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HippieWitch , 27 Aug 2012

Scalp Picking!!!

my story: i don't even know when it started.. i think it's been about 2 years now that i have done this. It started with one little scab on my scalp for whatever reason it got there i don't know. Anyway; now i have anywhere between 9-10 areas on my scalp that are sore right now. I pick the scab and make my head bleed (i just picked one as i was typing this) Bad i know but it started to twinge and when it twinges it's like it tells me to relieve the ouch by picking more. (weird i know) but that's what it does. When i do pick there is a ritual to how it is to be done.. i find a hard one (healed scab) and begin picking it until i have managed to break it free from my scalp and then i manage to pull it down through my hair until i look at it and examine it and then i eat it. (gross i know) but it is what i do. After i eat the scab or as i am chewing on it; i then go back to the place where i just picked and feel around my head with my finger until i feel a wet spot which means i have made it bleed and i massage the area with my finger (which feels really good by the way) all the while my finger is getting bloody i take my hand out of my hair and examine the blood on my finger and i begin to lick the blood off my finger (there isn't allot) and then i go back to the same spot to feel it out and sometimes i will look at my spot in the mirror to see where my hair is bloody. And this one time i lost the scab in my hair and i panicked - i didn't pull it out all the way and then it got lost in my hair and i couldn't find it again until i ran my fingers through my hair waiting on my fingers to feel a bump in my hair shaft and then i am 'i found it' and then pull it out and eat it and one time it fell on my shirt and i looked all over my shirt until i spotted it and one time it fell on the ground and i actually found the scab; picked it up and examined it but that time i didn't eat it - but i did examine it. (i am weird; i know) I don't like that i do this and my hubby and family members all just tell me to "stop it" and yea; like that works - sometimes it makes me want to pick even more just cause they told me to stop it. Sometimes my whole head is either so sore or is bleeding from all the places i have picked - at night while i lay in bed is the worse. I have tried wearing a do rag hair thing at night so i won't pick but usually i say F-it and throw the hat on the floor and start picking. During the day since i don't work if i am not doing something productive i will pick till i almost have to sit on my hands... but that doesn't work either. i have also started pulling out the hairs around the scab area that i pick cause the hairs start to blend in with the scab while it is growing back and then my hair starts to hurt - so i pull it out. So that's another ailment that i am having - so it is scab picking and hair pulling. I really want to stop doing this so bad.. and i am so glad that there is other people out there that do what i do cause i am always thinking that i am alone in this. i have tried wearing cute funky hats to distract me from having my hands go to my scalp but living in texas it is so dang hot that when wearing the hats it makes my head sweat and makes my scabbies hurt more. So i basically have given up that too.. it is so damn hard stopping.. i tell myself nice affirmations about my hair and scalp like - 'my hair is beautiful and strong' & 'my scalp is pure and healthy' but if i don't say it often enough; the affirmations don't help either.. and i am at my wit's end and am tired of hearing people tell me 'leave your hair alone or you will go bald' my hair is getting thin in the scabbie places and it's starting to affect my self esteem (well my self esteem wasn't great to begin with but that's another story) so yea. thanks 4 reading if u got this far... some of the people closest to me don't know the extreem of how my scalp and hair issues really are.. thanks 4 offering tips to help me overcome this and also thanks 4 being out there to know i am not alone!
5 Answers
August 27, 2012
I do everything you outlined, I kinda of tell myself that in my hair is fair game, b/c it's not visible as I have super thick hair, and it's not obvious unless I have a low one and I happen to pull my hair up. The pulling though, I have given myself an aversion to pulling out hair, maybe rather than giving yourself "my hair is healthy etc," affirmations, tell yourself that pulling your hair is killing it or (in my case "bad") in other words I have a really hard time just pulling out otherwise healthy hair, unless it's grey. Is it the pulling or the picking that's the most problematic? If it's the picking, I have found the acryllic nails really help with that, just fingertip length, and smoothed down, I can't lift scabs, and the picking sensation is different and not as satisfying, I can't really explain it, the tactile sensation is different. Anyway when I have fake nails on, I don't pick as often.
August 28, 2012

In reply to by Kitcat

Thanks for that suggestion. I've done it since a young child, so have a couple of small bald spots, yet still find this so Satisfying I can't stop! Ridiculous I know, but this seems to be one of the few things I do that's self-fulfilling. What a surprise to find this website, as I didn't know this was so prevalent! I'm getting some fake nails soon - try a hat at home, which reminds me that I "shouldn't" try to feel the scab inside it, but I always end up taking it off. Does anyone else have swelling below jawbone on side of neck? The more I irritate, the bigger that lump gets - a real good reason to stop this, and I am trying.
August 28, 2012
Yep, I do almost the exact same thing. I have never eaten the skin I pull off of my scalp, but I "freak out," if I pull it out and it gets lost in my hair. I also look in the mirror to see the bloody sores in my scalp from where I have picked. It feels almost like being in a trance when I pick. However, it is getting to the point where it absolutely interferes with my life. I will not be able to get things done because I have an irresistible urge to pick/scratch, etc... The only thing that has ever helped me is fake nails. If I can't feel my fingernails, then I won't pick. I don't have them right now, but up until three months ago (when I decided to remove them), I was wearing them for six months. I was good for about a week after I took them off, but then it was right back to square one. I even tried wearing thimbles on my fingers! But I know that I can remove the thimbles, so that doesn't help. I am going to get nails put back on again, because it is getting to the point where I feel like I am going crazy. I want, more than anything, to stop picking! But the urge feels almost like an addiction. I had a friend tell me I should treat it as though it WERE an addiction, which gives me a different perspective. What do you think? Also, have you ever tried wearing fake nails? I do the solar nails that you get done at a nail salon.
August 29, 2012
Wow, I had no idea how "not alone" I am in this! I appreciate your detail. I also have family who say "just stop it" and do most of the picking rituals you talk about. I have tried to quit on my own with no outside help and managed to get a few days of no picking but as soon as I had a fight with my husband, the picking restarted. I appreciate the comments here about fake nails helping with urges, but based on my experience, this type of "fix" is just temporary unless the underlying issues are addressed. I don't yet know what my issues truly are, and I'm not saying I know how to end the craziness here, either. Obviously I pick too and can't stop. I just want you to see the full picture--it has never mattered how many bandaids I've put on, how short I've kept my nails, or how many times I've sat on my hands. There's something else at work, and I guess it's now up to us to figure out why! Thanks for your story and I'll be adding my own story here soon. --Laura

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