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Cog619 , 23 Dec 2011

How do you tell others?

I've realized that I've always picked at my body. When I was younger, I would pick at any scab I got. As I grew into a teen, I would spend at least 30 minutes in front of my bathroom mirror picking at my face or back. I used to joke around with myself and call it my "nightly pick". In class I would pick at my arms. My arms got so scarred up that even my friends started to notice and would ask what was wrong with my shoulders or arms. I would just lie to them and say that they were bug bites or scratches from my dogs. I became so self conscious of my back and shoulders because they were so scarred that I stopped wearing anything that revealed them. It's only until recently that I realized that this was a serious problem and other people were experiencing the same thing. Now I want to get help, but I have no idea how to tell my family. I'm so embarrassed about it. Any advice??
3 Answers
December 23, 2011
First and foremost know that you are not alone and that I support you and your decision to tell your family. Know that it IS difficult. Before I told my mom I was very scared and the thing that scared me the most was that she wouldn't believe me or that she would just brush it off and tell me to stop. You have to understand that is a very likely situation unfortunately, but your family will still love you and try to support you. I have tried explaining it to my mom over and over again but she does not understand...and that's okay. People who don't go through this WILL NOT get it. This is not something that will power can handle....this is a ritual, a compulsion, something that relieves anything in our lives. Of course people will tell you to stop, but whatever you do, stand your ground and try to make them understand that you need help. Mention the fact that if you could have stopped picking, you would have a long time ago. Mention that you feel lost or confused. Personally, I still don't know why I pick and honestly prayer or will power does nothing. I sought for personal help and it DOES help! Your family loves you...they won't get it, but they will try and that is what matters :) Good luck!
December 25, 2011
hi and happy christmas to you! i wanted to respond because it is something i feel strongly about since i think it is part of the answer on how to make it less of a problem. speaking out about this alleviates the 'shame' attached to it (okay maybe not all of us feel shame but i know alot do) - the secrecy bit can manifest in feelings of guilt. talking to the right people can help identify if there is a connection with feelings. i have discussed this on 'first step admitting to the outside world' which i am adding to regularly since i find posting on this site has been so very helpful. somehow having a special place to come when i am feeling a little scared or forget how much i want to stop picking is helping SO much. Your scars should heal easily because you are young and skin regenerates quickly BUT habits can be a challenge to break but any improvement is good. - Try to notice how you pick.(sometimes there is a 'choice' moment before picking versus the times when there is pure compulsion) if it is related to an anxious thought/feelings identifying these feelings could deter from at least a few of the picking sessions. What i am trying to say is it is worth seeing if there is a link and then if there is, talking about these to someone. your family may be more understanding if you explain it is linked to emotions. as i put on my post, i admitted to my boyfriend about my 'scratching' when anxious. Scratching seems more of an acceptable word somehow. it was a step for me as i couldnt use the word 'pick' - dont know why! can write freely on this site now using this word but it still conjures up self-disgust. Anyway after talking to him about it i did feel great. it was a step in right direction. If you do tell your family then good luck and very best wishes.
December 25, 2011
I started to cry after reading this post for many reasons. I believe I could have wrote that we have went through the exact same thing, the arm picking at school.. now its all over my face, my chest, my shoulders, my back. im so ashamed and embarressed. ive looked into laser scar removal it costs a bomb! just to say i am here and you are not alone. thank u so much for posting.

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