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JoeyB , 13 Mar 2012

Im new to this...

This is very new to me and a little scary to admit and before I sought a therapist I thought talking to others with this issue may help me feel more comfortable to do so.. and due to a very present and scary issue of losing my job..this issue has reared its ugly head. I have, for years, picked my cuticles... and to me, this act seemed very mindless and more importantly harmless. It is untill recently that I have realized that it has effected my nails and my self esteem. I have been through a lot in my life and have always prided myself on being very strong which is what my friends would describe me as after they hear my history. I am in the mist of losing my job and am feeling very alone and sad.. and anxiety seems to worsen my skin picking. It has almost become a joke with my friends that I do so actually. I use a particular push pin, used for pinning things to a bulletin board to help me out with this obsession. My coworkers used to comment and now have stopped due to the progression in its use. My boyfriend often comments that I need to stop and we have actually gotten in small arguments because i feel i "just need to get this one little piece off and then ill be done for the night", which in turn, becomes excessive bleeding and shame. I have never addressed this and am just looking for some insight as to how to go about treating this. Because it is only my nails and just causes my fingers to look horrible I have never thought anything of it...and just want to make sure it is worthy of treatment...
1 Answer
March 22, 2012
Hi Joey, I am sure your compulsion is the same for cuticles as it is for skin. And there is definitely hope out there, i think you need to just read up on dermatillomania, and just associate the skin picking with nail/cuticle picking. Read and address your feelings and reasoning of why you do it, how you feel while you do this, and how you feel afterward. For me, just learning that picking away at skin, scabs, pimples was creating just more of it all. I used to think that i am helping myself heal faster, when in turn, I was making more damage than i knew. So if you can associate picking your nails with hurt instead of pleasure, know that. You are only prolonging the healing, and being aware of what you do with your hands all the time...this may help. Dump the pushpin in the garbage, and stop your self mentally before you decide to pick again. Occupy your hands with something else, untill you break the habit, and until you are so happy about the way your hands look, about how you are no longer arguing with your boyfriend, and until you feel relaxed at work and it's no longer interfesring with your life. Push stress into something else, not picking. Just try to find something else to do, and slowly but surely, you can overcome this! Good luck, SC

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