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orana , 11 Jun 2012

I'm the new kid on the block - help!

After struggling with this for 10 years, never knowing that skin picking was so prevalent, I stumbled upon a random article yesterday about "skinorexia" and as I searched online I found so many people hurting with this like me. I am so relieved that I now have an answer for why I could never leave my face and scabs alone. I've read similar things about people who feel like they're so alone and the only one out there - my heart goes out to you - I can't remember the very first time, but I know I started in the beginning of high school with acne and blackheads. My mom actually told me "well if you squeeze it, it might heal faster". It just went from there. My childhood and particularly high school were difficult for me; my brother is severely autistic and his behavioral outbursts made it hard to function as a normal family. Many times I felt humiliated as other people stared at us in restaurants, churches, grocery stores, people made more than one rude comment to us. I never EVER brought friends home and my parents often fought with each other. I was depressed and lonely. Given that I have been counseled for social anxiety disorder as well, this was just another way I coped and relieved all the stress of these things I couldn't control. But now after college, and beginning a successful career, those stressors are gone, but the picking remains. A rough day at work, worrying about an upcoming test or event sometimes boredom...I start to pick. I've tried so many acne products - probably everything in the drug store at least once. I tried Proactiv and while it did make my skin better, I stopped having it come in that oh-so-subtle "PROACTIV" packaging...carrying that through my apartment building was too embarrassing to me. Like everyone knew that my face was so terrible I needed the big guns... I've had some progress recently with Clinique's 3 step skin care. Love how the mosturizer feels. But my stress level with grad school is compulsing me to pick, especially blackheads around my nose and chin. While every co-worker has beautiful manicured nails, mine are so short and stubby from ripping the nails off, sometimes to the point of bleeding. So from square one - where do I start? I don't know whether to go back to my old social anxiety counselor or to find someone new. I've never spoken about this out loud to a soul, not my family, close friends or boyfriend. Would facials, manicures, pedicures break the cycle while I find someone for counseling, psychotherapy? What have other people done as their "first steps"? Please help! Thank you!
1 Answer
June 21, 2012
Hi Orana, I may be able to help you. I do a phone coaching program that may be a better alternative for you than psychotherapy, especially since most therapists don't know the first thing about skin picking. I have been there. I have just started this program recently and am working with two people from this site who are doing very well with my coaching. Check out my website at Please contact me through my website to set up a free consultation. This goes for anyone else reading as well. Love and support, Annette (Arati)

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