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dancer2008 , 11 May 2011

I think I have Dermatillomania (advice please?)

It's really comforting to know that you're not the only one that suffers from this. I'm 20 years old, and have been picking since at least 3rd grade. That's the earliest I can remember. I started out by picking at my scalp. I remember my mom buying me all kind of shampoos thinking it was just me scratching from an itchy scalp. As I got older and started getting blemishes I would pick at those as well. Mine tends to be worse when I'm under stress, worried, or even bored. Sometimes I start picking when I'm watching TV or reading I guess just to keep my hands busy. I've never seen a doctor for my condition, nor have I ever told anyone besides my mom. But she can only see what's visible, which is the damage I've done to my face and a little on my arms. Recently it seems to be worse to where I pick at my back as well, really just anywhere I can find a bump. I recently started a new job and my manager asked me today if I was okay and pointed at my arm, I lied and told her they were mosquito bites and that I just couldn't stop scratching them. I'm not a liar or someone who tries to cover things up! This is not me! I know I need help, I just don't know where to begin. Or how to verbally tell someone about my condition that I'm completely ashamed of. I don't know where to begin. Should I go to a normal doctor? Or some type of specialist? How do I tell them that I think I have this disorder? Thanks for any advice given, it's definitely appreciated!
2 Answers
May 12, 2011
Well, I haven't overcome this disorder yet, but the first step that made a difference for me was when I found out that other people did this, and telling someone. I told my mom, but she really hasn't shown too much care... it's hard for others to understand what it's like. Just let your mom know about this site, and read about cures. I know I should... You don't have to tell anyone you don't want to, but having one person is always good.
May 17, 2011
Your story sounds exactly like mine, I'm 20 and started picking around 4th grade (pretty much as soon as I had acne to pick at). Until a few months ago when i found this site I didn't even know it was an actual disorder, I just thought I was weird and had no self control. What to do from here is really up to you and what you feel comfortable with, for me I don't really want to see a psychiatrist or doctor because I'm more of a solve my own problems kind of person. I would recommend seeing a dermatologist though if you have bad acne, for me mine was so bad for a while that even if I had stopped picking my skin wouldn't have cleared up; now that I'm to the point where I know that almost all of my acne is caused by my picking I am a lot more hopeful that I can finally get my acne under control (of course I have to get my stupid acne picking hands under control first). The one of the hardest things about having this "disorder" is that it isn't necessarily widely recognized and most people who you tell about it who don't have it will just say "why don't you just stop?". Unfortunately it's not that easy to quit but if you really want to make it happen you can do it, just remember that you're not alone!

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