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I was feeling like I was doing so good--I had done a 10day challenge, seen the dermatologist, was sticking to a healthy & simple skincare routine, I was even feeling social again...and now I realize I have spent the last few days totally falling back into old habits. I am beyond *&^^(*$$%&& mad at myself!!!!! I HOPE the dmamge isnt that bad. Mostly just obsessively clearing out blackheads, so there is redness and inflammation- but do have a few "active" spots that are f-ing ugly. Now I have been reading through the posts and read about how someone gave themself staph from picking :0- so I am having a stinking panic attack thinking I have staph and that is what is making my face red or spotty or inflamed. **** I don't know what is worse: The fact that I am so "crazy" with this face picking that the only thing that can make me stop is the immenent fear of current staph infection? OR That I am "double the crazy" with my panic attacks and hypochondriac tendencies? **** My best friend for years said something very eye opening to me when I mentioned this--she said evry so succintly "what are you trying to divert your focus from?". Of course I replied "What?!". But she stated that over the time she had noticed that my "episodes" always coincided with other events/people/ goings on that were stressful and somehow bogged down my ocd worrisome mind..so I would revert to this skin picking (or hypochondria/worry obssessing) so I simply did not have to think about the other "unpleasant" thing. WOW! Talk about insightful- and it made me feel like a total puss- like, I cant deal with the simplest garbage without hitting this automatic mental self-destruct button!? What the hell is wrong with me?! I used to be "strong" and thought life had some brighter future ahead --- After some shock and reflection, I think there was a time in my life where this DISSASSOCIATION behavior worked to get me through some awful traumatic garbage where the distraction of skin issues, etc was much better than dealing with reality (abuse, death, depression) , but I have carried this totally dysfuncational 'coping skill' with me through my life and it causes me nothing but unmeasurable heartache and misery. I am depressed, have suicidal ideations, am in a constant state of panic ups & downs, and cannot function in a normal life. There is nothing I need to escape from that is that bad anymore? How can I retrain my brain to quit? How can I be so self-aware and so out of touch at the same time? Smart enough to see a pattern but still so friggin stupid to carry on with this? **** So many others in here have mentioned "THE TRANCE" achieved from picking- I am sure I do it to escape...and as a consequence I have this other thing (butchered face) to worry about rather than deal with the anxiety and whatever is REALLY BOTHERING ME. Can anyone relate?