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ChangeNow , 06 Jul 2012

Fast results, but not fast enough

Hi, I've been reading on this forum for a while, but this is my first posting. I've been done minor skin picking and hair pulling for as long as I remember, but I didn't see it as a problem until 2 years ago even many people have commented on it over the years. What made me reach my personal bottom was freaking out over 3 soars (originally moscito bites) that hasn't healed for over 2 years. I started to freak out, tripping about skin cancer, but deep inside me I knew that I created it myself by picking many times every day at them. I also started to grow an increased awarness of how uneven and frizzy my hair is because of my constant pulling. I always been pulling and picking in public and never felt ashamed of it until lately. However, at times I had more extreme behaviors: for instance for years I was pulling skins of my heals until it bleed and I could hardly walk. I also rip of pieces of my finger nails and pull of the surronding skin and that maked my fingers look really terrible. I never realized that I might have dermi- and trichotilomania since my behaviors never got as extreme as the "TV-cases". First after starting to read your stories last month, I realized that I do have these diseases, just in a milder version. For the past few weeks I've been constantly focusing on leavin to of my soars alone and they have now turned into normal nicelooking scars. The third spot I'm still picking at. In addition I created a few new very small picking spot. For the first time in my 40 year old life I have longer fingernails and I am no longer ashamed of my hands. I pick a little bit on the surronding skin and I clean my nails way to often, but my picking has shown great improvment on this spot. I touch my hair less and I cut it a little bit shorter which I think help. I overall feel very satisfied with my great progress, but what bothers me is that I can't hold my finger still, not even a minute. I get very anxious if my hands are not constantly moving. Even if I not yet understand the whole picture, I know that my behaviors springs from anxiety. I know I have to deal with the underlying problem (the anxiety), but for now I focus on harm reduction. My next goal is to let my 3rd 2 year old soar heal and stop picking at the new picking spots in my face. (LOL I just found myself pulling my hair as I was thinking of what to write next). I also have to leave my hair alone. I feel a little bit scattered since this is a new awareness to me. I will to continue to write about my progress here and I want you all to know that I'm reall thankful you are hear. Thanks for listening,
3 Answers
July 07, 2012
I'm 49 years old and I've been picking at scabs since I was 5 years old. I have always had a sore somewhere at all times - on my chin, back, ears, that I picked. I can't remember not having a sore to pick at. My last sore was on my ear. I'd had it for 3 years. I've been on antidepressants for 10 years and they never stopped me from picking. Earlier this year, I started drinking skim milk every day. I go through a half gallon a week. Since I started drinking milk, my desire to pick has lessened. Also, in April I bought an ipad and started teaching myself to paint with artrage. Every day I have to create one painting. Two weeks ago, I stopped picking my ear. The sore I had for 3 years has finally healed. I don't believe painting alone helped me stop. I truly believe whatever is in milk lessened my need to pick. I wonder if studies have been done about the affect milk has on dermatillomania. Drinking milk has cured me, I pray that it can help thousands of others who suffer from this disease.
July 16, 2012

In reply to by guaa

Since I wrote last time I have continued to make progress. I still pick a little and pull a little in my hair every day, but way less than ever before. I think my progress is due partly to will power, but more importantly I've had a change of concious. My nails look fine and i have started to feel like I don't even want to touch them, but i still pick a little on the skin around them. My 2+ year old scab on my arm has healed now, but the scar is ugly and I feel very tempted to touch it. My thoughts and hands are still very obsessed with that old picking spot. I currently don't have any "active" picking spots and I'm very proud to share that. My next step will be to order silicon patches so i can improve the condition of some old scars. I will do my very best to not pick or pull and to try to keep my hands more still. I feel like I'm seriously reprogramming myself. Thanks for reading and good luck to you all. Guaa, thank you for your reply.
July 16, 2012

In reply to by ChangeNow

That's great! I'm so happy for you! I know how you feel about the anxiety. Actually, I have the tendency to pick when I don't know what to write next myself. (Not something I'm proud of certainly but a coincidence.) I hope you achieve your goals!

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