30 day challenge progress!


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October 04, 2012

Hey I would love to do this with you! I just finished my day 1 today, wrote about it, then read your post and thought it was great to have someone to do this along with. Support is the best, and it's extremely difficult to try and confide in an outsider to picking. It is a hard thing to understand, even most pickers don't. But I will break down, take a picture of myself, and hopefully hear tomorrow that your day 2 went good!
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October 04, 2012

Hey! Thanks for posting and I definitely agree that support is crucial to the healing process. My day one was okay...not perfect but hey I'm not aiming for perfection. I did scratch off a few scabs while at work and I did scratch at my scalp all day. But I did NOT spend any time in front of the mirror engaged in face picking which i consider a success. I find that my picking falls into two categories: boredom and high stress/excitement situations. When I'm bored at home I'll often take out my mini mirror and "inspect" my skin which always leads to picking. When my emotions and nerves are running high (whether I'm feeling excited or stressed) I tend to touch or scratch my face which often triggers picking. I'm trying to avoid "boredom picking" by keeping busy - cleaning, cooking, going to the gym. My "stress picking" will be a little tougher to manage since it comes on sporadically and my adrenaline is usually pumping. I guess I need some better coping mechanisms for stress. My goal for today is to try and reduce the mindless face and scalp touching and scratching. This is such a deep-seated habit that I'm going to have to be constantly monitoring it. Have you been able to identify your triggers and root causes? Once you are aware of the when and the why, figuring out how to manage it becomes much easier.
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October 07, 2012

I scratch at my scalp too, but I haven't been counting it because I have long hair and you can't really see it but if I can get control of the other places I pick then I hopefully that will come with it. I know that when I was younger and people mentioned the little KP I had on my upper arms is what started my picking and I'd say that I was about 10 or 11 when this happened. I stopped for a long time but in secondary school I started again. I find it hard to work out the exact triggers or roots, and I find that difficult. I definitely pick when I feel lonely, and when I get frustrated that I haven't done enough in the day, I pick when something bad happens, but I realised when I read what you wrote about excited picking that I'll also pick sometimes when I'm excited too, like I picked when I found out I got into my favourite uni. I do pick when I'm bored and in front of the TV and a lot of the time I will sit and my mind will wonder and I will start worrying I think that could be a trigger too because then I will pick to take my mind off the worry. Picking comes up all the time for me, just as a release, or an escape. That's why I'm going to have to monitor it too, I've never thought to write about it, I'm kind of scared to because after I've picked I just want to forget it all happened. A lot to think about, a lot of new techniques to help me! thanks!! xxxxxxxxxx Jo
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October 04, 2012

Just accomplished day one. Yay! I wish you guys luck for tomorrow, I must admit I'm going to need some too. Well, I'll just stick to my knitting. Knitting works. I knitted a hat today, never picked. You guys should all try knitting. I just started a couple of days ago, it's easy, you've always got something in your hands that distracts you and you have a goal ahead of yourself. Knitting works. I swear, try it.
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October 05, 2012

Knitting is an awesome distraction technique. You will be amazed at how much the habit side of skin picking is diminished by using those kinds of techniques. From experience, I know that when you break the habit, the compulsions are also miraculously reduced. How did day 2 go for you?
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October 04, 2012

Thankyou for your comment earlier I want to join you on this journey just took my picture day one and I will compare it to day thirty! I think this will be good if we can tackle this together this is a community after all!! My first whole day of not picking starts tommorow I will keep you posted on my progress I hope you can do the same :) x
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October 04, 2012

A good way to start is to determine your goals for the end of the month. I don't recommend a goal like "DO NOT PICK" because it is unreasonable and if you do end up picking, you may feel as though you failed completely. Also, don't set quantitative goals such as "I will only pick 5 times today" because you are granting yourself permission to pick which can usually spiral out of control. Instead, start small - maybe take the first few days to simply monitor your picking habits in a journal. Self-awareness is such a useful tool. Let me know if you need any specific tips and I can try and help. Good luck!
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October 04, 2012

Hi all! It's truly inspiring to read all of your stories and to hear you speaking optimistically about your futures. We all have specific goals for our 30 day challenge - mine being to regain a feeling of self-control, put an end to any habitual picking/scratching, and find new coping mechanisms for stress. I just got home from work and wanted to get on here to report on my day 2 progress. I guess I'd rate today as a 6 out of 10. While I haven't done any squeezing, i did scratch off a few scabs and touched my scalp a bit. I feel like my hands are programmed to automatically float towards my face or head when I lose focus. I guess that's muscle memory from years of skin picking. While on my ride home from work I couldn't stop thinking about getting in front of the mirror to look at a spot that I had scratched at. I've lived with this long enough to know that looking always turns into picking. I walked in the door and immediately told myself NO. I held out for a bit and that heart racing, compulsive feeling finally subsided. I've got about 5 hours before I start getting ready for bed and I am determined to 1) not look in the mirror 2) not touch my back, face or scalp 3) be productive!
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October 05, 2012

I'm glad to hear your day two went better than worse! I love your realistic approach. Saying "I will never pick again" doesn't work. It's a long process, so thank you for reminding me not to be so focused on "don't touch my face at all!" to "slowly but surely". I actually did not pick at my face today, although the mirror is a true enemy, and the dark spots everywhere are exteremly hard to look at. But overall successful day two! Hope to hear good things tomorrow :)
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October 05, 2012

