I hate it, but can't stop myself


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June 28, 2011

Hi! I'm slightly younger than you, but our stories are very similar. I've come very close to completely quitting, but stressful events in my life caused "relapses". The key is to get through those events because they're bound to happen in everyone's lives. Some advice I've learned is to try one day at a time. If it's really bad, try one hour at a time and congratulate yourself for every milestone you've made. Before trying to solve the symptoms (picking) try solving the CAUSE. Maybe it's anxiety? OCD? Trauma? Solving the symptoms is usually only temporary, so try and realize WHY you pick............... Another important part in quitting is to get support. Maybe a significant other, parents, sibling, or us- whatever makes you most comfortable. I actually did my best in quitting when I constantly checked this forum, staying in touch with my feelings and struggles................. In fact, I'm going to try to stay active on this site while I try and quit completely again, because staying active on this site seems to be the best treatment for me.......... If you look through other posts on this forum, a lot of people have great advice. From not drinking coffee (in order to reduce anxiety) or having a blog to changing lights in your bathroom to red so you can't see anything to pick.......... But above all, don't get discouraged if you have set backs. This is a tough problem, and it's been present for years. The great thing is that you've beat half the battle by understanding the problem and wanting to stop it. Good luck!
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June 28, 2011

Thanks for the helpful words of encouragement! I would have to say that I think it's a mixture of habit and stress, that's when I really attack myself. I made it through one night and I feel good...I did stare at myself in the mirror this morning and just looked at the scabs...why did I do that to myself? I have such a hatred for it, I hope my hate for it with the mixture of no mirrors can help me get through this. I'm also going to remain active on this forum, I never knew there were so many out there like me.I NEVER talk about my picking with anyone but my husband and quite frankly, he has no clue how it feels to be so overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to do this kind of thing. Once again, thanks for your time and reading my posts! Happy NOT PICKING! :D Have pretty skin and a great day!!
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June 28, 2011

Hi, I am also slightly younger than you and am in the exact same situuation as you! Your situation is so similar to mine, it's shocking! I only found this forum a few days ago and quite literally have fallen in love with it! I'm finding that it is really helpful to look at everyone else's stories who all have the same problems, as it makes me feel not so alone. I have told no one about my picking problem as I am too ashamed and worried what they may think :( but when I come on here, I feel like I am able to open up to anyone on this forum! Keep checking daily the forum and you will find it really helps :) similarly to you, I have also decided today is the day I quit and am pleased to say I just went into the bathroom and came out pick free! I am so pleased, I just have to tackle tomorrow morning now..... Anyway, good luck and keep the forum updated with how your doing :) whenever you feel like picking, try coming on here and writing to one of us instead, after all, we are all in the same boat! That's what I am going to do anyway :) happy NON picking!
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June 30, 2011

I think the best thing for these situations is professional intervention. I'm bipolar and as soon as I began to receive therapeutic and psychiatric treatment for my disorder the picking decreased and has all but stopped. I believe a lot of people who's problems appear to only be skin picking are actually victim to various anxiety related disorders which also affect them in other areas of life. Also, just talking to someone who knows what they're doing and can give you a realistic picture of what's going on can help you to realize "Hey, its not over yet". So if you tldr (to long didn't read) this post. In summary, find a specialist you can trust and talk to both about your skin and other issues you might have.
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June 29, 2011

I may only be 14 but I totally get it. Every night I go into the bathroom to get ready for bed and I almost always end up all up close to the mirror destroying my face. It's so irritating!! But I can't help it. As someone said before a big step to stopping is finding the underlying problem and trying to fix that. About two months ago I was diagnosed with OCD and some mild depression. Since then I've been taking some meds and I've been seeing some improvement, but not much. I've managed to stop picking at my fingers but I'm still working on my face. So anyway again, you're not alone and we all understand what you're going through so keep coming here and good luck with not picking!
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June 29, 2011

So...I picked yesterday...nothing extreme, but I did disappoint myself :(. I'm actually on medication for my skin and it still seems to not help. I just wish that I could have normal skin. I wish that in order to feel comfortable around other people I didn't have to wear foundation and clog my pores even more, it's so frustrating! I also feel like I'm too old to be having acne...I mean isn't this a phase you are supposed to pass up during puberty?! I just read everything I typed, seems like just a bunch of complaining, but I guess if I'm forever going to have this skin disorder, I should at least find the best makeup that doesn't increase my chances of breakouts...any suggestions?
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June 29, 2011

