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figaro , 03 Aug 2011

I thought it started overnight,

I am 29 years old and this is the first time I have ever realized that there is an online community of pickers and that I could read peoples' stories and get some much needed rest over this whole thing. About a two years ago, I came down with a pretty severe case of dandruff over night. My husband of about 6 months and I had only months prior moved into a not so nice neighborhood with gun shots at night, no heat or a/c, and mold growing on our walls. We had moved there because our last place caught on fire from another tenant and we were on a tight budget. I remember the first afternoon the dandruff happened. The sunlight was shining through the window and I was laying on my bed with my head dangling and there were the little bits of dusty scalp falling to the ground. That was the first memory of me becoming a scalp picker... and since then, I have been through all sorts of treatments and dandruff shampoos and tea tree oil and olive oil and hats and not washing for days and barrettes and you name it. I am here on this forum because I had just been about a week with little to no picking, and I was picking tonight and I am in pain now. I was google-ing "scalp pain remedies" and I came across this site. While my most recent memories have me believe that I am new to picking, I realize after reading of others' accounts that I have been a picker since about the age of 7 or 8. I used to pick strands of my hair out of my head and love to feel the moist pulpy root pinched between my fingertips as I slowly led the strand between my fingers. I would do this at night, and most likely in the middle of the day while playing alone in my room (I am an adopted and only child). From there, my next memory is picking at my nail skin and then to picking the small white hairs on my stomach to tiny bumps on my bottom and inside my legs. I remember picking at ingrown leg hairs after I started to shave. As my breasts developed, I can remember beginning to pick at the little bumps surrounding my nipples. Any dark hair, forget it--- it was being picked. As a young teen/preteen, I know I picked at the little bumps on my shoulders and arms. I also have tinea versicolor and have been diagnosed as bipolar. At the age of 18, I began to cover my body with tattoos because of my hatred for my skin rashes and "imperfections." My husband understands my pain and my condition to a point, but I don't know if he can fully understand just how much this consumes me on almost a minute to minute basis at some times of the day. I still pick when I am alone and then again at night and before I sleep. Just this posting so far has enabled me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I urge anyone who wants to gain control of this to own your actions and take responsibility for your body. I came down with a severe case of MRSA years ago and I don't doubt that if I was not a picker, I would be healthier. I now wash my hands more than anybody I know, but at this point I refuse to become completely OCD. I will be back on this forum in the future, as I have found it completely amazing and helpful and friendly. Thanks a lot for reading. xo
2 Answers
August 03, 2011
I'm 18 and I can't remember a time when I didn't pick at my skin. I just discovered this site (and the fact that I'm really not alone) about 4 days ago. Today was my 3rd day of no picking. It's hard, but it's easier knowing I have support by shared experience. I wish you the best of luck too!

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