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kyliede , 14 Sep 2010

I'm new at this and just want to share what I suffer with

My name is Kylie, I'm 21 years old, a full time student, and me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years now, but have been best friends for 11 years. I have always for the longest time picked the skin around my fingernails and toenails but about two years ago, I was sitting on the couch watch t.v. and started picking at my heels. Once I started I couldn't stop. The next thing I knew I had a mound of skin piled up on the coffee table. I just stared at it, taken back by what I just done. I looked at my heels and they were all bloody and felt very painful. But a couple of hours later I was right back to picking at my heels again. It's almost like a get a relief feeling when I peel a strip of skin off. I am satisfied when I finally get it off but then the next morning when I try to walk, I have to walk on my toes because my heels are so raw I can't put my feet all the way down on the ground. It's sounds pitiful really because I complain how bad my feet hurt but then I go right back and pick at them constantly. My boyfriend hates that I do it because he will find chunks of skin laying on the floor and sometimes after I've had a long day he will even grab my feet and start to message them, but I have to stop him because it hurts too bad. I try to wear socks all the time to stop myself from picking at my heels but the next thing I know, my sock is off and I'm picking at them once again! I wear flip flops all the time in the summer and it has even gotten to the point that when I'm at a restaurant I will even cross my legs so I have one foot up to pick at. I know people see me and I know it has to look disgusting, but I can't stop until I pick the skin off. Even when I go out to the bars with my friends I do the same thing. I still do it out in public in front of everybody but I just can't seem stop. When I'm driving, I can't wait until I hit a red light so I'm able to put my foot up and start picking at my heels. I go to a gym and have a personal trainer and some days I have to tell him I don't feel well....but really I can hardly even walk, let alone run with how raw my heels are. Like I said before I'm a full time student but I have online classes. Some days I will be setting at the computer trying to do my school work and hours have went by and no work has gotten done except all the work and focus I put into picking the skin of my heels. I just want to stop picking because it's driving me crazy but I just don't know what to do to stop. The worst part of it is....and I can't believe I'm even saying this.....after the pick the skin off my heel I put it in my mouth sometimes. I have no idea why because that is just down right disgusting. Next thing I know I have a mouthful of skin just chewing on it. Then when my boyfriend comes in the room, I have to take it out real quick and throw it on the floor. I NEED to stop or I'm going to go insane. I don't have any health insurance so I can't really just go to the doctor and get a prescription because it will probably be outrageous. Does anybody know of where I can get medicine prescribed but not for a lot of money? Does anyone have tips for me to stop? Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully I hear back from somebody.
4 Answers
September 15, 2010
Hi Kylie :) i wish I knew the answers to your questions. I wish you blessings in maybe finding a medication, though I haven't heard many success stories from them. Every individual is different. Most schools have some sort of help for students to get insurance. If you go to student services, they can help you. Usually, your local community college can help you even if you are going to an unassociated on-line college. You aren't alone, hun. I just found this site a few days ago, and i find it wonderful to read other people's stories, because it comforts me to know I'm not alone. Worry triggers me somewhat, and thinking I am alone in this psychosis furthers my worry. Perhaps it is a little alleviated every day I come here to read on. In reading your story, I found great familiarity. It's kinda funny, as (obsessively) thoughtful as I am about all this, I never considered MY heel picking. That is something i have done since ... since what is forever to me. My big one is biting my tongue and cheeks, and that goes for the most part unnoticeable. The heel thing, however, is known by everyone around me. It's gross, I know, and it hurts like hell - but I do it. It seems to be more in the summer. I go barefoot as absolutely much as possible, and wear flip-flops if I can't go barefoot. This dries my heels out incredibly, which gives me a great excuse to pick away. I always just figured it was a legitimate thing to do, as the dryness IS excessive, but now i know it's just an excuse - just like the mouth biting thing (I don't need to have accidentally bitten my cheeks or tongue, or to have a cold soar - I will just start at the raw flesh - but the pre-existing soar helps). However, if it helps to get rid of the excuses, even a little, I have found that putting olive oil on my feet and wearing footies, at night before I got to bed, helps alot with the dryness. Maybe awareness is a first step to recovery. We've found this site now, hopefully we can begin that recovery. Stick around. :)
September 15, 2010