I've just discovered this site and what a relief it is to put a name to my problem and know that others feel the same way. I'm a 42 year old woman and have been skin picking on and off since I was a small child. My earliest memory of picking is being about 7 years old and peeling off the skin on my feet to the point of bleeding. I hid this from everyone, including my family, and was so terrified of the potential embarrassment. I later remember dreading that everyone would see my feet when we went to the community pool. The foot picking mostly stopped by my teens, but the face picking began years later. I still do this and absolutely HATE what I do myself. I'll have weeks when my face looks good and I feel great. Then, usually brought on by some stress, I will start picking at blemishes. I also tweeze my eyebrows obsessively. I don't necessarily over-tweeze since my eyebrows look fine, but the random hairs that need to be tweezed - I will work at the tough ones until I make a hole. Then, of course, I keep picking at the scabs, making it all worse. The bad spots burn and then burn more when I use antiseptic/toner to clean it. Even though I know I'm making myself ugly, I keep at it. And I know that what I see in the magnifying mirror, is not what anyone else can see. But like most OCD disorders, controlling the bad behavior is incredibly difficult. I will spend at least an hour picking and tweezing on a bad day, and then another half hour or so trying to cover my scars, scabs and holes with make-up. Of course, it never looks good enough, so if I can't avoid leaving the house, I am stressed about my face the entire time, not able to fully enjoy whatever it is I might be doing. I feel like a slave to the skin on my face - it haunts me day and night. When I have a "good face day" I am happy, confident and feel pretty. My attitude, mood, and entire life are based on how good or bad my face issues are that day. I know how pathetic that is, and how awful it feels, but I still do it. I have had a lot of stress and some trauma in my life (I know, who hasn't?) and I have always had extremely low self-esteem. I am determined to deal with the face-picking by working on myself from the inside-out. I have never shared like this before - it feels therapeutic to get it out! Thanks to everyone for sharing and giving the rest of us the strength and support to deal with our problems and start loving ourselves.
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June 29, 2011

I'm right there with you! when I pick, I don't even want to go for walks with my husband and daughter, i'm too afraid that we may see someone and they may stop to chat and notice my face...it's such a horrible feeling to have! I would like to say that I always believe that I'm beautiful no matter what my face looks like...but I don't feel that way at all. I believe that continuing to write on here and read others' testimony's is going to help aid me to get better about mutilating my face, shoulders, neck, and sometimes my back. It's easy to write on here because I know that you guys (and gals) have the same issues I have, so feel free to write me and I will reply daily (if I can).
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June 29, 2011

I completely am with you oh this one! I have just literally spent half an hour in front of the mirror picking at my face and arms... I am so annoyed with myself :( each time I do it, I know how it is going to make me feel depressed and low afterwards but it never seems to stop me :/ sorry for writing this all on here, I just feel so much better when I have written to people who actually understand and can relate to what I am saying. I just read on another site that it is important that people with this disorder do not set themselves long term goals, for e.g. I will quit for a month. Instead they should take each day and hour as it comes and deal with the moment! So... This is what I am going to do, it's worth a try as I have tried everything else :/ good luck everyone :)
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June 30, 2011

I hate the terrible feeling of self hatred I have after I snap out of my picking trance...it really does for lack of better word suck!!!!!! I guess you are right about setting more realistic goals because I've already broken my month goal a few times...I wish i had more self control. Don't worry about what you write, feel free to express yourself in whatever way is necessary, I do :D.
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June 30, 2011

To Elena and Meandmyself - thanks for commenting. It's so strange to hear for the first time other people saying what you feel! It's like learning you have a long lost twin or something! I also feel like I go into a picking trance and the comments about worrying that you'll see someone you know - that is EXACTLY how I feel. That would be horrific! I was wondering if anyone else gets headaches like I do because of staring into the damn mirror for so long. It's like a punishment and reminder of what I've done to myself and my face and head are throbbing. These past 2 weeks or so are some of the worst I've had with the picking. I keep hoping I'll wake up and it will be better each day, as usually happens after the first few days, but this time it keeps getting worse and I keep making it worse. I have cried several times this week over it and keep postponing things I have to do. I wouldn't dare leave the house without makeup and lately I am so disgusted with myself that I don't want my husband to see me without it either. He knows about and pretty much understands my problem, but the idea of him looking at my bare, torn up face - oh the shame! Sometimes I feel like I would give almost anything to have great skin that I don't mess with and to not have to cake on the makeup. By the way, I take 20mg of Lexapro daily. It does help with my overall anxiety but not the picking. I'd like to try some other OCD meds, but in the past I had side effects from Zoloft so I'm reluctant to try that. My 14 yr old son has inherited my OCD. Zoloft has helped him significantly but he is still a compulsive hand washer. Fortunately he does not pick at his face, just a bit on feet or scabs. He and I can relate to eachother but I hesitate to put my burden on him. I try to just let him know that I totally get what he is going through and that I'm here for him. Feel like I'm just blabbing away now, but what about trying to get a few of us doing some short term "experiments" with stopping the picking and being accountable to eachother for it. Not in a negative way, of course, but in a supportive "I'll do it with you" way. Just a thought...
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June 30, 2011

