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Nicoley , 19 May 2012

'Dermatillomania' a.k.a 'A Bad Habit'

When I started 'picking' at my skin four years ago, I did it because blemishes scared me and I wanted them gone. I was unaware I would soon be labelled as 'mentally ill.' When I didn't know anything was wrong with me, I told no one about it, and I was at my worst. Then one day I had to put on more make up than usual. Even on my arms. An ex-best-friend told everyone I knew about my very visible flaw. People avoided me, and I avoided people. Marijuana brought me temporary happiness. When the high wore off I I would crave food, after that I would lose control of my fingers as they examined every pore. I'm not sure when I realized I had an addiction to my skin, when I did I told my doctor and my mom. Since then I've seen countless doctors, a hypnotist, and dermatologists. After seeing all these people I learned the only one that could help me is myself. I put up signs, cut my nails off as a reminder, and opened up to other people in my life. I drew a picture of my 'illness' for art class. I didn't intend for anyone to see it but the teacher. She put it up on her wall in her office without my permission. She doesn't tell anyone who made it but I think it's pretty obvious. Only recently I started to make big changes, or bigger changes, for the better. I quit smoking weed. I started exercising and eating healthy. I stopped wearing make up when I went outside. The biggest change I've made is wearing t shirts despite the unappealing appearance of my arms. Because no one really cares. Some people see the fact that no one cares as a negative thing. Now I'm seeing it as a very positive thing. Not hiding behind make up and clothing was the hardest method I've tried to stop picking, but it has worked the best. This illness has crippled me for so long but now it's only made me wiser and stronger. I'm still healing, and I might relapse but even if I do I now know better than ever before that time heals all, and I'll always have more time.
2 Answers
May 19, 2012
Good for you in taking control and doing things that you know would normally trigger the urge to pick, such as cutting your nails and posting signs. This is a hard illness to overcome but you are staying positive and working hard to have a great future! I feel your pain as it has crippled many aspects of my life too. I will say that zoloft has helped me out a lot since picking is part of the OCD spectrum and zoloft works well with OCD and similar disorders. Also I see a psychiatrist to help me sort out my thoughts and to get to the bottom of why I have been compulsive with this. I wish you the best of luck and please know your not alone!
May 22, 2012

In reply to by seekingserenity7

Cutting nails and posting signs helped a little bit, but what really helped me was wearing t shirts, not wearing make up, exercising, eating right, and getting sunlight. I took Zoloft since I was 14 and quit around the same time I quit weed. I didn't like the way it effected my personality. Anti-depressants and weed together probably drained the dopamine and serotonin in my brain. I'm glad that you think Zoloft is helping you though. But I personally don't think you need to rely on drugs to control it. Thank you for the reply, take it a day at a time.

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