For me, skin picking has plagued me my whole life. My mom says as an infant I'd bite my lips till they bled, but I'd never cry when they were raw and cracked. When I was two, I was brought to the hospital because of infections in bug bites I had picked, and from there it escalated. my family has tried positive reinforcement, outright bribery, slapping, yelling, punishment, and embarrassment, all to no avail.
Now, at 23, I am finally starting to seek treatment. What puzzles me is the ritual I developed involving picking. I use pins, tweezers, cotton pads to absorb blood, and those machines that remove pimples to pick all of my skin - from my face to my feet. I lay out the various tools and pick, and if I can't do that, I use my nails. I used to hide it at work, but now I can't and so, I am faced with the reality that things have come so far that I can no longer hide it.
Does anyone else have similar rituals, and any advice on how to let go of the tools as a first step? The thought of throwing them out makes me want to get sick and pick all over again.