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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.