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I am new here. Not sure if there are any out there in my age group (47) that have this problem. I have had this picking problem since my 20's. I've never really given it that much thought, just an ingrained anxious habit. I realized I had OCD and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) several years ago, didn't really know what that was at first. I know that my anxiety stems from a few things related to childhood, sexual abuse, chaotic home life, and a mother who had extreme anxiety. I developed severe anxiety very early and was put on Xanax around the age of 7, which is odd for a kid to be on. I don't really recall exactly how or when my skin picking started but suppose that it was something that obviously I did in response to heightened anxiety, as a way to attempt to relieve it. Since then, I have consistently picked the skin around my fingers and especially toes. It's such a habit that I don't even realize half the time I'm doing it, and it almost feels like the feeling one would get when eating ice cream or something sweet, a very soothing feeling and relaxing, maybe even comforting. This past week something happened that has never happened from picking before. I pulled a little too much skin off the edge of big toe, and now it has become terribly infected. That's never happened before. And now I feel rather embarrassed about it, not to mention in pain. I guess for the first time since starting this obsession, I realize it's a bit of a problem. I do have to say, though, that I did attempt to stop picking back when I went to get help to overcome OCD. I was successful but only for a short period of time, and then I went back to it again. In a way, the thought of stopping it makes me anxious, a lot like the way I felt in my anorexic years. A part of me knows it's an obsession that I don't like, but another bigger part of me wants to keep doing it, almost like it's my shield or comforter and I do not know what I would do without it. This is the OCD part of me, the part of me that becomes so obsessed with my routines that anxiety over takes me at just the thought of disrupting it. It is very restricting and stressful.
In reply to Hi kimmi I am in my sixties. by Demo femme