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Buffyfan , 23 Oct 2011

OCD scalp picking, scared kid

Hi everyone, I'm a 15 year old girl and I have OCD, no real compulsions, but morbid thoughts (obsessions) I have had my OCD for 1 year and 5 months. Scalp picking has been a problem for me for a while. I was able to stop for a few months, but in the past month or two it has started back up. I've been under a lot of stress lately, but I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I pick my scalp until it bleeds, scabs, then I pick at it again. I pick mainly at the top back of my head and at the front near my forehead, at least for right now. I'm ashamed by doing it but I can't seem to stop. My psychiatrist is trying to help but I just don't know what to do. Is there anyone here that has a similar problem? Or any suggestions? I'm kind of scared, I feel like I have no control. Thanks for your help and just reading this. For the longest time I thought no one else did this, that I was alone. I don't feel so alone anymore.
3 Answers
October 24, 2011
Hi, My heart goes out to you. I have picked at the skin on my face since I was 14, I've also had morbid thoughts, especially when I your age. There have been periods when I hardly ever picked and there were times when I have done some serious damage over the years. It seems to come and go with high stress levels and how I am coping. My advice is don't be hard on yourself, this is a diffucult disorder. When you're feeling ashamed remember to regard yourself with loving kindness and observe yourself without negative judgement so you can learn about yourself and your problem and actively take a healing path. I have learned that progress is two steps foward, one step back. It will not be a straight path. Anytime you regress you have an opportunity to better understand your disorder and make progress so look at how you can be constructive and keep it positive! I recently visited my psychiatrist because my picking has become very bad lately. He informed me of an amino acid supplement that has been very effective for some of his patients.They had better results than with perscription medications.i'm using it and It is helping me a lot in that it reduces the compulsion to pick. The supplement is N-Acetyl Cysteine, it is available various "health food stores" and grocers, pharmacies, etc.and is affordable$. Be sure to consult with your psychiatrist first before trying it. For your reference there is a professional peer reviewed published study available at this link : I've also had lots of morbid thoughts, especially when I was in my teens and twenties. I thought I was a horrible, crazy person and was afraid to tell anyone. It was pure suffering. Eventually, I realized that what is important is that although the thoughts are from my own mind, they are not me or who or what I am or what I want. Eventually I became less and less afraid as I realized that for me I have a very creative and divergent type of thinking style. Just because I thought something it doesn't mean it defines me or is me. I choose whether or not to embrace an idea, Only YOU can choose who and what you are. If it's a bad thought I dismiss it and move on to something else. Just let it go. I've also found it helpful to make an affirmation to myself by saying "I choose positive thoughts and good feelings" and then move on by focusing on something else (don't get stuck thinking about the morbid thought or judgement of yourself). At first it might take effort but eventually you will no longer be thinking of morbid stuff. Enjoy feeling good that you choose for yourself who you are! I would also recommend using a psychotherapsit who specializes in OCD to help you find out what are your triggers and some strategies so you can get better quicker. You might also try meditation and/or yoga. I find that it is very helpful for calming down and getting centered and grounded. It is great for reducing stress. I highly recommend it. I wish you inner peace, strength, love and courage on your healing journey.

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