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lalala_izzy , 21 Jul 2012

"you told me my scars were beautiful, but my wounds repulsed you "

hi, all. my name is izabella and i've been picking since i was around 5. i'm 19 now. the first time i remember (and i know it definitely wasn't the first altogether), i was around 5 and in my bathroom, obsessively picking before my bath. i gathered up all of my scabs and placed them on the counter. i wasn't sure what to do with them so i ate them. i am pretty positive this was never a learned behavior; i just did it. so, time went on, i moved to a rural area in my state with my mother and her new boyfriend. the picking got increasingly worse as the years went by. at 11, i was placed into foster care and the picking had stopped somewhat. i still picked my legs and arms occasionally. but i left my face alone. yay, accomplishment for a foster child. when i turned 14, i was placed into a different foster home where i stayed for 2-ish years. the picking was so bad, that my foster parents had to literally hold me down to clean and bandage my wounds. i was removed from their care shortly after my 16th birthday, and went to live in a residential treatment facility for girls in my area. the picking stopped completely! i also self-harm (burn and cut), and i didn't even pick the scabs then! it was great i stayed there until may, 2012. so, i'm 19 years old now. i'm living on my own and in my sophomore year of college. did i mention i was on my own yeah. the picking is insane. i can't even count the wounds i have on my body right now. i'm currently working in therapy (just regular ol' DBT) to learn new skills to replace the picking. if this fails, i'm definitely trying EMDR therapy. it's used typically for trauma victims (especially soldiers with PTSD), but i think my trauma has a ton to do with it. thanks for reading! i wish everyone a happy recovery. <3
2 Answers
July 22, 2012
You've been through a hell of a lot in your 19 years, izabella. Wishing you lots of success with your treatment. It can be harder when you're living on your own. Is there any possibility of getting a flatmate or something?
July 22, 2012
Hi Izabella, I'm 35yrs old and have been picking my skin for over 20yrs. I too had a traumatic childhood. I've suffered from anxiety for most of my life and I think my skin picking has been a form of escapism. When i pick, i'm totally in a zone where i'm not thinking or stressing about anything. I'm so focused on picking that nothing enters my mind. I lock myself in the bathroom for hours and completely massacre my face and arms. Right now, i'm covered in big weeping sores and revolting scabs. I've had a MAJOR pick fest the past few days and i look hidious. I have to go to work in 5 hours and i'm dreading it. I've decided to finally get therapy for this disgusting disorder. I'm sick of feeling ashamed and embarrassed about my skin. Good luck with your therapy. I hope it's successful for you because i know living with dermatillomania is a nightmare.

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