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angel1 , 22 Sep 2008

has any one successfully stopped?

i just realised that picking my scalp is a kind of serious problem and a reallly bad habit. (i pick my face sometimes too) everything i have read online people just say how they have been doing it for years and really want to quit. is it possible to ever actually quit doing this?? now im really scared that its impossible!! ive been doing it for a year or so.. i noticed it a lot in the past 6 months. also i have ADHD if that means anything. i think im going to get fake nails for a while to help but im not feeling very conident about this because most people seem to not be able to stop no matter what. i never realised how hard it would be to stop until now!!! im pretty upset.
4 Answers
September 23, 2008
I also pick my scalp. It started years ago though, when I was 11. I didn't pick scabs then that I recall, I wound touch my hair and pull out the single hair that felt weird or curly. I am 27 now and have a small patch thats balding now. Luckily I have lots of hair, so I am able to cover it up by teasing up my hair above the patch. Within the last year or so it turned into a zit or something I had on my scalp, which I started picking. It then became a small patch of broken skin which I didn't think was noticeable until my hairdresser asked me what happened! I was absolutely mortified and realized there was definitely something wrong with me. If not for any other purpose except hygiene and to keep bacteria out of an open wound, I need to stop doing this! I don't understand why I can't control this. This is not a reflection of the rest of my life by any means, nothing else is this out of control. I feel like touching my hair and finding the "crazies" to pull out and picking at the scabs just makes me feel calm, almost something like a de-stresser. I sometimes am concentrating on something (like a test or a book) so hard that I don't even notice I am touching my hair or scalp. I don't know what works for others, but this is what I have changed to at least get to a point where I can really begin to cope with this problem of mine. I have put on acrylic nails - have you ever noticed you can't scratch as good with these as you can with your natural nails? The edges are thicker and more rounded, making it hard to break skin with them. Obviously this isn't an option for (most!) men, but for women this isn't a huge change in your life. I have been putting cortisone twice a day on the scabs on my scalp, which make them very difficult to pick - real or fake nails! So far this is all I can do to control it, until I work out what the deeper issue. As for my hair, I just try to visualize that awful little spot and the fact that I don't want it to get any bigger.
September 29, 2008

In reply to by scaredycat

scaredycat, this is actually a different manifestation of OCD that is called Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling). I hope you don't take this the wrong way. You are very welcome to post here and be a part of this group (I'm speaking for us all I hope). We can certainly relate to you and you to us in the obsession and compulsion of systematically picking, pulling, tweezing, scratching, etc. Yet, I believe since you don't really relate to the actual skin picking in the same way and we can't really relate to the hair pulling as our main focus -at least not on the same level- you may actually find better help with others that have Trichotillomania. I'm sure some of us here also have that along with our Dermatillomania. I mostly pulled out my knee hairs when I was young, about 8 years old, as a stress reliever, I think. That was along with my skin picking, but the Trich was much more obsessive, then. I don't know why or how I stopped it, but my skin picking just took it's place and then took over my life gradually. Now I mostly pull out hair on my knees, my calves, and my mustache & beard. Sometimes instead of picking in my attempt not to pick. That hair- not scalp hair or eyelashes/eyebrows like many trich sufferers- is not a problem. Especially since I shave my legs and -being female- don't want facial hair anyway! But it doesn't have the same OCD pull as skin picking does. I wish to help you find the best help for you! I want you to stay with us, but I think that you should also check out: or or or or or or google it for more. I sure hope this helps! I'm glad your hairdresser said what you needed to hear in order to seek out help. I pray you find it.... and also give it! OmniSekhmet
October 07, 2008

In reply to by OmniSekhmet

No, I have what you have and you are ABSOLUTELY in the right place. Even down to the fake nails. you are right, they are blunt, and therefore picking becomes more frustrating and it stops for a little while. But I always kept ONE. Its like a crutch. I'm sorry for discrediting what that last person said, but what you have is what i have, so we are both in the right place.
October 28, 2008
we all have the same problem. we pick. we do things out of the ordinary. others do not understand. I got help from a psychologist. it really worked. i have been free for a couple of weeks and it feels great. im scared it will start back up on a bad day but so far so good. its a great feeling to stop. i have one spot that i still pick. but one compared to many is pretty good i think. all the best, freeasever

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