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since_age_10 , 17 Nov 2011

New to the forum, desperate to overcome my addiction to picking

Until discovering this forum, I really felt like I was the only one who inflicted this kind of pain on myself. Since the age of 10, I've been an incessant, relentless picker of my chest, forehead and back and I'm very afraid that I've done irreversible damage. I'm extremely desperate to break this habit and I cry about my inability to stop on an almost nightly basis, but it feels like an addiction. Family members and friends tell me to "simply stop" but it's not that easy, as I'm sure you all understand. I'm new to this website, so any advice, tips or success stories would be greatly appreciated. Can anyone point me in the right direction/tell me how to most effectively navigate this resource? Thank you.
5 Answers
November 25, 2011
Have u thought of seeing a therapist? One that focuses on Obsessive Compulsive Behavior? I think our picking is a sort of addiction. A therapist might help you identify why and create better coping methods. Sounds easier than it is. What do you use to pick? Just your fingers? One person mentioned he cut his nails way back so they wouldn't break the skin. Might help. Another question...what happend when u were 10 that started the habit? Might be good to "start there." When do you NOT pick? What are you doing when u don't pick? Could increase that which helps you avoid it. Just some thoughts...
November 29, 2011

In reply to by Deb

Thank you for your response and suggestions. I'm actually going to see a psychologist in December. It will be my first time and I'm hoping he has some helpful suggestions. I think I adopted my picking habit when I was 10 because that's when I started wanting to do really well in school. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get nothing less than straight As and to be at the top of my class at all times. Picking became a way of keeping myself focused...if I felt myself starting to not pay attention to my studies, I would scratch myself. So it's like a self-inflicted punishment. I continue to put myself under a lot of academic pressure and so the picking continues. I pick whenever I'm studying, doing problem sets and especially when taking exams. I'll definitely be talking to the psychologist about all this.
November 29, 2011
Hi i have picked my skin face shoulders back and arms for six years i am 29 and have irrerversible scars it upsets me every day and cant stop thinking about it and looking in mirrors and seeing what damage i have done something which does reduce the damage for me is false acrylic nails its hard to get a grip of your skin but i still havent conquered getting rid of that urge when i work it out i will share this with you my heart goes out to you i know how you feel ime hear to chat anytime
November 29, 2011

In reply to by cathy

Thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry that your scars upset you. Mine upset me too. I want to go out in tank tops and grow out my bangs but I'm embarrassed to reveal the damage I've done to my forehead and back. I recently got a scar fading cream that I apply twice a day to the areas I have the greatest tendency to pick. It seems to be helping since whenever I reach to pick those places, I feel the cream and it reminds me not to do it. Maybe you could try that too? I too will share with you any strategies that work for me. I'm supposed to see a psychologist in December about this; I'll let you know what he says.
December 04, 2011

In reply to by since_age_10

Thank you i have been seeing a psychologist for some time now my skin picking has reduced a little but i am finding the after affects difficult the damage i have done to my face etc i am going to a self esteem group as i have lost a lot of confidence i feel my face has aged ten years but if i can work from within myself hopefully my outer self wil improve good luck with your appointment.

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