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vee , 11 Oct 2010

Newbie, needing help!

Picking my skin has always been something I remember doing from about 14 years old onwards (I am now 21). It has gotten worse and worse every year to the point where I can not remember being happy with my skin or not have a blemish for the past 12 months. Not only has the degree of picking got worse, the areas I pick have grown. I had no idea until visiting a clairvoyant who said I had quite bad anxiety issues and doing my own internet research, that I even had a problem, how common this is, and how similar every story I read on the website is to mine. On one hand it scares me but on the other gives me confidence that this is an actual disorder, and is curable. What started off as squeezing black heads on my nose, moved to my chin, my back, bikini line, under arms and now my latest area my shoulders and top of my arms (I feel physically ill listing this). I have also begun to use a needle to extract ingrown hairs and blocked pores. What was once an invisible bump on my skin is now a open wound that will scar to a dark mark (as my olive skin is quick to produce pigmentation). I am now left with dark pigmentation marks on my face, underarms, shoulders, back and bikini line :( I can see how the larger degree of my picking correlates with traumatic experiences in my life. Break ups/weight gain/loss of direction. And I have also noticed that I’m a very anxious person and have a mind that buzzes 24/7- which now eats into my sleep and drives me insane sometimes. Many of you on this forum share with me the same life story, feelings, emotions, regret, attitude to change, and a common want of having beautiful skin and feeling normal again. The point to this post is that I as a newbie (and who has just turned to bed after a 2 hour stint of picking) need some positive encouragement and advice! It is never too late to change, and I’m prepared to take tonight as my very first step in the journey to stop picking my skin ☺ This is not something I feel comfortable talking to anyone I know about- my best friend is model (go figure). But I feel so comfortable to post this publicly here- I have never done anything like this before. Please help!
3 Answers
October 11, 2010
Hi there. I am new to this site too. I just found it today. I don't know if you are ok with going to doctors but I learned a few years ago when I went to the doctor because I was always tired and not motivated to do anything that I was suffer from depression and anxiety. I laughed when my family doctor who has known me since I was 1yr old told me that. I said but I don't lock myself in a room and cry all the time or have trouble getting out of bed. He said that is not always depression symptoms. I was suprised because that is all you ever really see on commercials and things. But I have the same problem at night. My brain just won't stop infact I think it goes into over drive at night! So he put me on depression meds (Celexa) and after a couple of weeks I was sleeping better and felt much better. Then when I was married the last three years it was worse and I was on the highest dose of Celexa they make 40mgs so I also was percribed an additional med that was 2mg and would literally knock me out at night. I now no longer take that med and I have lowered my dose of Celexa because I was feeling better and didn't feel I needed the higher dose because I would feel worse when I took it. However I missed it two days in a row and started to have a mild panic attack! That freaked me out. My advice is to see a doctor and see if you can get a sleep aid or depression med. Yes they can have horrifying side effects but the benefits will out way the bad. Hope that helps some. If you would like you can e-mail me too. I like to help people so just let me know if I can. My e-mail is Amber
October 12, 2010
Hi there - it seems that anxiety is a common thing among people with this problem. I am also a moderately anxious person (although I like to say that I just have a very overactive brain!). I often have trouble getting to sleep because, like you said, my brain just keeps buzzing! I pick most when I am a) bored and b) stressed out. From what I've read, doctors think that skin picking and other habits act as a sort of stabilizer (albeit a very problematic one!). For example, if you are feeling bored or unstimulated, you might start picking to keep yourself at a certain level of stimulus (while waiting for a bus, sitting in a class, etc.). Or, if you are extremely stressed out, picking gives you a sort of calmness that brings your nervous system back to homeostasis. Unfortunately, it just leads to more stress and shame after the picking. I have had some luck with the old-fashioned trick of putting a loose rubber band on my wrist and snapping it whenever I start to pick. It worked for about a month, then I had a relapse. I am trying again, but I am also going to work on some "mindfulness" practices so that I don't do as much absent-minded picking. If you aren't familiar with mindfulness, Google it or perhaps check out a book. It has been a very successful technique for people with anxiety and mood disorders. It's not like popping a pill, though - it takes some work! Keep on tryin! -J
October 13, 2010

In reply to by will_power

Thank you will-power! I have taken some handy hints from some other websites and so far they are actually working! I have taken up the 21 day challenge and I am on day two- its really hard but I think if anything the first 3-4 days are the hardest... its getting out of that routine. Things like cutting back the nails I normally pick with until they're almost sore... Spending no time in the bathroom and washing my face etc over the kitchen sink and just thinking about summer summer summer (Im in AUS) I will definitely be researching mindfulness. I don't like the idea of popping pills- so it sounds good to me! I study- so I'm trying to put all my energy into that and also exercising! Thankfully I dont think my case is as bad as some of the ones Ive read on here. As I'm young i think vitamin e is about to become my new bestfriend on my scares. The benefits of not picking definitely outweigh the negatives of picking. I hope your journey is doing well. Are you thinking of doing the 21 day challenge? If I complete the 21 day challenge the first time round, I know Ill be ok and be able to stop. Positive thinking, positive thinking!

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