Hey Kylie, I read your blog and can relate in several ways. I am 23 years old, and a full time student in college, as well. I struggle with picking acne or create scabs on my face, neck, arms, chest, back, and legs. I started engaging in skin picking around the age of 5 years old. I know how much it impacts your life and literally drives you insane from personal experience. Sometimes, I pick my skin for 6 hours a night if I have a lot of anxiety, stressed out, adjusting to change in my life, or over numerous other daily issues. Its strange how something that is suppose to hurt feels like such a relief while you are picking skin off. Do you notice that when you are in the act of picking that you go into a trance-like state? Next time you are picking your heal pay attention to your feelings or emotions while your doing it.Also, do you tend to pick your heels when you are feeling more stress or having conflicts in your relationship? I know thats when my picking gets extremely bad. I know how it feel to be ashamed and insecure about others seeing the damage you have done from your picking. Some days if my skin looks horrible and hurts, I just want to stay in my apartment and have no social interaction. I know that people see my face, neck, and arms and judge/critize me about it. Its a horrible feeling. I feel like my scabs are the center of everyones attention. Do you feel like that? Not many people truly understand what skin picking really is and why individuals like us engage in it. They may ask questions like: Why dont you just stop? Doesnt that hurt, why would you do it then? Haven't you tried things to stop? I usually have to try and endlessly explain why I skin pick while getting know where. I know the struggle and the emotional pain you are going through. As far as obtaining professional help without insurance, start with your school first. If they can't provide you with the services you need, look up the State Insurance on the internet. I believe there is an online application you would have to fill out about basic info, income level, ect. But since you are a full time student, I am pretty sure you would qualify for health/mental health insurance. I think you have to sometimes pay $5 co-pays at appointments and only a few $s for medications through the state insurance. I know you mentioned medication, but to sucsessful treat skin picking its best to obtain both counseling and medication management. The counseling with help you to understand why you skin pick, you can learn new coping skills instead of skin picking, and other ways to redirect your skin picking. I see a counselor that specializes in anxiety disorders and self-injury. I started a new hobbie of beading, which doesnt always work to keep me from picking. Also, I see a psychiatrist and take meds for OCD, another anxiety med, and other kinds. The anxiety meds help me to decrease the amount of time that i skin pick. I suggest that you share the information on the website with your boyfriend and family when you are ready. Print off some copies and ask them to read it to get a better understanding of the struggles you are going through. This will help them to understand better and to hopefully support you more. But always remember that you are not alone in this. You arent crazy. And don't listen to what other people have to say about your behavior. Its a serious mental health issue and not just a habit. Keep your head up. Be patient with yourself and know that it is a huge step for you to just obtain information and post a blog on here. IF you have any questions about anything, I'm here for you? Whatever question, even if you think its disgusting or odd, please dont hestitate to ask me. Or if you have any comments on what I wrote in response I would love to see them. I hope I have been helpful and hope to hear from you soon :)
September 16, 2010
my name is chantel and i just turned 21 last week so this means for the past 14 years i have been picking at my hands and feet. when i was younger i remember biting my nail then one day just continuing to the inside of my hands. now they are full of hard skin almost down to my wrist even down the sides of my fingers. I keep doing it even though my hands hurt most of the time; they are hard to close. I pick the skin with my nails then i bit the skin off with my teeth and eat the skin. a lot of skin builds up in my mouth between my teeth and because of it i have several cavaties. the only time i have ever stoped doing this is when i was pregnant with my son; a few months after giving birth the habit manifested itself again. im tired of the achey hands so im ready for any suggestions. I do it all the time. sometimes constantly for hours as well as periodically throughout my day. I feel crazy and most of the time i dont know i am doing it until someone points it out to me.
October 22, 2010
Kylie- I am a skin picker of 14 years and I go in and out of being good and being really really bad about my compulsive skin picking. Right now, it's definitely bad! I am a face, back, chest, and arms person, but I can completely relate to you and everyone else posting on this site. One thing that I am trying to vitamins as apposed to Rx medications. I taking a B vitamin called inositol. You can get it at whole foods or target probably. Apparently it is supposed to help so that is an option when trying to look for medication. My other question is for anyone to answer... Has anyone figured out how to talk about your compulsive picking issue with your significant other in a way that is beneficial to both of you? I have a very hard time talking to my partner because I feel like he just does not understand the severity of my problem. He always seems to answer with "Just stop doing it, you are in control of your own fingers", which makes me so upset because I truly feel like I'm not. I have sent him numerous links to read and talked about how awful I feel, but I still feel like I can't get through to him. He told me to get back into therapy, which I am going to do, but I feel that other than supporting me attending therapy he is able to give me the support I need. He has even told me that he is worried about our future as a couple because of my problem, which makes me feel even worse about myself and my picking. Anyone have any ideas?

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