I really can't believe I found this site. I've been wanting so badly to find out more about compulsive skin picking, wondering if anyone else on the face of the earth does it to the extent I do, and I'm so happy I'm not alone. I've actually been reading posts in the forum for about two weeks, trying to work up the courage to talk about how I feel. I'm in high school right now and I've been picking for about as long as I can remember. I actually have vivid memories of walking around the playground of my elementary school, picking at my nails and being simply thrilled about the good chunk of skin I was able to rip off of my finger tips. I developed anxiety disorder when my mother got remarried and my mental state has been worsening since. Currently, I pick at my nails, finger tips, arms, legs, back, shoulders, face, chest, and stomach; really any skin that I can reach (and I can't, I'll surely bend over backwards trying). My skin is spotted and raw from the picking and scratching I do and I can't find any support in the world I'm in right now, and I'm glad I can seek support here. I live alone with my mother right now and she doesn't know how bad it is (she thinks it's just my arms), my friends are disgusted by it and are always telling me to just stop (thank you for the advice. Never thought of that), and my boyfriend is more or less indifferent about it. My problem is that, although I am ashamed because society tells me that this compulsion is abnormal, I don't want to stop. It feels like I've tried everything to replace it as a release; writing, popping rubber bands, exercise, video games, therapy etc., but it feels like I've become too reliant on the comfort following the picking. I'm kind of afraid of what I may find to replace it if the need to pick really does leave my head and I can't imagine a world where I wouldn't be able to scratch my arm and feel a wave of relief whenever I needed it. It's a very confusing feeling. If anyone has any advice or any stories to share with me, I'd really appreciate it.