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FishyCrackers , 10 Nov 2011

Please help. I'm just in high school, and I don't know how to deal with this :(

So, I'm in the 11th grade currently, and I've been picking at my scalp and face since 4th grade :(. I pick when I'm anxious or bored... and the medication I take for ADD makes me more anxious, so I'm constantly picking! In every class throughout the school day, I have at least one hand on my face or scalp, picking picking picking. And my finger tips on each hand are almost always bloody... it's gross. I get a bit of blood on papers and feel badly turning them in after ruining them >.<. When I get home from school, I go straight to the mirror, and even when I try so hard not to, I'll just end up sitting down somewhere and getting caught in a picking "trance". I once tried wearing mittens for two whole days (taking them off to eat and bathe, of course) but my hands got way too warm, and the second I took them off to do something that would be easier without the mittens, my nails were at my face again! It's getting worse; spreading to my back now... and I just don't know what to do! It looks so bad, and it's wasting my time. And, as you all can understand, It HURTS! Please, please, please, if there's any advice you have, or anything you've tried that works, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks :) I need you guys in this
7 Answers
November 10, 2011
Do you have acne? You have to get rid of the acne first or whatever you pick at. If it's more a sensory thing go to a therapist and maybe get some meds to help. That's what I did and I finally stopped picking. Nothing else helped.
November 17, 2011

In reply to by FishyCrackers

kcantwell Please - read my post "possible cure" and e-mail me It is possible that I can help you. The mental exercise I developed has cured many pickers including myself. It cost nothing and requires less than an hour a day for a week. Here is an e-mail I received from a high school girl who had a picking problem and was cured by the exercise. "Everything's great! I've got a lot of things going on now. I want to take advantage of this year, you know? I'm on the event planning committee and in art club and all that. I'm also taking a bunch of easy classes now to get my GPA up. As far as the picking and all (which is what I assume you were asking about, right?), it's almost zero. I let myself slip sometimes, but I'm in control for the most part. I think that's pretty good considering!" It can work for you, too. Ken
November 11, 2011
I agree with destroyx, you will probably need therapy and/or medication to help reduce the compulsion, along with some sort of acne treatment. I don't really understand ADD or ADD meds but shouldn't your medication make you feel less anxious, more calm? Some tricks I have heard other people using are: wearing long fake nails, cutting your fingernails super short, wearing silk gloves (even to bed), always wearing a hat (not sure if you can do this in school), designating a friend/family member to watch you and physically stop you from picking, squeezing a stress ball whenever you feel like picking... Try one out, it might work for you! I know from experience that having someone to be able to confide in and who will support you is a huuuge help, so I hope you have someone like that in your life. Good luck.
November 17, 2011

In reply to by NiceOnTheIce

I used to hate having my fingernails super short, but now I don't mind so much, and it does prevent as serious damage from I'll try that from now on. I do have many very close friends (whom I love to pieces :) ) who do try to help me with this, but it isn't very consistent, and they've never physically stopped me. So maybe if I give them the ok to do that whenever they see me start to pick, it could help :) Thanks so much for the ideas and support!
November 13, 2011
Dr. Grossbart (the creator of this site) has mentioned that ADD/ADHD meds can actually aggravate picking. I'm guessing the doctor who prescribed you the ADD meds didn't know that you had an issue with picking? You may be able to try a different medicine. Oddly enough, ADD meds are actually a stimulant. So they can make you more on edge. So can caffeine. Dr. Grossbart also recommends N-Acetyl-something-or-other (which you can get at a health food store without a prescription). He says it works about half the time. You sound like you have a really bad case if you are picking to the point of blood in public and getting it on your school papers. Please don't delay getting help. It won't get better on its own any more than cancer or heart disease would. You're worth taking care of!

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