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Lemonlemming , 26 Apr 2011

I'm new

Hi - I'm new to this site, so feeling a bit like "I can't believe I'm really going to talk about this on the Internet - hello global exposure". But I'm just feeling so frustrated with this thing (do I call it CSP or dermatillomania? I always vaguely refer to it as 'my skin') I've done it for about 10 years - since I was 13ish and I can't see a way out now - it must be too engrained, surely?! Recently seen a counsellor about it (parents don't know about this - or any of it) and she's been great at treating it like a habit/addiction/compulsion and recognising that it's a vulnerability I have. But it seems as though the techniques we've discussed havent worked. Or maybe they have but not enough for me (I'm assuming most of us here are perfectionistic like that?!) or maybe I've just not been "trying hard enough"? Is it a case of will power if it's a 'compulsion'? Am I being too hard on myself again?? I'm just fed up with being my own worst enemy. I'm going to a posh party soon and still can't stop destroying my face/arms even with the threat of a million Facebook reminders of how awful I've made myself after. I think I could even be quite pretty if I could just stop!! Depressing!!! Also - as someone training in the mental health sector, I still feel I can't talk to anyone about this condition/problem/disorder. How can I be promoting talking openly about mental health and beating stigma when I don't do it myself?? Hypocrit?! Sorry for the length - got a bit carried away...! Rather cathartic!! Interested to hear any responses to the above or suggestions for using the site to help with it all Thanks :)
3 Answers
April 26, 2011
Hello and welcome :)! I recognize so much from your story. I’m 22, and have been picking for a few terrible years now. And, like you, I think I would be quite a pretty girl if I only could stop damaging my skin. And because I’m so extremely focused on my looks (which I think is also part of the cause) is it so frustrating! This year I finally discovered that it is an actual disorder, which was a big relief, because now I could reach out for help (and have an explanation to go with it). So I went to a therapist. And although he understood exactly what it was, and taught me a lot of very useful things, my picking didn’t stop either. And that’s so depressing, because seeing a therapist was kind of my last hope. Now I’m on my own again, and I’m so tired of fighting this. Sorry, I wish I could tell you something more encouraging :). Just know that you’re definitely not alone, as you can see here. Let us know how you’re doing, I’d like to hear it (and I’ll think of something more helpful to say next time). Mary
April 27, 2011
Hi, nice to meet you. Good luck with your struggle! I am also new and I feel very weird about discussing this with anyone ever. Online is a little easier, I guess(?) but still feels wrong and awful. I mean, I am so ashamed of this. I too just refer to it as, you know, my skin... don't like talking about it much. One suggestion? I just got fiberglass nails (modern version of acrylic I guess) put on, very short like regular finger nails because I play the piano, but I did it because the one other time I got them it made it hard for me to tear at my fingers. It made it significantly harder for me to pick my face. Those are my two biggest problems - face and fingers, especially thumbs, though any blemish gets "messed with," and the horrible part of course is that it's all so visible. It's humiliating. Anyway, let's hope the fake nails with their smoother edges do their job. I have to stop!!! I look around though at normal people with normal skin and wonder, "HOW DO THEY DO IT?" and think, "WHAT'S IT LIKE?!" Just being normal without self-imposed wounds on my face would be such a blessing. But then I think it would be fresh territory for more picking! I am messed up!
April 27, 2011

In reply to by littlelou

YES! Especially the question 'what is it like?' is one I ask myself a lot. What would my life be like if I didn't have to be ashamed of my skin all the time, if I had the same smooth skin as the girls everywhere around me? Just imagine waking up in the morning and be able to go straight out the door, facing people like it's nothing! My picking started when I was eleven, but I've had a long period in high school without doing it. The past 3 years it came up again, worse than ever. But the fact that it went away once gives me hope that it can go away again...

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