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Bany , 01 Feb 2011

My Story: Can You Help Me?

Hi everyone. I'm 15 and I have dermatillomania. Bad. For as long as I can remember I've been wearing jeans and sweatshirts... even in the summer. Picking always seemed to help me cope with divorce, abuse, depression, and anxiety. But two years ago I couldn't stop at all; I would pick at least 20 hours a day. It was so bad I couldn't sleep, all I could do was pick my scabs. As you all know picking causes ugly scars, but mine turned purple. Does anyone else have this? I quite literally look like a zombie with gaping holes, scars, and constantly bloodied fingers. During these past two years I have really come to the realization that I was hard to look at. This caused major depression, which led to suicide attempts and that landed my butt in a ward. After three weeks of nourishing and care I finally started to accept myself and was released. I still want to stop picking, but it doesn't bother me as much anymore. It feels amazing to love yourself and be able wear a bathing suite without breaking down in tears. There's just one problem: my mother. She still sees my body as a raggedy mess and constantly yells at me to stop, saying she just doesn't get how anybody anybody could stomach looking at such a freak. And then she makes me put on the jeans and hoodies. If you could think of any ways to deal with that kind of situation please reply. Thanks, Bany
1 Answer
February 02, 2011
Your situation sounds really hard. I am so sorry you have to survive that, especially the criticism and abuse from your mother. But you do have to survive it, and the fact that you have come this far and are here talking about it means that you are strong enough to overcome it. You have to survive it because, trust me, life will get better. I am 30 now and had very challenging teenage years and am familiar with the depression, despair and self-loathing that can be completely overwhelming. Please know that life will change and you will feel differently in the future and eventually you will be able to step away from your family if they aren't healthy for you and create a life the way you want it. And if you can learn to love yourself (which is sounds like you are learning to do) then you will surely be lovable and find someone who loves you too. At 30 I still struggle with picking and occasional depression, but I am so much happier than I was as a teenager. Despite many obstacles I now have a career that I care about, a man I love and a cozy apartment with an adorable cat. Not so bad, right? Don't lose hope. Learn to discern what and who is a healthy and positive influence and what and who is a negative force in your life and then make your choices about work, school, friends, family and lifestyle based on that. If someone is a destructive force in your life that only makes you feel bad, then tune them out. you don't need that. We are critical enough of ourselves and certainly don't need more criticism form the people who should be loving and supporting us. It sounds like the treatment you received and therapy was helpful, so seek that out and stick with it. There are Affordable mental health services and counseling in most cities, also sometimes teen group therapy can be helpful. If possible find a therapist who has experience with skin picking and then, whoever you find be very honest with them and tell them the whole truth so that they can really help you. I wish I could say something that was more helpful, but just remember that it will get better. Visualize the day when your life is healthy and balanced and someday you will get there, in the not so distant future. I wish you all the strength in the world.

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