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headtotoe , 02 Feb 2009

Looking for others who pick as a result of childhood abuse.

I've picked myself apart physically and emotionally. I don't know of anyone else who has been in the same circumstances (abused as a child) as I have been in. I thought this disorder was unusual, but I am so happy to see that there are others like me out here. I knew I was crazy when it came to this problem and I have never talked to anyone about the picking because I am so embarrassed about it. I hide it very well and have been doing it since I was 6. I'm in therapy for the abuse because aside from childhood abuse the cycle of abuse became a repetitive theme throughout adulthood and in picking my partners. Along with that came the continuation of anxiety, OCD and picking. I want to be normal but I just can't come out of the closet on this one. This is a perfect place for me to be at this time. If there is anyone else who is a picker as a result of childhood trauma I would love to hear from you. The world is a little less lonely when you find someone out there who is just like you are with the same problems. Hope to hear back from someone.... Anyone.
14 Answers
February 02, 2009
Hello. Welcome to the group. I had some issues as a child, but im not exactly sure if this is my reason for doing it or not. And I don't think i'll ever be able to determin why i do what i do. I agree with the whole "The world is a little less lonely when you find someone out there who is just like you are with the same problems." When I came upon this group and read that there are others that do this was a great relief and it even felt comforting. I hope you can get the same out of this group as what i have.
February 14, 2009

In reply to by Dawn

Hi. I am so pleased to find this forum. I thought I was the only person who had this problem, it's nice ( if nice is the right word) to find that there are other people like me, and it now helps me to understand why I do this. I had issues through my childhood, but they were never really talked about, and through my childhood I didn't even realise I had any problems. I started having bad skin problems when I was expecting my 4th child, that started with my arms itching, and soon progressed to the whole of the top of my body.and had lots of different treatments, but nothing worked. I soon ended up with scars all up my arms , which are there now permanently. My arms are a mass of white scars, which do not tan, so in the summer they really stand out. I never suffered from teenage spots, but would create something from the tiniest pimple if I could. (and still do)Then cover it up to disguise it.I have ended up with actual holes in my skin where I have dug it so deep. I feel terrible that I have got this habit, I am so ashamed, and keep telling myself I'm going to stop, but I never do. I also now still have a problem with itching, that is usually on my arms. I have ried all sorts of different creams, but if they work at first, I seem to get immune to them after a while, and they don't stop the itching anymore. has anyone else found this?Thankyou for reading this.
March 28, 2009

In reply to by Gemini50

Hello all! I am new to the forum, but not new to the issue! I suffered neglect and verbal abuse as a child and have had CSP since my earliest memories. Anxiety, frustration, fear,or confrontation can trigger me big time! I believe that was my only way to cope as a child. Unfortunately, it never ends! I have had to finally fess up to CSP because of other medical problems. I have an autoimmune disease that has required me to start Enbrel. This knocks down your immune system big time and would have eventually led to a systemic infection. I am currently starting CBT. I am also trying to find appropriate meds to try to control anxiety. I am hopeful! It's good to know I am not alone in this! Blessings, nisey
April 23, 2009

In reply to by nisey

Dear nisey, I also have developed an autoimmune disease, well actually 2. I have been picking for almost 37 years or there abouts. I know it was caused by being molested by my step-father for about 8 years and being bullied by my older brother my entire childhood. I totally get the whole "everything is a trigger". I told my husband to think of it interms of being at DEFCON 2-3 everyday when you wake up and anything can happen to set me at DEFCON 4 instantly. But to get back to the other, I have Rhuematoid arthritis and asthma and allergies. About 2 years ago the docs put me on Humera and after 4 months I couldn't breath, and I live at 10,000 ft in altitude, that's a real bad thing. Latter I tried ENBREL and I'm allergic to that too. Do you think that bc of our CSP that our own bodies think we really are the enemy, and that it's trying to stop us?
March 10, 2009

In reply to by Dawn

hello Dawn. I was neglected and abused from the age of 3 to 4. Do you think that has anything to do with it? Have you gotten any advice from anyone else on here about this compulsion? anyway, I hope you are doing ok. It's tough to admit to this compulsion, I feel so weird. -Dana
February 04, 2009
Hey my name is Tara welcome to skinpickers! I believe my skinpicking became a problem when I was around 6 also. I was touched by a man everyday for 2 years as a 6 year old. I was put in my bedroom and told to get dressed while a bunch of men would take there turns and watch me. The man went to prison for 10 years but is now free with a little girl that is now 7 years old. He had this baby with a 15 year old girl and was sent to jail because of that and some other things. I made a statement and spoke up when I was about 15 to law enforcement. To this day nothing has happened to him for what he did to me. I think that if I have closer I may be able to stop the ever so tormenting skin picking disorder.
March 10, 2009
This is a tough issue for me to face, but I too, pull and pick off my toe skin, it is sooo embarrasing to admit, makes me feel like a weirdo! I've been doing it since I was a kid, and I am also a total neat/clean freak with my home. Do these two issues coralate with one another? I don't know. I have been diagnosed with anxiety. I tend to pick at night, when everyone is sleeping, when I can't sleep....oh man, I sound like a nut, don't I? Other then this, I am very very 'normal' stay at home suburban mom of a beautiful daughter. Should I tell my doctor about this issue? I want to stop it. Write me back, if anyone wants to vent Take Care!
March 11, 2009
Hey, I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for responding to my post! It is such a relief to hear back from others...!!! As we start to watch the season begin to change from winter to spring, I know summer will soon be on it's way! I love summer and I try so hard to straighten myself out as far as my picking habbits during the summer. Summer time means less clothes and more exposed skin to others and shame, shame, shame... I am so dragged down by this problem... I don't like being trapped by this. I was deep in thought about all of this one day and was considering how I could go about stopping myself from doing it. But then I looked down at my fingers only to realize that one of them was bleeding. Even when lost in thought about how to stop picking, I was picking and not even realizing I was doing it. Which means it's an automatic response to to stress, for me anyways. I thought I could tape all of my fingers. I've done that before when I am at home. It worked but I can't go out in public like that with all my fingers taped up. I know that the answer of how to stop is through my head. I think I'm going to concentrate on one finger... (Don't laugh :)... The one finger that is not picked at and tell myself how nice it looks with the skin intact and without the redness around the cutical. I think I am going to concentrate on one part of my body as well. No picking in one spot and I'll watch it clear up and then visualize the rest of my skin looking the same way. Clear!!! Does this sound stupid to anyone... I almost don't care :) I am going to try because I don't want to do this anymore.... :)
March 11, 2009

