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Over a year ago, I joined this site in desperation. I did not know what I had was a disease. When I was 16, I started picking at the skin on my face when my family made a big move in my life. I didn't have much to do, I was severely depressed, and I had a lot of anxiety. That's when the picking began. Before the picking became severe, I had always picked a little bit. I think the problem started when I started to break out with more acne due to stress and normal teenage hormones. I hated how I had to cake my face in makeup and people would make rude comments to me. What was I supposed to tell them? I felt very insecure and the picking was just a viscous cycle, as some of you have mentioned. There would be good periods and bad periods. During the bad periods, I became a makeup expert. However, in worst case scenarios, where makeup didn't help, I became a recluse. I still managed to have boyfriends and guys like me. All were oblivious to my problem. My ex boyfriend, though, was extremely physically and emotionally abusive. I can say that the skin picking was bad during this relationship because of my stress from him. I finally left the abusive relationship. I was alone but determined to change my life. I don't know what happened, but I just got so sick of degrading my skin. I never wanted to feel embarrassment because of my face again. I started seeing another guy and it was hard to pick when he was around. This helped. I started making changes. When I got out of the shower, I would not stay and look at the mirror. I started taking out my anxiety by exercising and running. While my skin is not perfect, I was so happy when this past March I could finally go swimming at a hotel and have no shame about showing my face without makeup!! I am not perfect, but the point it I have learned to stop myself. Today, I got out of the bathroom, and popped a few whiteheads. I stopped. Every day is a struggle, but the feeling of freedom is so much better than the feeling I get from picking. Its so nice to take a shower with my boyfriend and not have to hide my face. I do have my bad days, but I try every single day. I feel like that is somewhat of a success. I am putting this up here to say that you can overcome it, but for everybody it takes something different. In all honesty, I do not know what the breaking point for me was. I think with this disorder we see flaws that aren't really there. That's why the picking is so easy. I think when I see all of my pores clogged it is SO horrible, but in truth, it is not. And in truth, nobody is looking that close to your face. And if they are, who cares? Their pores are probably just as clogged. One thing that helps are those blackhead clearing strips. I put them all over my face and pull. It doesn't hurt my skin and it removes a lot of the dirt in my pores. I feel relieved when I do that. Well, I hope this helps somebody feel like it is not hopeless. If you ever need somebody to talk to, I am here.