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I am really glad that I found this website. I thought that I was the only one. I apologize for the length....) I started picking my face in highschool; I would climb up onto the bathroom sink and peer into the vanity mirror. When I settled myself comfortably on the sink and got my face as close to the mirror as I could, I would start to pick at my pimples. Then I would go into what someone else on the forum called, a mirror trance. To me it was (and still is) so calming to scrutinize every crevice, nook and cranny of my face, searching, searching for a black head or white head to pop. If I felt an area on my face that had that deep pulsating pain (the pain before the zit), I would press especially hard, hoping to break the zit through the skin. If I was successful at popping the zit, I would feel a sense of satisfaction. When the trance ended (or ends), I see myself in the reflection. My face is splotchy, puffy and miserable looking. In my head I think that by doing this to myself, I have made myself as ugly as I feel inside. It is crazy because others have said that I am attractive and when I look into the mirror, usually I am pleased, but this compulsion to make myself unattractive and pull the misery of my soul onto the flesh, is overwhelming. I take a few medications: Effexor, Amphetamine Salts (generic Adderall) amd Lamictal. My psychologist (whom I have seen since 2004/2005?) is treating me for depression, ADD and bipolar disorder. He does not know about the skin picking because I never really realized it was an issue..... Now that I am medicated, I have realized that other issues have reared their ugly heads. Maybe it is my bodies way of saying, "Hey, look at me! Although you are no longer depressed, you still have other issues that you have masked with the whole depression thingy, so now that you have fixed that, heeeeeere I am!!!!!!" This past weekend (while wearing a tanktop) my mom made a comment to me that caused me to do a google search on "skin picking" She noticed that I had a lot of scabs and scrapes on my shoulders. She said, "You need to stop picking at your skin, it is starting to leave scars." That comment stayed in my mind and today, while bored at work, I googled and found this site. After reading several of the posts, I realized not only am I not the only one, but it is a problem that needs to rectified/acted upon/noticed. After reading a few of the posts I was filled with anxiety because it was like a slap in the face..... a wake up call to me, so I took a walk around campus. As I walked I realized that I reached up and scratched my scalp because I was so anxious about reading about skin picking....lol. I also realized (while walking and thinking) that I also: pick at my toe nails (rip the pinky nail off until it bleeds), bite my toe nails off (I am pretty flexible...lol) bite my fingernails and pick at any bump on my body. I also take scorching hot showers (so hot that my skin is blood red). Why do I do this? I think that I do this because I am anxious. I want to worry because I feel alive. If I don't stop thinking or worrying, whatever I worry about will happen. When I pick, I relax. I have a bit of control over my mind. When I pick, I forget about everything and it is soothing. I feel pacified. I feel safe. I have been in therapy. I have talked about growing up with a passive alcoholic father (whom has now been dry for 10-15 years) and a co-dependent, slightly controlling mother, depression, stress, etc until I am blue in the face, but there is something deeper and I do not know what that something is......... And I think until I find that out, I won't be able to stop picking (or is this just an excuse?) Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment, offer some insight/help or vent yourself. Thanks!!!!