Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

miss.picky , 01 Sep 2011

Like an Addiction

Skin picking, at least the way I do it, is well described by the American Society of Addiction Medicine's definition of addiction (though it's unlikely to lead to early death I hope!): "Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death." I'm not a doctor or an addict (at least in the traditional sense) but I do have up close & personal experience with people who do have the disease. They commonly speak of searching for something that can make them feel normal, or at least forget about the world for a while. When I pick I escape. Hours pass in the blink of an eye. But like with substance abuse, you always come back to reality. Not only do the same problems exist but now you also have the guilt, shame & regret of doing something you know is bad for you. Knowing I'm not alone in this behavior helps me to realize I am probably not as horrible as I sometimes think. To step back and see that I feel only compassion, not judgement, for others struggling with picking while hating myself for doing the same thing brings a new perspective. Thank you for sharing your stories.
2 Answers
December 14, 2011
hi i am new to site today. revelation that people are talking about this massive secret i have had. really relate to the addiction concept. would like to respond further to this but right now i am abit overwhelmed with the reality that im not quite the isolated freak i thought i was! i have spent so many hours, days, weeks and goodness knows how much it would all add up to - how sad really. however, i am always striving to be positive and yearn to reach a point whereby it is either gone or just a small part of my life - not the focus of my life. hope things are going ok for you and i am grateful that you posting was there and prompted more honesty from me because i think this is the way forward. speak out and kick out the shame.
December 20, 2011
I've just realised I've had a problem for most of my life, and it was pretty shocking for me to discover that I wasn't alone and there are many people who suffer from the same problem. Although one thing about picking still makes me feel like a freak--yesterday I picked an area of skin off my thumb that was about a centimetre in length and half a centimetre in width. I know I should have felt ashamed and shocked at myself, but instead I felt quite proud of myself. Every time I get past the first joint from the nail I feel a sense of achievement. Does anyone else feel like that?

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now