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Hayley , 24 May 2012

I'm really scared

I've been watching this site for a while now and when I discovered it originally I near had a panic attack. I was shaken up and actually really scared. I thought this whole picking and eating my body was a habit but now I'm really worried. I've been doing this since as long as I can remember. My parents thought and still think it's a habit. In a bid to get me to stop my dad used to put a little bit of Old Spice into my wounds to clean them out but also in the hope it would stop but it never did. I'm nineteen now and I'm just a scarred mess. At the moment I've four pick spots on my face, a long cut on mu finger, three small pickable areas on my right arm, an infected cut on my pinky which is actually really painful and an almost un-pickable scab on the palm of my hand. There's also two open cuts on my right leg. I don't know what to do. I can't stop this and once it's done I just want to cry. I'm just a mass of scars that look like cigarette burns all over my body -there's not a single area I have not had a go at picking. How did you all go to the doctors for help? I'm so scared. I feel like a freak and it's really slowly eating me up inside (and out, I guess). I look diseased, I can't wear skirts because of my legs. since discovering this Dermatillomani I've tried to stop on my own but I don't know how. I feel too weak, it's just too hard. And I really don't know what to do or where to go or how to approach my parents. I'm just really struggling and need someone just to please give me advise on what to do now. I feel so cheeky, I've joined this site but I haven't even been diagnosed. I hope I'm not offending anyone but I've been picking myself since I was nine, I remember the exact first time too -on both legs, in a car the day after burning my legs going down a metal water slide on my knees. I just feel lonely and really scared and could really use some advise and just a chat.
9 Answers
May 25, 2012
Hi Hayley. I just had to write you a message because your posting really touched me. Please accept my advice and get yourself to a doctor. It sounds as though you're picking multiple areas and as you mentioned, you possibly have an infection. This calls for prompt medical attention. In my case, I waited nearly 20 years until I finally told my doctor about skin picking. It was an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders to share this with her. A doctor will provide help and confidentiality too. Getting help and professional medical advice with get your health back on track. These boards offer plenty of support too. Take care and be kind to yourself. :)
Demo femme
May 25, 2012

In reply to by MysteriousSunshine

Sunshine, I,m so relieved to find another twenty year sufferer, I have eating disorders etc. but it seems I just add addictions instead of at least replacing them. I destroyed my entire life from these. I hope you still have time.....
May 25, 2012

In reply to by Demo femme

I've always wondered about the relation with other disorders. I know I've suffered from eating disorders which are under control, but it can still be a struggle at times when I'm not happy with myself. I've also used to obsessively clean which is also not as prominent anymore. I have been struggling for 3 years with picking the skin under my eyebrows and plucking (gross I know), but before that I suffered for 7 years picking my face. I figure 10 years is enough. If I do not kick this now while I am young, I never will. I don't want to lose any more years that could be happy years of my life. This disorder makes me miserable and I know it.
May 25, 2012

In reply to by MysteriousSunshine

Thank you so much; it really means so much to know that people like yourself are out there to talk to. I'm going to make an appointment on Monday and see a nurse -the NHS is great but I really don't want to take up a doctor's time with this when there's a heatwave going on up in my end of Scotland. Thank you for the reassurance. It really means the world to me right now, especially on days like yesterday when I felt so so low about it all. It sounds almost funny but when I was younger I used to think I was a little monster, possessed by a demon or something because I didn't know why I felt the need to eat myself and to hurt myself. It's almost funny now to think that I once thought that and here I've found a site with people exactly like myself :) Thank you so so much for just talking to me; it honestly means so much
Demo femme
May 25, 2012
Hayley, We are not alone anymore. We will find a way.
May 30, 2012
Hi Hayley, I hope that you have started off your week well. I wanted to reach out to you because your story also touched my heart and it kills me to know that someone else in the world is also going through such hardship. This is by far one of the hardest things I have ever gone through as well. I have been picking for well over ten years and over the last year I have actually stopped picking for the most part (somewhat of an on and off process, sometimes I don't pick at all and then I have weeks when it tends to come back) and I have learned quite a bit over the last years about this. I wanted to share just a few things with you: I have a blog and talk about my experiences and here is one of my posts on skin picking: Also here is a short article I just read this week which I think is very interesting: I will be writing a little more about this soon too, but there are very severe, serious psychological effects of acne and therefore also picking. Your parents absolutely may not understand how serious and real this problem is, but if needed, please educate them and show them how this truly affects your life. My parents never took it lightly and were always supportive and funnily enough I am quite certain I learned the habit from my Dad and my brother also skin picks (much worse than I do, but he does). Just know that even if your parents never find a way to understand this, and they may not, that you do have many people here who understand and can be of much support to you. I think you need to find some things that will work for you along with building your confidence. You are young and beautiful and you just need to find a way to allow that woman to come out. It might take some time, some crying, some frustration, some anger or panic, among many other things but in the end, this will create clarity for you, and you will start writing a new page to your life! I actually am a Holistic Health Coach, and have just been released to start seeing clients which is quite exciting, but I wanted to extend something to you that I have seen change some other skin pickers lives thus far but it is a simple health history consultation. I am doing them for free, it is just 50 minutes of your time but what it can offer to you is a way to speak about different health aspects and concerns in your life with someone really listening. If you happen to be interested in doing something like this I would be blessed to be able to speak with you. My e-mail is and you are welcome to e-mail me whenever you need if you wish. There is also information on my blog. I am sending love and light your way I truly extend my support and care to you through this process. Don't you fret though, you will get there, you will heal and you will be so happy when you look into the mirror! With so much love, Vanessa

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