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Coffee , 10 Jul 2012

Seeking help for my wife

Hi everyone, I've been coming to this site over the past few days to do some research; I've known for a few years that my wife struggles with dermatillomania (since we began dating, actually), and although she and I work together to prevent her from starting (I check in on her when she's in the bathroom, console her after she catches herself, etc.), I'm worried that she's not slowing down. Additionally, she refuses to seek help - I've suggested that she visit anonymous sites like this one, at least to read about it and its causes, but I think she's afraid of what she'll find. She doesn't like talking about it, either. As far as I know, her picking is limited to her face. I just know how much it affects her confidence, and I want to help her. My question for you is, how do I help her find ways to stop, if she won't open up? Is there something I can do?
8 Answers
July 10, 2012
I was thinking: 'oh God it's my husband' while reading that first few lines... I actually did. I felt so bad and ashamed... But when I get to the part where you say: 'limited to her face' I was like: 'thanks God it's not him'. But it didn't felt any better. I understang what she's going through. I do not know how to help you. If I knew I wouldn't be here. I'm struggling with that hell for years...
July 17, 2012

In reply to by Andrijana

Thank you, everyone. It helps to know these things. Sometimes I go about it wrong, and try to 'police' her, which only makes her feel untrustworthy, and sometimes makes her angry. I'll follow this advice. She's starting to open up, and is willing to look for help--possibly this website. I appreciate all the help. Thanks so much!
July 20, 2012

In reply to by Coffee

You're a good husband! It sounds like your wife is in the denial phase. Getting past the denial is probably the biggest hurdle. I believe that understanding your problem will set you free. I also believe that dermatillomania is very much related to anxiety. I suffer from both skin picking and anxiety but once I acknowledged it, I found that my anxiety started to improve quickly. Here is a resource that I found to be a logical, no nonsense approach to overcoming anxiety and anxiety related disorders. Although it doesn't address skin picking directly, I still found it very helpful. All the best to you.
July 10, 2012
just make her feel cared for. i pick more when i feel like nobody cares. ask her whats on her mind and take time to talk to her, and listen. get some expo markers and write her cute little love notes on the bathroom mirror ! thats what i would do if i were my boyfriend..
July 11, 2012

In reply to by skreed29

Yes, I agree with this. Skin picking is most likely an anxiety disorder. So when you reduce the levels of anxiety, the picking tends to be lessened. And one of the biggest causes of anxiety for a picker is feeling ugly or weird. If you just reassure her that you love her and accept her as she is, you'll be helping her more than you know.
July 12, 2012
First of all, the fact that you are here and researching says so much about you and your love for your wife. I commend you! Unfortunately, until she decides to open up and come to terms with her picking, the most you can really do is hug her tight and tell her she is beautiful. I tell my fiance I don't need him to understand, how could he? I just need him to be there and to remind me what there is to love about me. My picking problem is limited to my face too, and it took me years to really open up and seek help. This site has been my first step and it truly has helped me. If you can get her to start small, and even just journal about it, it might help her to get more comfortable with talking about it.

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