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coolerthanme , 03 Nov 2012

I feel like I'm home. I had no idea there was a name for this. First post.

After reading through this site and forum (which I happened on by chance), I feel so relieved! I had no idea that there was a name, let alone treatment (YAY!!!) for this condition. So here's my story, and I hope it helps someone down the line. When I was a kid, I would rub things against my lips as a coping device and as time went on, the things I used evolved. First, it was soft things and I felt so euphoric when I rubbed satin against my lips and I would do it until my lips were chapped and sore. Then I moved on to paper because I wasn't getting enough satisfaction with softer items. Now as a 30 something adult, I use the edges of my nails and pointed things, like pencils or metal files, and I don't feel relieved until my lips are bleeding. As a child I would also pick my nose and stick things far up into my nose which would cause sneezing, eye watering, and bleeding. I always felt better afterwards, even though it caused tremendous pain. Once I discovered that this was not socially acceptable, I hid it. Even now, I only do it in the shower. Mostly because it washes away the mucus and blood instantly leaving no mess to clean up at all. As a teenager, I developed acne and what joy that was! People are supposed to pick pimples, right? No need to hide that! But I went to extremes. It wasn't enough to pick the actual pimples, but also the ones forming beneath the skin (which was usually my imagination). Today, picking pimples on my face is not enough. Once I am done there, I move on to other body parts. My body is covered in red marks after picking "pimples". I also get great pleasure out of removing my leg hair one by one with tweezers. And often I will scratch my fingers and under fingernails with sharp objects (again pencils and the like). The most worrisome thing that I feel the need to do is cutting. It didn't start that way, though. At first, I just had to scratch a lot, and then, I started using sharper objects, of course, but never drew blood. Then one day, I was very upset and I took my key and just started slashing at my arm. I don't even have to be very upset anymore. :( And like so many of you, I find it hard to control and get so embarrassed when I am caught doing these things. But then the anxiety of being caught induces me to continue and becomes extremely difficult to stop at that moment. Right now, as I think about it, I scratch my sharpest nail against my lip. Ugh. But knowing now that I am not alone and that this is an actual condition is very comforting. Some day, I may stop forever! At this moment, I cannot imagine that day; I cannot imagine feeling good without feeling pain. Baby steps, right?
1 Answer
November 03, 2012
Baby steps. I too have imaginary pimples all over my body. My friendly advice for you would be to keep the sharp objects away. That part, at least, can be controlled. And, nails gotta go! I have learned to love my round, stumped nails and consider it part of my rocker nature- funky colors and all.

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