I think that is a brilliant idea! :) it's really helping me being able to talk to others about this... Oh and don't worry, I have also cried this past week as I have had a bad week when it has come to picking :/ I feel so depressed and trapped after I have picked it's awful :( have a party arranged for next Saturday and I really need my skin to heal before then so I can wear the dress I want... But as you will all know, this only means one thing, and this is to STOP picking until Saturday! I'm doing everything I can to not but have already failed this evening :( I even cut my nails seriously short to try and not allow me to pick! Will keep you updated :) oh and also, to 'hidemyface' I get headaches all the time from it so your not the only one!
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December 13, 2011

Meandmyself and hidemyface: I have the same problem, I keep digging at stray hairs at my eyebrow, and my bf knows abit about my problem, but he has no idea how severe it is. I go to bed and lay with my back against him all night, go up first after he's gone to work. We don't even eat breakfast toge´ther anymore, I can't show my face, not without make nor with theh ugly scabs and wounds on my skin. He says it doesn't look that bad, that he can barely see anything, but that's when I've spent hours covering up the damaged skin. I keep telling myself"how hard can it be"?? but as soon as I see som flaky skin, or a hair wanting to get out, I can't stand it, even if I'm all alone at home, so I pull off the flakes/scabs and pull out the hair, which often makes more damage than good. Can't explain the satisfaction I get when pulling that stubborn hair out, or pulling of fthat flake from the skin, but U probably know perfectly well. It's like holding yout breath for the longest time, and then u can breath again, and the satisfaction lasts for a second, and is then replaced by more anxiety when u see the damage you've done. I often find myself in front of the mirror, not really knowing how I got there and realising more time has passed than I thought. I try not to use the bright light above the mirror, but sometimes I don't even remember turning it on. gaaaaahhh. Hope u guys are doing better, it's always good to know you're not alone in the dark pit of skin-picking...
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July 01, 2011

I know everyone on this forum has said the same thing ( I can't believe I'm not the only one who does this. I thought I was totally alone. ) Well I'm going to say it again because that is exactly how it feels. I am a 24 year old Married mother of two precious boys, 3 and 1 years old. And I really am happy. I am slightly over weight which yes does bug me but doesn't ruine my day. I guess maybe I have some stress and yes have been diagnosed with very mild OCD. I have been picking and eating my scabs from ( arms, legs and mainly my scalp) since grade seven. Now I try to look back and see was there a reason that I started picking and eating my scabs? But to be completely honest I can't think of anything. I just don't know why I do it, I just do and it has interfeared with a lot of things in my life now. I married my husband two years ago and had a beautiful wedding dress that because of the scabs and small scars on my arms from the picking I had to wear a lace little jacket thing. I mean it looked nice but I would have rather not of HAD to wear it. Any way I have been going to the Psycologist for a while now and we have tried different things to keep my hands busy. But problem is, your skin is always there with you. It's not just like a pack of smokes or something where if you forget them somewhere you are forced to wait for your cigirette until you get home or buy another pack. As long as no one is looking (so we think) you can pick away. I am constantly running my hands through my hair to feel for scabs or a bump. Even when my husband just runs in to a store down comes the pony tail and I'm right in the mirror looking at the scabs on my head and picking. Well I guess that's enough for now. You really do feel dirty and gross when you say it out loud. But I really am "glad" to know that I am not alone. And appreciate this site for providing a safe place for us to speak about this common problem. ........ Also just a quick thought. I know that men probablly do do this to, but is it just me or does it seem like this is mainly a womans issue? If anyone has an answer as to why, please share. Thanks
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July 03, 2011

