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always.sunny , 28 Aug 2012

newly diagnosed and incredibly hopeful..

I began picking when I was about five years old.. I turned 30 this year. I have had a lifelong struggle with this disorder and it wasn't until today that I found out it had a name. I have spent my entire life hiding this from everyone, and I've also reached out for help to no avail- doctors, friends, my parents, even my husband. It was easier for them to ignore my problem than to help me find answers and a way to stop. I have also been battling clinical depression for the past 12 years, so that obviously hasn't made my life any easier. But, as I'm sure many can relate, I'm a master at hiding not only my scars, scabs, and band-aids, but hiding my emotional turmoil. The past two months have been incredibly difficult (more so than usual), but having found this website feels as though I've found light at the end of my tunnel. I have a new found sense of hope now that I know I'm not alone. Please feel free to write me- I'm not terribly good at posting things (especially if its my deepest, darkest secret), but I encourage open dialogue, as I'm sure it will help with the healing process.
4 Answers
August 29, 2012
Hi there. I want to commend you for taking this important step and sharing your personal story. It is very brave and will hopefully put you on the path of healing and conquering this picking compulsion. I can relate to many of your struggles. Although, I didn't start picking until my early 20's. It goes in waves where I have good months and then seriously pitiful ones. None of my family, friends or husband have ever really mentioned my picking. I finally told my doctor recently, which was a tremendous relief. She is very supportive, but during the truly bad picking episodes, I stay home and hibernate. So, nobody really sees the real damage. Even at home, I will try to cover it up with make-up. This issue has negatively affected so many areas of my life. I believe that it has been a major issue in my depression battle too. Finding this website and others that can relate has seriously been magical. I thought that I was completely alone in this. It's nice to have the support, comfort and understanding. I am hoping that I can offer that too! :) Remember that you are a beautiful person no matter what!
August 30, 2012

In reply to by MysteriousSunshine

Thank you for the kind words of support. I’m finding this revelatory discovery both relieving (knowing I’m not alone) and stressful (the fact it’s a disorder). I’ve already attempted reaching out for support from loved ones, and my mother has given the topic an icy reception. I suppose I can’t blame her- it would be counter-productive. But I am astonished that her response to my research is “its only as big as you let it get.” I wish it were that simple. Perhaps I’m jaded (since she failed to take action during my entire childhood). Be that as it may, it is what it is and if I want to heal from this, I have to do it myself. Fortunately I’ve found a community on this website that will provide the support I can’t seem to find elsewhere.
September 01, 2012

In reply to by always.sunny

I am so glad to have found this forum and able to read other peoples experience with this disorder - I thought I was alone and I was so embarrassed. I am picking up tips (latex gloves when I wash my face - much harder to feel the bumps). I want to share my journey as I try to control it - one day at a time.
August 31, 2012
Thanks for sharing. I have been the same way...embarrased that I pick at myself. I had no idea that there were others who did the same. I just found this site about a month I decided its time to exchaned thoughts and ideas with others who can relate, because no one seems to be able to understand this problem. Yesterday was the first time in my life that I went to a doctor seeking help, I admitted what I did to myself and asked if she knew of any dressings, creams, pills...anything to help me. I was shocked and felt so hopeless at her medical advice to me...she said to wear long sleeves so I wouldn't be able to get at them!!! Seariously...that was her solution. U and I both know that long sleeves are no barrier to this! I have searched the internet looking for doctors, and therapists who may have some realistic ideas for me. It seems to be an issue that people like us have hid for so long that no one knows what to do, if they even knew it was a problem at all. Once I had a police officer bluntly tell me he knew I was a drug addict because my arms gave it away. I am NOT a drug addict but that really opened my eyes to how the world views our problem...I wonder if when we seek advice from doctors if they think that we are drug addicts trying to cover it with bs and that we sometimes aren't even aware of what we are doing. I look at my scarred limbs and curse them...but I have to realize that even with this horrible problem I need to be thankful that I have arms and legs. We neeed to try to find the positive and find the strength and willpower to be able to control ourselves. I know its possible...but how to get there?? Do u know anyone personally with this problem or just people like us hiding behind the screen? Personally, I have only this site for confort. Again, thank u for being brave enough to share...WE CAN DO THIS!! :)

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