Just wanted to do a post on my Day 3 progress before I head out for the night. Today went surprisingly well. It was a beautiful sunny day and it's FRIDAY!!! I did pull out the mirror today to do some "maintenance" work. By that, I mean using tweezers to remove any flaky skin left over from picking. I was able to control the amount of time I spent in the mirror and I didn't overdo it and pull off any scabs that were still healing. I got a package of Mario Badescu products (my favorite skin care line!) that I ordered online which is exciting since I'm a total product junkie. I find that having a strict skincare routine helps ease my compulsions. It makes me feel more in control of the state of my skin. When you feel a compulsion coming on, a face mask is a great way to prevent picking. Today I put on one of my new masks right after tweezing so I wouldn't be tempted to keep touching my skin or looking in the mirror. Let me know if any of you want to hear about my skincare routine and weekly treatments. I've also got lots of tips on how to cover picked skin with makeup. I hope you all had a great Friday! Can't wait to read about your progress.
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October 07, 2012

Hi! msschafer87 thanks for your support before, it's 6:30 pm and today I picked off one scab on my elbow, it didn't bleed but I'm not proud of it. Though I think I'm going to allow myself a day success for now. But I'm alone in the house and was VERY close to picking (picked one and said NO!) a minute ago but then I mustered up the energy (I'm tired from house cleaning) to go get my laptop and write this post. I am very proud of that. I'm not going to pick today and I'm going to start taking photos of my arms every day as this is where I pick the worst, and I've already got make up on today but I'm going to start a leg, bum and face diary as well because I can be bad there too, and maybe a back one but I've been pretty good there recently. I'm going to take the photos in a second, but I'm very scared because where I pick is the under side of my arm so I can't usually see it all at once, and I'm afraid that seeing all the scabs will make me want to pick them off but I'm going to look at where the skin on my arm is better and just think that I want it all to be like that. Here we go DAY 1 of my 30 DAYS here we go! very excited love Jo xxxxxxxxxx
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October 07, 2012

I woke up this morning and thought I really have to stop this habit. I have improved greatly but on an anxious night I can go right back to being lost in my skin for hours and then end up feeling terrible about it (you all know the story). This 30 day challenge is exactly what I needed to find. Thanks guys, good to feel like I'm not such a freak!
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October 08, 2012

Weekend progress - I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but my fiancé has been away on business for a month so I've been pretty lonely which leads to boredom and in turn, picking. I stayed in Saturday and Sunday night which is usually very bad news for my skin. Fortunately I did my skin routine early in the night and was less tempted to pick once I had my night cream on. My skin is breaking out a little right now so there are more visual triggers. I'm trying to avoid inspecting my face in mirrors so hopefully that will help. I had a little slip up today and work and popped a pimple that has been there for a few days. Felt good while doing it but now I'm annoyed with myself. I found out my fiancé is coming home this Wednesday and I think the stress of having clear skin is getting to me. He doesn't put any pressure on me - it's all internal. Hopefully I can manage my stress for the next two days and control the picking. I'm planning on putting a face mask on when I get home today and leaving it on until I wash up for the night. How are you all doing with the 30 day challenge?? Keep up the good work and I'll try my best too :)
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October 08, 2012

Hi! Just at 22:11 on day 2 and I've had a tough day arguing with my boyfriend. I did scratch of some scabs earlier but have been pretty good, no proper picking sessions which I consider a success!! But some bleeding which is not so good. Spent a lot of the day arguing like I said, it all started with some stupid lamps, but basically things are generally resolved now between he and I but I'm still feeling really crappy. I was about to pick just before posting, I really really wanted to just release all the left over bad feeling and usually then I pick but I came here to post on the 30 day challenge instead and I am very proud of that. Still fighting the urge now though and running out of things to type but powering through. My new lodger is getting back quite soon, and I've been crying I'm really self conscious about it. I'm worried it's going to be awkward as well, but I think having another person in the house that I don't know so well as my boyfriend will help to reduce my picking as well, and help me to be more conscious of it. I haven't formally told my boyfriend, well I hadn't but I did blurt out today in the argument about how I hate being alone because I hurt myself but it just got blurred into the argument and I don't think he'll bring it up again. I'm actually really disappointed at myself for telling him like that because I think it will make it harder for me to bring it up again because it's now attached to that bad time. But I want him to bring it up again so that we can talk about it. Really want to do something to take my mind off the depression, but haven't got any motivation. I'm not picking though, right now when it was my first thought. It's a step on the way to breaking the habit. I hope everyone else is doing good too, I'm going to take my day 2 photo in a min! xxxxxxxxxxxx Jo
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October 08, 2012

Shit. I screwed up. Just picked my face and chest for about 30 minutes and had to literally throw my hand mirror across the room to stop. Hopefully the damage won't be that noticeable tomorrow. Going to use some toner and apply some night cream and try to forgive myself. Feeling so low right now.
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October 10, 2012

Okay after my slip up on Monday I've managed to get back on track. Yesterday went pretty well and I only picked at one sport on my back. I still have to work on not scratching my scalp. Yesterday I was pretty busy with painting class and cleaning so my hands were preoccupied for most of the night. My fiancé is coming home tonight and I want to keep up yesterday's good work and not have any freshly picked spots when I see him. I'm going to put on a face mask the minute I get home, shower and then reapply my makeup. I always tend to feel grimy and itchy after a days work. Do any of you feel as though you are more itchy than most people? I feel like I am more sensitive and perceptive to skin discomfort than most...if that makes sense...
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October 11, 2012

Yes! I feel like I'm constantly itchy!!! I can totally relate. (I'm not on any opioid narcotics, non-drug user, so no reason for this but being sensitive!) :)