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Shawnslovely , 18 Sep 2008

I'm new to this site - my story

Hi - I just found this site this morning after searching on skin picking. What made me search was that this morning I looked in the mirror and discovered 3 different 1/4" ugly scabs where 3 white heads had been a few days ago and I was disgusted with myself. As I drove to work I picked them and several other scabs on my face and neck. I thought, "Why to I do this?" and that prompted me to go looking. I am relieved that I am not alone in this behavior but horrified that it is actually an OCD. My history with this has been as long as I can remember but I think it may have started either when my sister was born (I am first born) I was 1.5 years old or when I started school. So it was either triggered by lack of attention from my mom or the relentless teasing I got at school - I was a timid, shy, small-for-my-age kid. I remember my mom making me wear mittens to bed so I would not pick. Also when I was a teenager and she gave me perms she would put vaseline on one spot in my hair that I picked into a scab after a mosquito bite been there. Mostly as a teen I would pick pimples into scabs on my face, neck, chest and upper arms. Currently I still pick pimples, squeeze black/white heads and pick at them when they scab over, squeeze out in-grown hairs on my legs and pick at them, I have even taken to tweezing the hair on my legs and if a hair has not broken the skin yet I will squeeze and scratch at it until it is out no matter if it breaks the skin or not - I just have to get the hair out! Any bump on my skin feels like a zit to me and I will squeeze and pick at it. As a kid I was constantly told to stop picking by my parents - my dad would get frustrated and say that they should just buy me a big scab to pick for my birthday. This is not a jab at anyone here but I am relieved that my picking seems mild in comparision to some of the stories I have read. Just reading this forum has really made me aware of what I am doing and I have stopped my hand several times from scanning my face while reading the threads here. Some things that I realize I can do to keep from picking are: Doing crafts while watching TV so my hands are busy - I do this already to keep from snacking also. Does anyone have a good deterant for picking while driving? or while reading?
4 Answers
October 06, 2008
Does doing the crafts while watching TV work? I've thought about taking up knitting or something to keep myself from picking at my fingers. I know what you mean about reading too...sometimes I try to read a book and pick at the same time and I usually end up dropping the book or losing my place, and then I'm doubly mad at myself. I've done it while driving too. Don't know how to stop either of these except for wearing gloves, which I may start doing. Best of luck to you. :)
October 07, 2008

In reply to by sarah78

Yes doing crafts while watching TV is my best deterant. I knit, crochet and cross stitch while watching TV. If you haven't done any of these before - it does take quite a bit of practice to learn - you could start with needle point it is easier. Right now I have 2 knit sweaters started and I am knitting a fuzzy scarf for my MIL for Christmas - I just finished 11 crocheted dish clothes for the ladies in my scrapbooking group (scrapbooking is also a good deterant) I also have a large cross stitch that I am working on this one I want to eventually have framed it is all pale colors - a great deterant because anything on my hands (makeup or blood) will stain the canvas and thread - so when I work on it my hands have to be very clean. Wearing gloves while driving sounds like a good idea - it's getting to be fall so I could start. Usually in the winter time I will wear gloves/mittens until the car warms up then I take them off (easier to adjust the radio and temp without them) but now I will make a point to keep them on. Thanks for the tip!
October 09, 2008

