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majtam , 10 Jan 2011

40 years of picking

Hi i am new to the site and wanted to share my story. I have picked my skin from the age of about 3, also have Trichotillomania (Hair pulling), Generalized anxiety and mild depression. I had the nick name of Pickylangzam (picky slowly) as a child my mom used to call me this back in the 70s looking back parents didnt intervene or get me help that i needed but i guess they didnt really know the extent of my neurosis. I am now 40 and 2 years ago was diagnosed with GAD, anxiety, head injury trauma and depression. Throughout my life i have had a lot of triggers, deaths, tragic situations, stress upon stress but i would love to know why i started skin picking. i think looking back it was for attention, i also used to bite my tongue, still do, i feel it is very comforting. I pick most of the day, if i am not doing anything, currently i have no eyebrows!!! not nice at all but i do find it comforting. If i have a clear face, no spots that i have excavated myself so lovingly, its a good day, once i also had an earring so tight on my ear that it dropped off taking half my ear lobe with it...i think i liked the pain it made me feel human and normal. I am now nearly 41, take mild antidepressants and feel OKish but have anxiety most days and my stress levels are through the roof. I would love to find out why i use these OCD/compulsive behavoirs and would love to stop them, without medication. i now work as a therapist/healer as i cannot manage to be aroudn people in an office anymore. mind you i didnt enjoy that anyway. so that is my story, sorry if its horrific in bits but i thought i had better share. when picking i have to get right under the skin at pimples and blemishes and excavate them so i am left with deep holes in my skin. i recall my grandmother used to pick her skin and create big ulcers so perhaps its hereditary but i cannot help feelign there is some underlying cause that can be got to and healed. any advice greatly appreciated. with love tammy x
2 Answers
January 17, 2011
Hi Tammy and welcome. I just found this site today and wanted to say hi. I think it is great that you have reached out for help for yourself. It is pretty amazing how time goes by so quickly. I am 37 and have been a picker for a lot of my life. My mother was a picker too. I can remember her sitting in our house window with one of those magnification mirrors, just popping away at her non-exsistent pimples. She would then call me over and pick at my face, as well as stick bobbie pins in my ears to clean out the wax and scrap at my scalp with a rat tail comb to get rid of my dandruff flakes. Lovely to remember because now I am the one that does it to myself. I have not ventured onto my boys though. Thank goodness. It is without a doubt, one of the hardest things that I have had to admit to and then work on. It is so embarrassing and shameful and virtually no one understands it. "Just stop" they say. If only it were that easy. Well, not to blab on, but I am glad you are here. Keep checking out these boards, research other ones, and stay hopeful. Take care of you in the meantime. Fondly, Lynn
January 17, 2011

In reply to by kbennyl

Hi Lynn lovely to hear from you. I remember also as a child about 12 picking the hair from my scalp so i made a 2-3 inch bald path. Mom took me to the doctor and he said i had alopecia. i knew that i had pulled the hair out but didnt say anything. years of school assemblys, sitting there with head tilted to one side hoping no one would notice. one day my friend said URGH you have a massive bald patch on your head in front of everyone i said "no i havent and pulled her to one side and had to explain to her. children are cruel arent they. i have found anxiety flares up and picking commences. if we were to tap into what causes the picking frenzies i would say it brings us comfort, almost like animals preening themselves if you get my drift. i want my eyebrows to grow back as they are both now practically none existant so i have made an aim this month to avoid looking in the mirror and doing my daily ritual. anxiety is a main trigger for many of us so if we can try and calm ourselves, our mind etc we would probably be half way to eliminating this for good. it becomes part of us as you know part of our daily existence so how would we be without it, is it giving up something we love to do although it causes us shame and embarrassment and harm, i am sure we can get through it. with love tammy xx

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