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northernlights , 01 Jun 2011

new here..

I'm new here, and reading all the posts here makes me feel like I could cry. I'm a 23 year old woman in the Toronto area, and I've always felt like a freak for the way I pick at the skin on my face. I've done it since my early teens - about 10 years now!!! I feel jealous when I look at other people with flawless complexions. I find myself absentmindedly running my hands over my face and if there any little bump I feel the need to get if OFF my skin, so I pick it off. I'm really good with makeup so I usually can cover up what I've done to my face, but lately I've started picking at the ingrown hairs on my legs, arms and bikini line and it's scaring me that my symptoms are getting worse. I've always been a worrier, but lately I find myself getting anxious about a lot more things that are happening in my life. I've battled depression and come through that, but my self-esteem has taken a down-turn with the worsening of my symptoms. I have a degree in psychology so I was pretty certain that I was displaying OCD compulsions, but I had never heard about dermatillomania until I looked it up online. It feels good to know that I'm not alone, but it's disheartening to know that so many people suffer through this for such an extended amount of time. Since I'm in the psychology field I feel in a way like I can't seek professional help... like I should know better, be able to help myself or something. Really, I know that's not realistic because they would be supportive, but I feel such shame that I can't control these compulsions. Every year at New Year's I've made a resolution to stop picking, and I want to make THIS the year that I'm successful!!
1 Answer
June 02, 2011
Oh my goodness I Am there with u. I have a masters degree in social work and I should know better. I've been picking at my legs and arms since I was a kid. I have scars all over them. I think about it all the time and then I hate myself afterwards. I can't wear shorts and at all. I too every year say I'm going to stop and how I want to. The longest I've gone is 2 days and I don't even realize when u start and it could be an hour later when I stop. I have 2 young children and I don't want them to think this is normal. I've been in therapy over the years for different things but have always been too embarassed to talk about this as I said before I should know better

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