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Would really like to thank the creator of this site and all of you for gathering here... here's my story. I started picking my nails after seeing mum do it. It became relieving, after I moved on to the skin around my nails. After researching I discovered that I did that as my coping mechanism from not being able to express my feelings. I was sexually abused by male and female school prefects daily on the school bus until age 12, I also had a very stern and oppressive father. I have never told anyone about the abuse. I feel too pathetic that it happened to me. I was bullied for the next 5 years of secondary school and after completing A levels I went to university but kept myself to myself. I became a teacher to help stop bullying but failed and when working in London had a knife to my throat, was stabbed and attacked with wooden stools amongst other events. Throughout this period of time I progressed from biting nails and skin of my fingers to picking at my scalp, ears and back. All places I felt no one would see. I was hugely embarrassed when I had a breakdown from teaching and was waiting on a prescription and was picking and eating my scalp with kids outside watching and laughing. But it didn't stop me. Just made me more careful. Over time I met someone and got married. I lost a massive amount of weight but maintained the picking. I have always worried about making friends and on having my first son was diagnosed with social anxiety as I was suddenly thrust into a world of playgroups and meeting other mums. I had always tried to move jobs quickly to keep friendships from getting complicated. Forced to staying in one place broke me and I finally had to face my demons. I know through counselling I do not feel 'good enough'. I cry with any confrontation and in any situation with authority ie. seeing a gp. I am totally broken and I realise that now. Yet I am a strong person and keep fighting. In between having my son and my second child I had a massive fallout with some scarey girls over a child that kept biting other children (ironic lol) and I paniced and hid myself away. I am unable to express feelings, I feel this comes from my complicated past. I have for many many years destroyed my face by picking adult acne and my right arm and both ankles and lower legs look destroyed. My fingers are still a state but I have progressed past nail biting. I notice my 6 year old son bites his nails. Both my children 6 and 2 notice my wounds which I simply describe as poorlys that are mending. If it wasn't for having the responsibility of two children I would kill myself as I feel totally worthless. But I could never do that to them. I do however continue to destroy myself and feel no value. I torture myself with over eating too. I eat rubbish all day. I feel its part of the punishment. Finding this site a few days ago has been a breakthrough to me. I managed yesterday and today minimal picking even though I am thinking about it CONSTANTLY and feeling on the edge of panic. I covered every sore with a plaster yesterday which seemed to prompt lots of conversations from people about insect bites. My usual lie. I say I'm allergic. I've kept wounds open for years and years at a time in discreet places. Now I can't take my kids swimming as I have destroyed my ankles. One of the girls I fell out with happens to be slim and gorgeous... despite being a horrible person by my standards and I feel so inadequate every day seeing her at school as I get fatter and destroy myself. I am a fighter and am going to try and fight this. I want to burst with emotion. Sometimes the picking is a release from the emotions I hold in constantly. I read about telling someone about self harm but I'm too scared. I already have massive issues about friendships and any self confidence I show is fake. I have to be proud of myself for yesterday and today... although still forget at times. While typing this I bit my lip. I have plasters off today and put calamine on. I found it interesting yesterday how many times I went to pick my legs but felt a plaster. Helped me learn little about when I attack myself.