, would mean, we can keep an eye on each other, and do so with empathy and compassion,....non-pickers do not understand this because they only see the outwardly manifested signs. It's like if we saw someone repeatedly poke at their eye with a stick, then complain about it later, to "us" we'd be confused and wonder,...."well, gee. Just stop poking yourself in your eye, and the pain will go away." Ahh, but that's where we come in. Notice that most of us here express we are NOT in pain WHILE we are doing our digging and rooting. Either our trance or endorphins kick into overtime, but sometimes, I know for me, I can do some ruthless things to my face. An onlooker would be mortified, wonder why I'm not calling out in pain or even wincing. Well, it doesn't hurt. Pain, in its simplest form, is a "sensation." We all feel pain the same way, BUT,....we manifest it, deal with it, relate to it, and process it, all in different ways. Pain does not hurt us. It's the sensation WE as individual assign to the "pain." That's why some of us can do real damage and not feel pain because the "pain sensors" are still functioning normally, but instead of interpreting that pain as a reason to stop, we interpret that pain as we're making progress getting whatever junk is in our pores, hair, skin,....out. A non picker would process this same sensation, but would not get that rush. So something happened in our lives where we equated pain with pleasure. I personally believe there are only a few reasons why we do this to ourself: 1) To appear less attractive and avoid attention, 2) To punish ourselves, because we deserve it 3) Being a perfectionist in particular with regard to the senses (none of us like the feel of bumps or anything raised, like a scab, on our skin, ergo, we "smooth it out" to "feel" the sensation of smooth skin with little to no regard to the visual appearance. There is a subtext to all of those underlying reasons. Regardless, I think so many of us would feel comforted by the touch of another human being who has this problem, just for the sake of how good it feels to be understood. I don't know about the rest of you, but in my life, no one understands it. My husband doesn't understand it and is grossed out by it. You'd think that'd be reason enough to stop doing it, to save my marriage and intimacy. So why keep doing it. I do agree, Cherry, that stopping the behavior is only palliative, yet that's what the shrinks are going to tell us to do. They'll tell us to enlist behavioral cognitive therapy, change our responses, substitute this for that, etc. All they are looking at, all most look at, is just getting the behavior to stop. Regardless of "why" we do it or "how" it all started, the "professionals" out there see the bottom line exclusively in the manifestation, not the cause. They treat the symptoms.
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October 06, 2010

I live in Boston too. If you want to talk about this, we could grab a coffee sometime. I'm just afraid we'll end up sharing great picking techniques!! :) You can email meat Dancingpopes@gmail.com
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October 06, 2010

Dancing, (one of these days you have to explain your name to me!!) I emailed you at gmail this morning when I got up and got your message. I figure I'll write here too. Yes, yes, and most definitely yes. I know so many of us here on the forum want to meet people, not feel so isolated and lonely and perhaps even get some type of validation that in real life (vs. the net) we do exist, we're not alone, and there are others to share with. Check out your email, it has my email address in it. Where in Boston do you live? I think this is how support groups start. Not necessarily with tools, but with people who want nothing more than to support other people, and get support themselves. The rest will follow the more comfortable we get. I haven't even emailed anyone about this, but I'd like to. However, number one wish is to meet other people, and maybe if we met and provided it helped us, we would be able to excite other people into joining. This would be such a wonderful ideea.
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November 24, 2010

Yes I live in Boston! And yes, I'd love to meet fellow posters.
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October 16, 2010

Hi! My father and grandmother are also pickers, so I guess there might be a hereditary aspect in my case.
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November 05, 2010

both my sister and i do it w scarring
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November 05, 2010

I used to live in Boston and pick my lips for like an hour on the red and green lines every day. People would look at me like I was crazy but I couldn't bother to care, just HAD to get all that skin off. As for knowing others - my husband does it to his lips too. It was something that actually brought us closer when we started dating. (We don't kiss a lot because of it though). Also - when I was a kid I had two close friends who did it but seemed to just grow out of it.
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November 10, 2010

hi popcorn, im from so shore mass. would love 2 get a support group and meet up! (i cant believe im saying this) but i truly feel like i could tell u guys anything! wanna try setting something up? are u from boston?
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November 17, 2010

I've been picking since I was a kid, on my chin area. As I got older, and developed acne the picking became worse and included my body. My mum also picks at her skin not that we have ever openly spoken about it, just my observation. My twin sister also picks at her skin but she never did as a kid, only when she started getting acne as a teenager. I know when my sister stays over she will start to have a pick in the mirror before we go to bed, I have to tell her to stop "you will make it worse" "you will regret it in the morning" ect and that if you don't stop it will make me want to pick too. I've read here on a few posts now that when someone sees another person picking it has set them off too. So, I'm not too sure about catching up with other skin pickers in person it may just make me want to pick more.