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anna11 , 19 Apr 2011

i've been picking since i was in grade school, i hate it, but can't stop.

i'm 20 years old, i get good grades in college, i'm a biology major, i have a great group of friends, i love my family. but ever since i was little, i have been picking scabs all over my body. I've never really talked to anyone about this. I've seen two different therapists when i was younger for anxiety, but they really didn't help. i have scars all over, my arms are horrible, my back, my legs, feet, hips, butt and now even on my breasts. i hate myself for picking, but i just can't stop. i've tried before, i even stopped all together for about a year, but i always start again. i've found that playing the piano whenever i had an urge seemed to help, but not completely rid me of it. and i know it's ugly and the scarring is just horrible. stress seems to be a trigger for me and i'll find my self just scratching at my scabs. i've starting picking my scalp too, i have little bald spots where the sores used to be. i am embarrassed to go to the hair dresser anymore. i hate wearing shorts and swim suits in the summer, i do anyway. but i'm always self conscious and ashamed of my scars. i really want to stop. but the feeling i get when i pick, and the pain that i feel, it's just such a relief and urges me to keep going. i know this is a problem. this is the first time i've ever told other people about this. my family knows it's still happening but they never say anything to me about it. i honestly never thought anyone else had this problem. it's a good feeling to know that i'm not the only one. if anyone has any suggestions on how to help stop, please share.
5 Answers
April 21, 2011
my daugther picks her skin untill it bleeds she is 10 she has episodes of intense picking the we have a clear month or two its horrible as it just keeps coming back . how do i help her at times she looks like she has chicken pox poor thing tells me she cant stop when ive asked does it hurt she says no .she picks her hands ,face ,arms ,legs and scalp.she hates me putting on sudocream so i try to put it on when she is asleep . please help me to help her its been going on for three years now and the so called professionals have not got a clue .
April 24, 2011
Anna 11: I know exactly how you feel. I am a 30 year old woman, picking for at least 10 years. I also have scars on my arms, breasts, butt, upper back/shoulders. I don't pick my hands, scalp or face however. Every time a new person discovers this they react with usually fear/loathing/anger/disgust. They say it is "lame" "not cool", they don't understand at all. I would love to wear a tank top in the summer and just have normal skin. I know its bad for me. I am college educated, but it doesn't seem to matter. Its such a primal thing, this urge to pick. I currently have several spots on my breast that I have avoided picking for a few days now. I will just bath in the tub and wash my hair in the sink to avoid looking at the area. I will not look at it or touch it until it heals. I have a child who loves watching sponge bob and I had a lightbulb moment the other day as strange as that may be! The starfish character (patrick) was blubbering, trying to spit out the right words to express himself. Sponge bob said, "Patrick, use your words! " So, I say to myself if I even begin to think about picking, " Matilda, use your words! " It has become my mantra lately and is helpful to me. Hope this can help you.
April 25, 2011
In my late 30's and have skin picked ever since I was a little girl. It was much worse when I was little (really bad childhood) and always thought I had acne and just wanted to get 'rid' of it. Just recently went to a dermatologist and allergist. Come to find out, all the stuff I was using for acne, I was actually allergic to! My face and body, literally itch and I scratch it, which causes bumps which I then take off and cause open sores. Inositol does help a lot, as does washing all my clothes and bedding in very hot water, at the very least, once a week. As soon as I start to feel itchy, I wash everything. According to the allergist, I am allergic to almost all cosmetics and lotions and dust. Needless to say, it's quite impossible to avoid these things. When I address my problem with my friends and therapists, they say "No, you don't have a problem." Right now I really need someone to address me with this problem and hold me accountable for it. Which I guess ultimately, I have to do myself. Have done some self-hypnosis before and will try and dive more into this to help. I do realize that when I am having anxiety or when someone tells me I am pretty, I immediately destroy myself to not be pretty or wanted. Another thing that has helped me is Coconut Oil. Make sure you get a very pure form of it and slather and rub it in to any areas you may be having a problem with. It is a natural antibiotic and smooths the area so that you don't feel the rough patches as much. We all need to address ourselves and realize that we are all worth being beautiful, healthy and unashamed. Good luck to you all and please keep the open communication going!
April 26, 2011
So far I don't have any advice, but I can totally relate to almost everything you said! Im really glad you posted this.
April 26, 2011
I am 15 and I've been picking since I was 8. I pick mostly on my scalp, but I do it on my legs too. While my hair is very thick and hides the marks well, sometimes I'll make a cut a little too close to my part or a hairdresser will notice it, and it's tough to explain to people without making myself sound crazy (well, I suppose I am, aren't I?). The ones on my legs are tougher to cover up, especially in the summer. Most of the year, I can simply wear long pants and not have to worry about it, but summers are very hot where I live, so it's difficult to do that. It takes a lot of mental preparation to put on a dress just because I'm so afraid of what people will think when they see the scars. Wonderful discovery with the piano. Let me tell you, whoever said that laughter is the best medicine has never tried music. I'm a violinist, and the only time I'm not thinking about picking, even in the back of my mind, is when I'm playing. I suppose I made a good choice when I decided to pursue a career in music. Keep on playing, that's for sure. If you know that works, even a little, then do it. Every little bit helps. I find that drinking herbal teas help me relax enough to stop, just for a few minutes. Plus, holding the mug keeps my hands busy. Finding something to fidget with to keep your hands busy helps too. I use Greek worry beads - look them up, they're a godsend in this situation. Trust me, you're not alone with this. I'm afraid that's where my suggestions end; I've been battling it for a while but it's only last week that I decided to stop for good. Just remember, where we are right now, there's nowhere to go but up. Best of luck to you!

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