In reply to by headtotoe

Hey, I think your idea sounds really good! And you're lucky your not a face picker! I (a face picker) don't have an extra face to experimentally not touch and watch clear up while still picking my other face if possible, lol. But I can go about 2 weeks now without picking, and during that time when my skin starts to look really pretty again, it feels just great! So when you see you finger and body get all clear and pretty again, the want for more of it is just contagious! So I think your idea has a lot of potential for you! Keep it up! Rosie
March 14, 2009
To the person who thought they were crazy because they started csp due to childhood trauma. I also suffered childhood trauma and have tried to rationalize why I do what I do. well, that's easy, I thought if I made myself ugly I would be left alone, but that's not how it was. I continued to be abused and I continued to do my csp thing. I always made excuses for my "owies" to please the curuios nature of others. and only once in my adult life has anyone ever asked me about all my scars. I would like to here back from you through email. I have alot to talk about and many questions to be answered. I have now had a chance to read some of your comments on this subject, all of you who wrote back to head to toe. i got so envolved this morning in reading about csp that I saw the symptoms that I have been feeling be shown to me in black and white. See I just got accsess to the internet and a chance to look this up. And I realized I had to take my dogs for a run and try to make the things I was reading not be true. but now I'm home and I realize the problem is still there, the lingering feelings are still there from the recent suicide thoughts that I have been having. And, yes, I have consulted a counselor and have made members of my family aware of these feelings. i'm not sure i'm not crazy. and my counselor does'nt know about all this stuff becuase we've never been able to talk about it until now.
March 15, 2009

In reply to by mekopeko

Hi Mekopeko :) Your request to communicate via e mail is funny to me beacuse last week the idea of someone asking popped into my head. No one person specifically, but I had thought about communicating on a more personal level and decided no. Only because I would not post my e-mail address on a public forum. I will however respond to you if you should decide to post yours. Once it is here though, it's here for good. I've never disscussed my issues with anyone outside of this forum. It makes me vervous. People can be judgmental and I see what I do as disscusting. I understand how you felt first reading about csp. It's like "oh my god, there's a categorie for this?" It's shocking to see it "in black and white," as you said. Then it moved (for me at least) to en enormouse sense of relief! As far as beeing "crazy," I woiuld say that if we can look at ourselves from an outside perspective and say, "hhmmm... maybe I'm a little crazy???...." then that is a good sign... Thats what I think, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. lol :) if you should decide to post an e-mail address I'll answer it. if not we can just chat this way and you can ask and talk about whatever, and I'll try to answer as best I can.
April 20, 2009

In reply to by headtotoe

Hi headtotoe, it's mekopeko now gypsyrose. i'm sorry that i didn't get back to you. my new user name is gypsyrose. i forgot my last pass word so had to start all over. i have been picking since i was about 7 years old and the most disgusting thing is that i just turned 44 last month. i said to myself that this year i would quit. well, i have'nt yet. i have been probably been picking longer than most on this site. and that makes it especialy hard for me to quit. so i'm thinking of hypnois. hell, at this point, anything is worth a try. wouldn't you say? i have so much anxiety that if you compared it to the 4 levels of threat to the country, i wake up between defcon 2-3 everyday and it doesn't take anything at all to send me to defcon 4. all out war with myself.
March 27, 2009
I have been a picker for as long as I can remember. I grew up with a very controlling, depressive, anxious mother and as a result I had issues with Trichotillomania when I was 2-3 years of age. Pulled out most of my hair. Was molested at ages 9-11 by a few neighbors and have had issues with picking my thumbs to the point I can't even bend them. I also pick at my face when I break out around PMS time and occasionaly pick scabs on my scalp. My whole family has issues with picking. My mom her scalp, my dad his nails to where the nailbed is gone, my brother his face etc. Whenever I'm anxious or bored then the trigger to pick is overwhelming. I'm so sfraid my kids will inherit this. I'm on 50 mgs of Zoloft for anxiety/depression issues but am still picking away. Have OCD(mild) as well. I consider myself an informed person ( am an RN and a writer) who should be able to conquer this. Is so embarrasing when someone (even my kids) comment on my bloody thumbs. Any support would be greatly appreciated.
March 27, 2009
I have no idea if my skin picking is related to my being molested for 2 years by a neighbor. I guess it would make sense, though. Very few people in my life know about either of these problems. My parents sure as hell don't. I've told boyfriends, though, bc I need them to understand why I'm weird haha.

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