In reply to by Shawnslovely

I have found I pick less during winter since I wear gloves driving (I get numb fingers easily since I had surgery on my hand, so keeping the gloves on is easier for me), & I wear long pants & sleeves (and a coat when out of the house), so much less of my time is exposed to my exposed skin. Ya know? I also sew anything that needs mending when I watchTV or movies at home. I have many OCD manifestations. I try NOT to curb most if they don't interfere with my daily life and help me stop picking. Some of the following are obsessions/compulsions, some are constructive outlets to help curb my picking: picking lint or hair off my carpets or clothes; weeding my yard obsessively... or the rest of my neighborhood when there are no more weeds to pull at my place; solving word, logic, jigsaw or number puzzles whenever I can get away with it- especially if I must sit & wait (like at the Dr. office); playing games on my PDA or phone; building with Legos, especially with my 9 yr old son; playing board games with my family; modeling clay; painting; or any other hands-on crafts. Computer stuff counts. I find ways to de-stress and keep my stress as low as I can. Not easy!!! Especially now with 2 teen boys! Before I became a mom I obsessively vacuumed, dusted, cleaned, organized, mopped, scrubbed, etc. I was very OCD at this to the point that if I wasn't finished with the task at hand and the place was literally on fire... well, I still had to finish! This was actually tested- but not by choice- and it scared me when I realized just how obsessed and compelled to finish cleaning I was at the time of the crisis!! When each of my boys were babies they were ill and needed SO much! Very stressful on both my body & mind. My hubby had to work a lot of overtime since our finances were tight. My time was totally consumed with just the survival of my babies. When that finally passed I found that just being a mommy of young'uns was still very stressful, but I still had little 'me' time. I didn't have that much time to 'pick'. Now I have more 'free' or 'me' time, but the stress levels are WAY high! I now have to deal with lots of minor AND major crises, some are real life or death choices! Some are life or death lessons to teach. There are the "all nighters" (not childhood/adolescent/preteen sleepover party stuff, but friends being kicked out, or they are too drunk to drive and need either a ride home or a safe couch to crash on; runaways; girlfriend's with parents out of town; prom nights; video game all night parties; late night car racing; falling asleep while watching a movie at {friend's name}'s house, etc.) And the speeding tickets; car accidents; violent/possessive/vengeful/stalker/psycho current girlfriend OR former boyfriend of current girlfriend, or parent of any kind of friend. Then there's the sky high hike in car insurance; car repairs; stolen stereos & other items from lockers & cars; 'growing boy' food/snackage/vitamins/Gatorade; injury copayments; snowboards & related expenses; skateboards & related expenses; video gaming & related expenses; cell phones; ACT/SAT testing; MP4 players; 'cool' clothes; fainting & seizures of my one son; phobias of another son; braces & impacted wisdom teeth removal of both my teens; airfare & moving expenses to fly 1 son away and back for a 3 month job; and airfare across the country to & back to visit a girlfriend at her university; punching bag, gloves, dumbells, & other sports equipment; college tuition; swimming & Karate lessons; Driver's Ed. lessons; drivers' lisences; Graduation pictures, parties, school rings, school fees, school dances, cap & gown rentals, tuxedoes, grad. invites, announcements, school keys, tassels, etc.; Boy Scouting camps & related expenses; gifts for girlfriends; car gas/maintainance/registration/insurance/tires, etc. for each driver to ensure school/JOB/dating etc. is possible. Yes, there's more. Yes, the boys' pay quite a lot of their own expenses. And we haven't had any weddings or grandchildren to deal with yet. It could be worse ~much worse~ : like lawyers, prison, bastards, funerals, cancer treatments, STD's, drugs, my own children running away, etc. etc. ~knock on wood~ & all that! Well, I ask me, what's my point in all this? Hmmm... I must manage my stress! There are other outlets that won't result in ugly sores/scars/infection, that are less embarrassing! How embarrassing to be enjoying a special time with my son when a total stranger walks up to me and states quite loudly, "I know what all those sores and spots on you are! You have Chicken Pox! My son had chicken pox and he looked just like you!" I frantically looked for the nearest rock to crawl under! Then there is the fact that I'm a 'health risk' to anyone else who enters the swimming pool if I decide to get in (but I wouldn't be aloud since there isn't enough bandages in the world to cover all my open wounds so that I could be in compiance with the local health code to enter the pool.) I don't have HIV or anything, but, .... and if I saw anyone else with as many open wounds as I have- get into the pool!!... well, I'd just leave... maybe even file a complaint first. Could you imagine? Well, this is long enough.
April 19, 2009
i was looking around to try and see if i could stop my chicken pox, because i have now had them 9 times and i am worred because i have been looking around to see if i am not the only one but i guess i am. i am affraid that if i go to the doctors they might have to have my bloods taken.

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