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Allesha34 , 18 Apr 2012

Don't Even Realize

I have been picking my skin for a long time. I will be twenty years old in less than a month. I have been doing this since I was young, and I know it's been at least ten years of picking. When I was younger I thought I was the only one who did this, none of my friends ever did, my siblings and dad never did; so I thought I was just different and weird. It starts with chewing my nails (another very bad habit of mine) all the way to the nail bed. After that, I pick at the nail bed and then end up peeling it away and that leads to more and worse peeling/picking of my skin. I never realized that there were more people that did the same thing or that there was actually a name for what I was doing until I went online and searched if picking my fingers was a problem and found dermatillomania. My dad has told me for years to stop picking my fingers and ask me why I do it, but I really don't know. I will start picking if the skin is imperfect (like noticing dead skin) and I will pick until the skin is smooth. I am stressed quite often. There are times when I will be picking/chewing at my fingers without even realizing it, while watching television or sitting in class. So I pick no matter what, if I am stressed, bored, or when I find an imperfection. I have picked at the bottoms of my feet before too, but not near as often as my fingers. It gets really annoying when I pick my fingers and someone notices then grabs my hands and tell me, "Stop it! You need to stop that!" Last night I picked at my fingers, and my index finger really bad. I picked and peeled the skin on the under side of my index finger all the way down to my first knuckle, it hurts of course. While talking with my boyfriend he grabbed my hand and of course told me to stop. Sure I know they care, but I can't simply just stop. I would love to stop picking my fingers, it's not like I enjoy hurting myself. I can't find anything that will help me stop. I can tell myself, "Okay, I am not going to pick my skin", but a little while later I will, without realizing, be picking my fingers. Then at that point it's too late and my skin isn't smooth so I tell myself, "Okay after this I will stop picking my skin." Turning into one long cycle, which eventually leads to me just giving up on quitting. I might as well wear gloves all day, every day, for the rest of my life. I honestly am not sure if I will ever be able to stop.

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