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misunderstood , 24 Dec 2010

Does Anybody Understand?

ive been picking at my skin for as long as i can remember. i am a 19 yr old female with the lowest self esteem, respect, and confidence for herself. i pick when im mad, happy, sad, frustrated, scared, it doesnt matter how i feel, i pick and i cant seem to stop myself from doing it. will power does nothing to ease the constant urge to pick at every and anything. i am scarred for almost 50% of my body. and i still cannot seem to stop. i remember being so upset one day, that i locked myself in the bathroom, used the magnifying mirror on the wall and picked at my skin for hours. until my arms hurt from holding them up and my face felt hot and red. i feel like all the sorrow in my life is displayed on my skin. i used to be a beautiful little girl. now im ugly, and i know it, and theres nothing i can do about it. i feel like ive gone to the place where u cant return. ive tried explaining to my family and some close friends what my condition is and they never seem to get it. they just tell me to stop, its bad for you, itll go away. ive never actually seen a doctor for dermatillomania but ive known that i have it since i was 15 and smart enough to research my condition. all i want in my life is to be happy and do things that normal people do. but i cant, not while i have this condition and not while i look like this. the scars on my face have been mistaken for chicken pox it's gotten so bad. i cant keep friendships, or a good relationship. i cant think myself worthy of a mans time because of the feelings i have for myself. i quit a relationship before its even started. a guy can call me beautiful 50 times a day and mean it with all his heart, but i wont believe him nor will i give him the time of day. its that im so sure of my disorder, everyone elses truths dont matter. in my mind, i believe that i know all the truth and the only way i can live a normal happy life is if i treat my scars and treat my disorder. i also think im depressed. i like being alone alot. it saves me the despair, i never like being around people because no one i know looks like me. they all have clear skin. i feel beneath it. if anybody understands where im coming from, please respond. i need to get reassurance and guidance from SOMEBODY, i feel like im all alone. thanks for reading.
4 Answers
December 25, 2010
Hello there. I am also 19 years old and I am going through the same pain as you. Its soul destroying I know. I also feel very alone so I know where you are coming from. I see it as a never ending destructive cycle.When you said this: "used the magnifying mirror on the wall and picked at my skin for hours. until my arms hurt from holding them up and my face felt hot and red. i feel like all the sorrow in my life is displayed on my skin. i used to be a beautiful little girl." I can so relate to that. It causes me frustration and muscle ache! Its even more frustrating when you say to yourself right this is the last time and you do it again and again and again. Ive wrecked my face today actually. I kept it up for 2 weeks not doing it. My face was almost all clear (with the exception of some scars). I think the way forward is to keep building on ourselves- mentally, physically and spiritually: Keep ourselves occupied all the time, keep doing things with our hands, hobbies/ anything which can give us a sense of accomplishment. Or anything creative etc. Find a faith perhaps, have more structure in our life/routine. Keep a diary/write things down? Tragets/goals? Meditation. Researc the condition/causes/ways to stop. I went to the doctor, and now I go to CBT therapy- I urge you to do this if you havent already. I try not to go to the mirror, stand too near it. ( I actually go into the bathroom in semi darkness!) I try not to think about my skin because it does take over my mind, like anyone with this disorder. Im going to see If I can do what I did 2 weeks ago, I want to go back to being in control, being focused, divert my mind from thinking any negative/obsessive thoughts about skin. Im going to do all the things I mentioned earlier. I am positive I can do this. I cant let this destroy me. I wont let it destroy me. Lets do this together. We have to fight this, break the cycle and become that person we once were. We want to start facing things with are head held high, knowing that what ever troubles we have had, we have fought it and that we have battled this as well.
December 30, 2010
Yes sweetie, I do understand. But please know that you are not alone. Only those of us who share this debilitating disorder can truly understand its merciless hold on us and the devastating after-effects that come from hours of picking. I am sickened at the sight of myself. I am sickened that I waste so much time in front of that damned mirror virtually hacking myself to pieces. I am late everywhere I go, and I can't seem to get my work done because I spend so much time picking. It is frustrating to have something that you know is harmful to you control you so much. Sound familiar? I think most of us feel this way--alone, frustrated, embarrassed, helpless, and ugly. Misunderstood, I wish you could see the scars on my face. They are absolutely disfiguring. Seriously. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to post them. At my last dermatologist visit he even took pictures of my scars and lesions--either for legal protection or for some publication thing, I don't know. Whatever the reason, it made me feel like even more of a freak. So few physicians and psychologists really understand this behavior, so it's no wonder we all feel so isolated. I, too, suffer from depression and anxiety although I am currently taking medication for that. It has helped my moods but not my picking. For some people, though, meds can help with our OCD. Please, please consider talking to your doctor about medication. I'm convinced that this is not a behavior that you can "just stop" or that will go away on its own. It tends to be worse in people with depression, so I worry that if you're not careful, your isolation will deepen and you'll become more desperate. In the meantime, read this forum constantly. Post your thoughts and feelings even if you get no replies. People may not always reply to your posts, but believe me, people read them. And you never know when your words will speak to someone who really needs reassurance. Hopefully you will realize that there are lots of people who share your experience and feelings. We do understand and are here to offer support and understanding with no judgment or criticism. Thanks for your post, and know that we're all rooting for you!
December 30, 2010

In reply to by Aargh

Very well said Aargh. It's good to know that people are really reading these forums, just wish that people who don't have the disorder would understand more. I'd try to give this to my boyfriend to read, but I doubt he would even care. Are there any pictures of anyone on here...I haven't seen any.
December 30, 2010
I think most of us understand :( The guilt, despair, hopelessness, the horrible lack of self confidence... I'm an 18 year old girl and I've been picking for years, use to be beautiful too, but now I can barely look at myself. I can't wear strapless dresses or bathing suits for fear that someone might see all my scars. I hate being around people because they have perfect skin and I feel hideous next to them. When people invite me out to do fun stuff I usually decline because it takes too long to cover everything up with makeup and even if I do go I'll end up picking when I take my makeup off. I've tried telling my parents and my best friends. My parents tell me to 'just stop' and one of my friends tells me I'm just being dramatic and another says "well if picking at zits is some crazy condition then I must have it too because I popped a zit this morning!" Nobody gets it. It's not just popping zits, it's digging, scratching, pulling at skin, removing imperfections, using your nails, tweezers, anything you can find in the desperate attempt to make yourself perfect when in reality you're just making yourself look awful.... so yes, we understand. You are not alone.

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