Thanks for posting! We are all here to support one another in this time of self realization and change. I never realized that I was such a severe picker until I wrote it all down...the shame is enough to make me cry to be honest. I am glad that I have you gals (and guys if there are any...) to vent to about this because lord know I don't talk to ANYONE but my husband about this and he is not a picker, he doesn't have the same OCD behaviors we share, and has no clue how badly it feels after a relapse. I personally tried to do the whole no picking for one month thing and only got two days in until I found myself in the mirror searching for imperfections...ugh it's so annoying isn't it?! From now on it's short and more reasonable goals...an hour, a day, a week at a time :). P.S...I hate taking pictures...today we were out with some friends and we took a picture and the one thing I was thinking about was "Can they see my scabs?!" (I cover them up with foundation...or try to the best I can...). I thought I would throw in another insecurity I have that comes with this debilitating disorder!
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July 01, 2011

This is for everyone - please read the topic titled "40 Day Medical Treatment" I am going to try this and have emailed Fayeh and received a personal email response from him. I have no idea what to expect, but it's free and there's nothing to lose, right? Good luck friends!
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July 03, 2011

So...I just picked and I feel guilty as hell. My face feels swollen in places and I know in the morning I will be regretting this crap for sure! My husband suggested that every time I pick to tell you guys...so I'm going to try that method out. The embarrassment alone should help keep me from doing it...to a point.
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January 26, 2012

Hi! As I've a read on a research paper about skin picking or dermatillomania, I've learned that you can treat it in two ways: through pharmacological and behavioral intervention. I know it's hard to control the urge to skin pick, but you can do more things about it. Just call your doctor and ask for his advice. I hope I have helped you with your question.
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January 30, 2012

I always wondered what the heck is wrong with me and I just finally googled i can't stop picking at my face and way more stuff on this topic came up than I ever expected. I am so glad I am not alone. I happened to read your post and I thought omg that's just like me. I can go all day and think today's going to be the day..I'm so not going to pick, why do I even do that? I can stop. Then, night time come and that seems to be the worst. I go in the bathroom just to take off my makeup and brush my teeth and that's where it all goes downhill. I start looking in the face in the mirror and just picking at any little thing. I sit on the sink counter like you do just picking away. Sometime before I know it, i'll have been doing it for like an hour. It's sooo frustrating I always so disappointed and hate myself after I do it. I really never even had bad skin or acne. Actually, I probably would have had really beautiful skin if I hadn't started this crap. I think I started doing it when I was around 10 and I am now 20. I am so upset to because I finally starting to see the terrible effects it's had on my skin. Fine lines, scars, tiny broken blood vessels around my nose. I cover of it up with makeup, but it saddens me to know I'll never be able to go anywhere without makeup and feel good about myself. Anyway, I had intended not to make this so long. I really tried to keep it short, but it's just so nice to have other people on here going through the same thing to share this with. Tomorrow is Monday...so I figured it would be a good time to set a goal of no picking for a week for myself....We'll see how it goes.
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May 03, 2013

Gosh, I totally understand... I'm 15 and half years old and I am an awful skin picker... I sometimes sit in front of the mirror and attack my face... I attack the smallest little blemish that would go away on it's own if I didn't pick... I will have my amazing week of flawless skin and something happens where it's destroyed and my face is red with scabs and is just pure ugly... I also have the worst habit of peeling scabs off too early and then I'm left with raw skin and I cry because I know if I would've left it for a day or so, it would've healed up fine. I confine myself in my room too ashamed to go out because of how my face is. My skin isn't even that bad and I know I'm fairly attractive, but I don't feel thy way at all. I feel ugly... And it's awful to know that I can't go out in public without my makeup on... I know my skin will heal and everything will end up being okay, but dealing with it for the time being is beyond awful.. I stress and have anxiety of how my face will look in the morning and how I will deal with it until it heals.. It's such an awful feeling to live with... It's amazing to know others are dealing with similar situations.. People. Try to vent to see me as pathetic and just don't understand what bad skin is and how it can affect someone emotionally.. Thanks for reading this, if you are..
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May 04, 2013

I'm a 15 year old girl too. I pick a lot and I want to stop and my skin is getting to a point where I can't go out with my friends and I have to wear a jumper and long pants at school instead of the school shirt and skirts the other girls wear in summer. Why do I pick and how can I stop please help me.