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This is my first time on this site. I'm so glad this opportunity to share and support each other exists. I didn't know that this was a condition with a name, I always just thought it was just some thing I did. Proof that deep down in my core no matter how positive I tried to be I really hated my self and longed to punish myself with faliure and pain and I am destined never to be in control of my life, who I am or what I do. The best course of action I decided, upon being diagnosed with depression and ADD eight years ago was to take the medication I was prescribed without question assume that that alone would "cure" me and that shame, secrecy and constant self-reprimination would take care of the rest. With a little luck I could pass through this life without being noticed or messing everything up to badly. Fairly recently and for no particular reason I decided to take the first and most difficult step towards...towards...I don't know exactly. Positivity? Self-respect? Happiness? Anyways I decided to start by accepting or at least understanding myself. I feel like I've made some real progress. I'm on a more effective medication, which is just for my ADD ( I haven't needed anti depressants now for over a year) I just moved to a new city and I'm supporting myself and putting myself through college, and feeling pretty optimistic, genuinely optomistic for the first time in...well ever I think. But I'm at a critical point. If I don't continue to progress and grow I will loose momentum and nothing scares me more than going back to the painful state of mind I've spent most of my life in. To see the world again through those dingy glasses. Ok, here's were the picking comes in; I've picked my face face and scalp compulsively since I can remember. All through out the day my fingers moving on their own accord scan my face and scalp seeking any inconsistency in texture or source of pain. Once found every other task and thought becomes secondary to the over-whelming need to remove or expel the imperfection, preferably in front of a mirror ( I like to be able to see it). Somewhere I developed the habit, usually at night, of picking my legs. Only the most hungry and cunning of felines know the the intensity of focus with which I hunt down and pounce on every mole, blemish, ingrown hair, black head, bug bite and scab. Hours go by and I stay up sometimes until 6 in the morning, my eyes drip down my face because I hyper-focus so hard I forget to blink. I've dug so deep at times I've had to wash the spots of blood from my sheets and pieces of skin from under my nails. I haven't shown anyone my calves in over two years because it looks like I have some contagious skin disease and lately it's been moving farther up my legs and onto my upper thigh, even the sids of my waist. But at least I learned enough about ADD to know that both ADD and dermatillomania have to do with brain chemistry that are beyond my control and not some deep-seated self-contempt. I don't hate myself. It's taken me a long time to get to a point where I can say I even kinda like me. But my ADD causes me to hyper-focus at times and when I pick my legs the repetitive activity and clear objective combined with the pain allows my mind to wander in a structured way and keeps me from being distracted so that I can process information in a way I can't usually. Also, like many people with ADD I have trouble sleeping. I really want to stop though. I need to find a substitute,something repetitive and stimulating but not distracting so do I can process the things that happened that day or plan for the future. Any suggestions? What can I do if nothing completely replaces it? Just writing about it makes me want to do it right now. Thanks for bearing with this really long post it just feels really good to be able to say all this finally. Thanks!