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I am a male. Mid 30's. Prescribed two medications and one of them I've noticed seems to propel my picking. I will get to that. Here's all I can offer as it is what I do to myself and my past history: ________________________ Skin Picking & Nail/Skin biting: ------------- I began picking at my skin probably about 3 or 4 years ago habitually. However, chewing my finger nails and the skin around them goes as far back as I can remember. What makes things difficult is that whatever I have left of my fingernails, I try to use them to pick at my toe nails too. Either way, what is most noticeable is the scars I have on my forearms, shoulders, chest, back, behind ears, temple and lower back. If all of those options are rendered "inoperable" or basically bleeding, I then seek out areas of my face, neck or forehead regions. That is if I have a mirror handy. Picking seems to occur most often in the late-afternoons or evenings (prior to going to bed). If its in the morning time, I usually stop picking because I don't want to be seen with scars/red marks throughout the day. ________________________ Scalp picking: ------------- Over the years when I used to pick at my face or neck without a mirror, I would discover the horror of my picking the next time I got in front of one. Since then, I'd catch myself picking at my face/neck during the day and remember that it probably looks pretty gross - which I believe has led to my scalp picking. I usually find myself picking at various areas of my scalp when I'm alone driving, watching tv or just sitting at my desk at work. The areas I tend to pick at on my scalp are: back of the neck, hairline around the ears, back of head and on top of the head near my colic. I pick at my scalp anytime during the day. ________________________ Childhood: ------------- Always bit my nails/skins. Some acne growing up but not bad. Athelete in multiple sports. Sweated a lot. Good diet. Clean household in middle-income family. Parents divorced right before high school. A parent tried to end their life upon realizing the divorce. I remember talking about killing myself every once in a while during this time but I knew I'd never do it. I just wanted some attention or sympathy during high school (who doesn't right?). A few other life events that could be considered sad but I think every person has these. ________________________ College years/work life: ------------- Dropped out of college. Worked immediately after leaving school for several years making good money. Stayed in good shape. Started drinking occasionally. Promiscuous at this time but never contracted any transmitted diseases. ________________________ Mid-late 20's (Warning: following contains content about illicit drugs): ------------- Tried pot. Drinking escalated to weekends. Tried ecstasy a few times. Started cocaine which became habitual for about 1.5 years. My drinking ballooned during this time. Stopped the cocaine on my own. But drinking got worse and worse. Abused a pain reducing narcotic which slowed my drinking but caused me to have a seizure after about 1 year. Never stopped biting my nails/skin at the fingertips. Still wasn't picking at my skin yet. After seizure and withdrawal from pain meds, I was prescribed Lexapro for anxiety disorder. I've also been prescribed allergy medicine with the "D" in it (pseudophedrine). I've had horrible allergies since my teens. ________________________ And my 30's: ------------- Lexapro didn't do anything because I was drinking on it daily. Would take my allergy medicine whenever I had a miserable day of allergies. This stuff combatted my allergies no matter how much I had to drink. At this time I started picking at my face more often along with my arms. Nail biting never stopped. Drinking was heavy (12-15 drinks a day). Couldn't stop drinking on my own. Voluntarily checked into rehab and I have been cleanand sober for some time now. However, the picking escalated. ________________________ Prescribed medication: ------------- Now that I'm sober, the Lexapro seems to help quite a bit with general anxiety. Things seem to be easier to deal with. The allergy medication (anything with pseudophedrine) is taken daily - one pill of the 24 hour variety. Only the "D" stuff works for my allergies. BUT, it also seems to be a major contributor to my picking habits. As I began to take it regularly, I noticed more times me standing in front of a mirror before I'd go to bed - picking at anything on my arms, chest, back, shoulders, etc. Now having the noticeable scars, I started picking at places on my scalp. The scars are not noticeable (or at least I don't think they are) and I believe it is the reason I pick there a good majority of the time now. ________________________ Review: ------------- I've read on this site the possibilty of emotional/mental anguish from the past being a major factor among other things (OCD, etc). From my experience whether my past physcial/mental history matters or not, I have a feeling that the pseudophedrine in the allergy medication contributes significantly to my skin picking. And many times when I am picking, I seem to be day-dreaming or almost plotting/planning the next 24 hours or week. After I've finished this day-dreaming, I almost "come-to" and realize the carnage I've inflicted on my skin. Most likely I will finish off any region of skin that I've started and end up going to bed. ________________________ When I stop taking my Claritan-D, my allergies go nuts but I do notice that my picking subsides considerably. For what its worth, this is all I can offer - my experience and history. ________________________ Enjoy the website and glad I found it. I don't feel like the only one who does it!