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somethingwrong , 03 Oct 2012

New here: Need Help

Hi, I'm new here. I'm twenty-two and I've dealt with this stuff my whole life. I've read over some of the posts and am relieved to see that I'm not the only one who does these things. I didn't know that this is an actual disorder; I've always thought that I'm honestly just gross and weird. I still think so; I'm really sick of myself and I feel like this is taking over my life. I've been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and my Dr's have mentioned that I may need to be tested for Bipolar Disorder and OCD. I haven't told my Dr's about everything that I do and how much it's affecting my life. I'm terrified of being judged. The only person who knows is my fiancee... because he caught me. Luckily he doesn't really care. I still don't do it in front of him, though... I'm going to tell you what I do and how it immediately affects my daily life. Hopefully someone will be able to give me some advice or something, because I'm at my wits end.... It started with me biting my nails when I was really young; I think I was four or five. I saw my mom biting her nails and mimicked. It got bad quickly. I started with my finger nails and moved to biting my toenails. I eventually stopped biting my toenails, but I still clip them too short and chew on the clippings. I still bite my finger nails. It's so bad that sometimes they bleed, and they are ALWAYS sore. I frequently get ingrown nails that hurt so much I can't touch anything with that finger. I even had to have a toenail removed when I was younger because it because ingrown. It's also gotten to the point where I sometimes bite or clip off the skin around my nail and eat that, too. In Junior High and High School I had really bad acne, and to this day I always have multiple blemishes on my face, neck, ears, chest, and back. My mother made a HUGE deal out of it and made me let her pop them because she said if I didn't, it meant I didn't care about how I looked. She had these fake nails on all of the time because she never stopped biting hers, and it hurt so much... Eventually she stopped and I picked up where she left off. At first I would only do it in the morning. I would go to the mirror before I hopped in the shower and I would pop any white head or black head that I could see. Then I felt like I was okay for school or the rest of the day. Over the year it got progressively worse, and now I spend hours a day at the mirror finding ANYTHING I can. It starts in the morning; as soon as I wake up in the morning I head to the bathroom. I spend about an hour in there getting ready for the day, and thirty minutes of that is sitting in front of the mirror popping and squeezing. Then literally EVERY time I go to the restroom during the day (usually 4 or five times) I spend fifteen to twenty minutes staring in the mirror, looking for new blemishes. Sometimes I even go to the bathroom during the day JUST to check for new ones. Finally, at night, I spend another hour, just looking for something to get rid of. If I'm going somewhere, I can't drive because I have to look in the visor mirror to check for pimples before we get to our destination, even thought I checked right before we left. I have trouble falling asleep because I'm feeling through my hair and scalp for anything that might be hiding on my head. Sometimes I try and pop pimples that aren't "ready". The ones deep under the skin. Then they become red and sore and look even worse. To top it all off, I eat the stuff. When I pop anything, I eat whatever comes out. I know it's disgusting, but I just feel compelled to, like I have to. Whenever I find a scab on my body, I HAVE to pick it off and eat it. It always scars, and I always know it's going to scar, but I do it anyway. It doesn't matter how much it hurts, how big or small it is, or anything. I regularly have small open sores on my body from picking and eating my scabs. I've seen that some people actually pick at their skin to make scabs. Luckily I haven't gotten this far. Along with staring in the mirror looking for blemishes, I CONSTANTLY pluck at my eyebrows. Every time I look in a mirror I have to find one or two hairs to pluck. At one point I had plucked them so thin they were almost gone. It was horrifying and ugly. I also pick my nose and eat what I get out. I do this two or three times a day, especially before I go into public or see friends. When I was young I used to get really dry feet and the skin on the bottom would peel. Now that I'm older it doesn't happen as often, but when it does I pull off the peeling skin and eat it. I also peel and eat the skin that comes off when you get sunburn, and eat flakes of dandruff I sometimes find on my scalp. I pick out ingrown hairs whenever I find one. I know that's not really awful, but it's what I do after that. When I pull it out, I eat the clear bulb-thing at the bottom of the hair. I feel CONSUMED by all of this! I spend hours of my day in the bathroom. I have to carry around tweezers. I have them in the bathroom, bedroom, and in my purse so I always have them. To make matters WORSE, I've become obsessed with my fiancee's acne as well. I pick at him almost every night, but I DO NOT eat what I get off of him. He hates it, and thinks it's really weird that I'm obsessed with popping his pimples. Luckily he's not so disgusted that he's going to leave. On top of everything, I have a Thyroid condition that makes it really hard for me to lose weight, so over the past few years after I graduated I've become much larger than I would like. I'm five-seven and weight about 215lbs. I hate my body, I hate all of these things that I do, and I hate myself. I know no one online can really do anything, and I know that I'm ranting. I guess I just hope to hear that I'm not the only one going through this :(
6 Answers
October 03, 2012
Oh, I also forgot to add that I bite and peel the skin off my lips and eat it... My lips are generally sore and sometimes bleed. Ugh.
October 03, 2012
You are certainly not alone! It's scary to admit all the "weird junk" we pickers do, but it's cathartic. I think it's a big step to take to admit the problems you have, and to see out help for it. You can definitely take control of your picking habits, and it starts with committing to quitting. I can't say enough to people who post on here who state that they want to quit--you have to be 100% committed! I quit picking about 3 weeks ago and am still hanging in there. I still have the urge to pick but it is dramatically less than when I quit. If you scan through the posts on this forum, you'll find lots of helpful tips for quitting. Our stories are very similar, and trust me, it's tough but worth it to quit. You will feel empowered by quitting--it's something in your life you can control. Good luck to you, and get better soon. :)
October 05, 2012
Was it in a way therapeutic to let all of that out? I hope it was. Just remember you're never alone. Be careful with picking at your financee because you know from first hand experience it starts with small things to life altering. You're never alone. This is a community, a support system. Utilize it :-) Keep us posted.
October 06, 2012

In reply to by twiggy

It was really nice to be able to tell people who actually get what I'm going through. I can't even being to explain how all of this makes me feel, though I'm sure if anyone, you and others here know without me having to explain. I honestly never thought about it that way (considering my fiancee), but I'm definitely going to try and stop myself picking at him. I don't want any one to feel this was because of me! Thanks so much for your advice! :)
October 05, 2012
You are definitely NOT ALONE! I share most of the compulsions and behaviors you described, right down to the eating stuff (which i am totally disgusted by). Skin picking is a pathalogical grooming disorder in which normal grooming habits are taken to an extreme. For some reason our brains derive too much pleasure from picking and plucking which makes it extremely difficult to stop. Skin picking is also an impulse control disorder which is characterized by the following: an impulse, growing tension, pleasure from acting, relief from the urge and finally guilt which may or may not arise. It is NOT your fault that your brain is hardwired this way. These kinds of disorders are very complex but they are treatable (not curable but you will be able to manage it one day). I started a post about a 30 day challenge. Check it out and hopefully after thirty days you will feel better than you do now. Good luck!!

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