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wantstochat2012 , 19 Nov 2012

First Post-Looking for someone who talk to who understands skin picking

I'm looking for someone to talk to who understands. Less than a month ago I found out that there are other people out there like me, who pick. I was amazed that something I have hid for years is actually online, that there are other people dealing with it, and that I wasn't just crazy. I pick all the time and feel like I can't help it. I only pick in areas where most people can't see; my feet, legs, stomach, head, and sometimes my arms. Whenever I get a scab, it just drives me insane somehow and I feel like I have to pick at it. It doesn't make sense but I feel like it would be better to have a gouge in the skin than a raised bump (scab) and I have to pick at it. I can't afford therapy, there is a free therapy group in my area but it is an hour drive and I'm scared. Scared of what? Nerveousness? Shame? That I will get there and there won't be anyone there? Maybe a little of all of those things plus some. I don't know, this paragraph has taken over 30 minutes to write and it's choppy at best. I'm just looking for someone to talk to who is going through it. I have looked at alot of the chat rooms for dermatillomania but most of the posts are months, if not years, old and that is very discouraging. If there is anyone still out there I would love to talk to you.
7 Answers
November 19, 2012
Hi there, this is my first post too :) I'm in same situation really, I never knew other people did this! I used to occasionally pick at spots and stuff, but not too much. Over the last year or so though, and especially last few months, its gotten out of control. My face, stomach, top of legs and top of arms are just a mess just now. I'm so ashamed of how I look and what I do. I could never admit it to anyone I know in 'real' life, so looking for people online who hopefully understand.
November 20, 2012

In reply to by searchingfrors…

Welcome!!! I do understand. I've been picking since I was really little. I pick mostly my face, nails, back, mouth, and arms. It's not to the point people are like "Oh my gosh! Are you okay!" but to the point where they notice but "oh, its just a scratch." But I'm sure you'll do fine! I hope your picking gets better! I am thinking this might work: A picking log! If you're at school or work when you do it, carry a pen and tally on your hand. But when you're at home, and boom! You realize you pick, then write the time around you started (just estimate if you dont know) and the ending time. The date too. Then maybe if you see how much you pick, maybe you'll decrease. Ps: try to be confident. I go to a really judgmental school, and I wear sweatshirts alot but if people whisper I try to not let it bother me. I think "if they had this, I wouldn't laugh." and it makes me feel better.
November 20, 2012
I hate how tough this habit is to break. I honestly feel like it starts honestly, like maybe we see a pimple or a mark and we hope to fix it, and then someone get carried away. It's gotten out of control for me too to the point that I dont even know or remember what motivates my picking anymore. Now im mostly scared by what I've done and im almost trying to reverse it. I know patience and strength are probably the best healing powers, but i feel it takes so much faith, and well, faith is hard. I wish I knew all the proof of my picking would one day go away. I hate hiding.
November 20, 2012

In reply to by smoothie

You know, I might just try the journal thing. But that in it too has shame that you would rather bury down deep inside than anyone find it and you would have to explain. Right now I'm trying to figure out my triggers. There seem to be alot of triggers, maybe that should be something that goes in the journal, what your feeling at the time of the pick. Mostly my legs and feet get the brunt of it (I wear pants all year round and haven't put on a dress in years) they look horrible. You would think the little scars would help to stop but it doesn't. My boyfriend saw my feet the other day, he's the only one who has seen it and he doesn't understand. He just tells me to stop picking, like it's something I can control. I do try to control it but when I get an itch it drives my bonkers until I scratch it. He said my ankles are all purple. Talking to him about it makes me feel bad and I would rather just cover it up, than have him see it. By the way, I'm 22 how old are ya'll?
November 20, 2012

In reply to by wantstochat2012

Hey, I'm 31, been picking probably since i was a teen. I'm starting to think that being more open about it could be a positive thing. In the past few weeks I have confessed to my love-interest (too complicated to be able to say boyfriend yet), some close friends, and a more recent friend. None of them have been confused or judgemental and many of them have confessed to having similar things. The journal is just for me though. I'm also going to fill it with some of the good advice i've found on here too, so it's a positive happy book. Unfortunately a calendar wouldn't work for me unless it was hour-by-hour as i haven't gone a day yet without picking. So well done if you have! Am hoping one day to be able to draw a picture of my face with no dots on it! :-)
November 20, 2012
Hi hi hi! I've just joined this thing too... I'm 19 and have been picking since I was a wee nipper, people don't realise it's a problem and expect you to stop picking in an instant, it's not that easy! I gnaw away at the skin around my nails and they are forever looking ugly, I found acrylic nails stopped me from picking but that was only because they were so thick but it didn't stop me getting the tweezers out and having a scrape at my body :( I pick on my shoulders arms legs and breasts and I have ruined my body, I don't know what spurred this all on for me but all I know is that it is controlling me, my boyfriend tells me to stop and it leave me feeling angry because I haven't finished what I started, watching films I will stroke my upper arms searching for any lumps or bumps to 'smoothen' when really I am only making it worse, god knows what to suggest to cure this but I was thinking maybe hypnosis as I know I haven't got it in me to stop by myself. It's such a horrible thing to have controlling you and I hope we can both stop!! Good luck xxx
November 20, 2012
Hi there, I'm Jordan, and I'm new here as well. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. This condition is incredibly isolating, and it is encouraging to have a "safe place" to talk about our unique issues without fear of judgment. Like a lot of people here, I have been suffering with this disorder since I was a very young girl (picking at bug bites and whatnot), but it got significantly worse right around the time I hit middle school. In addition to skin picking, I have been suffering from Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) for more than half of my life. I'm 25 now, and still pick my face, back, breasts, bikini line, legs, and arms daily, as well as occasionally pulling out hair on my head and body. I thought having laser hair removal done on my bikini line would eliminate a lot of the problem, but realized that I still have the urge to pick/pull. I have been seeing a therapist who specializes in OCD and BFRD's for a few years now, but to be honest, for most of that time, I have been absolutely terrified of actively pursuing a treatment plan. In some twisted sense, I have developed a remarkably strong emotional attachment to the idea of having this disorder as an outlet for stress, and the idea of not having that outlet shakes me to the core. My therapist has tried to help me through Habit Reversal Training, Relaxation Techniques, Behavior Monitoring, Habit get the idea: you name it, I've probably tried it. The only thing that consistently works for me is the Habit blockers: wearing gloves, bandaids, giving my tweezers and makeup to someone else to hold onto, and keeping my nails short/wearing acrylic nails. However, these methods are only temporary and if I am determined to pick, I will work around them to satisfy the urge. I am curious about going to a support group, but I am very apprehensive about it as well. Has anyone had any (good or bad) experiences with 12-step type programs, support groups, or group therapy? And for those in recovery, what was the tipping point where you finally decided to stop harming your body?

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