I can't believe I'm not alone. I really thought that I was possibly the only one going through this, and even if I wasn't, I didn't think anyone would be brave enough to talk about it.
I started picking when I was about 3 or 4. My mom would give me a bottle of Elmer's glue and let me sit in a corner. I would spread it all over my body, let it dry, and spend hours picking/peeling it off. It was the only way she could get me to calm down or leave her alone. My picking was pretty much limited to that until around the time I hit puberty. Then I started pulling out my eyelashes. I went through junior high and high school with no eyelashes. It was a horrible experience. It's not like people aren't going to notice you don't have eyelashes. Try explaining that one when you don't even understand it yourself. Fortunately, by the time I hit sophmore year, I had discovered false eyelashes. In an effort to stop pulling my eyelashes, I started pulling the hairs on my head. The main goal was to get the root and eat it. I did this for a couple of years, strategically hiding my bald spots with hairstyles. It wasn't until I was 20, and my sister was diagnosed with trichotillomania, that I knew there was actually a name and, more importantly, an explanation for what I did.
It wasn't until my husband left and I lost my job that I really started picking. Before that, I would say I was more of a rectreational picker (for lack of a better term). Until today, I believed the picking was part of the trichotillomania. Over the last 3 years it has gotten so bad I feel like I'm completely out of control. I have sores all over my legs. I haven't worn shorts since 2004. But at least that was easy to hide. Now my main focus is picking on my arms. I have so many sores and scars it's impossible for people not to notice. Sometimes people think I have psoriasis, but most of the time they think I'm a meth addict. I was on Prozac for several years, but after awhile it didn't seem to help anymore. They even pushed me up to 80mg for awhile, but it wasn't effective. About 3 months ago I was able to see a new psychiatrist and he switched me to Luvox. It is supposed to be the best drug on the market for OCD, but I have yet to see any substantial results.
I have been treated for chronic depression, OCD, trichotillomania, agoraphobia, PTSD, GAD, MDD, and I'm also a cutter. Most recently, I developed an addiction to prescription pain meds. Fortunately I got treatment and I've been clean for almost 4 months.
Picking has taken over my life! Yesterday I was at the hospital with a friend who tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills. She was in the hospital bed with a tube down her throat and needles in her arms, lucky to even be alive. I was rubbing her back and her arms trying to console her and I could feel bumps on them. My friend tried to kill herself, and nearly did, and all I could think about was PICKING!!
What the #%^$ is wrong with me?!! I have problems developing or maintaining personal relationships. I mean, if I let anyone get close to me, eventually, I'll have to explain all of this to them. Any person in their right mind would run screaming in the other direction and never look back. I feel so lost and alone, and I don't know what to do.