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ctannmarie , 17 Oct 2012


I have been picking since I was 5 years old and I am now is soothing but also frustrating as I have no idea why I need to do this, yet I cannot stop. I pick all day long and am always looking for new places to pick. I feel that I need to have perfect skin but at the same time I am mutilating myself. I am very conscientious of what I am doing but cannot stop.
4 Answers
October 17, 2012
I think most of us on here can relate to you. It is a rather soothing thing, to pick. I'm not entirely sure why but I have a general idea. I believe part of it is simply a chemical addiction in our brains to the release of neurotransmitters that occurs when we pick, and part of it is because habits are so hard to break in the first place. Sometimes picking can give us a sense of relief or control, but ironically leaves us feeling helpless in the end. Deep breathing helps. Occupying yourself with a creative and healthy outlet like art (any hobbies), music, exercise, or the like when the urges strike is one way to help. Cover up mirrors and bright lights if you can. Hopefully some of the advice and encouragement you encounter on this forum will help. Just remember we're all in this together.
October 17, 2012

In reply to by sunlit_moon

Hi Sunlit_moon......thank you for replying,it is so hard to actually admit that I have this disorder. I do knit, to keep my hands busy, and have at times managed to actually have long nails! I have asked my mother why I started this so early in life, but she cannot give me any plausible explanation. I wish I cold stop but the compulsion is too strong.
October 17, 2012

In reply to by ctannmarie

It's hard to know why we do this, but I'm sure a good psychologist or therapist could uncover some of the underlying reasons as to why. I'm going to be seeing one soon, hopefully if some of those issues are resolved and I can target why I do it and the triggers, I'll be able to control it a bit more. I know how you feel when you say the compulsion is too strong. Sometimes while I'm picking I'll be trying to reason with myself, saying stop, you must be strong, but I've failed over and over again. The main thing is we can't give up. Lately I've tried breathing deeply and redirecting my thoughts in order to help me control the compulsions. It often works, but I won't say that I haven't been picking. It is discouraging at times but the prospect of quitting for good is what keeps me going.
November 10, 2012
I have been picking for most of my life, as long as I can remember. Finally I seem to have stopped. I recommend two books by a Professor Richard Wiseman; :59 seconds and Rip it up. His method of achieving goals is really simple but it seems to work, plus he has got it from scientific research. I'm embarressed by how simple it was. It worked for me anyway. I put a pledge card up on my fridge where I could see it everyday and I kept a count of how many times I picked or bit my fingers everyday- which I noted religiously in my diary under a heading "Biting fingers". At first it was a horribly huge amount but now it is down to a half dozen times a day and I am not really doing any damage (blood and cuts) now. Do the goal setting in :59 seconds. It will help you focus. I have tried hypnosis on my own and with a professional. I have tried yoga and yoga nidra which worked for a while. I have tried sheer will power. I'd got a bit apathetic towards it. I also wrote down a list of why I hate biting my fingers and stuck it on the fridge with the pledge card. You can get the above books at for definite. I wish everyone the best of luck. This is just what has worked so far for me.

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