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Rlovellx , 20 Nov 2012

Obsessively picking my skin and it needs to stop!!!

I am a 19 year old girl and have been picking for over 10 years now, when I was little I was just picking scabs and thought nothing of it, all kids pick right? But it progressed majorly over the years, But now I am at that age where I've had enough of it controlling me. I will put my phone light on my phone and get a mirror out and light up every blemish and pick til my face is raw, trying to pop spots that aren't even there, I had loads of Mosquitos bite me this summer and it looks like someone has been firing gunshots at me where I picked them and picked them and picked them, I can never let them heal! I have started picking the spots on my arms, my bum, my shoulders and my boobs!!! I get a spare minute and I find myself stroking my fingers on my arms and legs and hunting for any lump or bump to 'smoothen' out! It's ludicrous. My worst downfall is my nails I bite away the cubicles and I rip the skin down the sides, I go to a trance state when I do it and my boyfriend always tells me to stop and grabs my hand and it leaves me feeling frustrated, I haven't finished what I started. It's doing my nut in, I won't show my legs off in summer because they look awful, if I am going to a formal occasion I wear 3x pairs of tights and even try and put makeup on my legs, I am at my ends widths with this problem and was considering hypnosis, has anyone had this and recommend it? I m so glad I found this website, people always used to say to me 'stop picking' I would say 'I can't you don't understand how it makes me feel' they would tell me it's easy and to stop being so stupid, I don't feel like such an idiot now! I didn't realise it was a major issue until a year ago and since then it has rapidly got worse, my legs, breasts and face are covered in scars and it makes me feel sick, I turn the light off when I get intimate with my boyfriend and god knows what he makes of it! All I know is this needs to be the end of an era!! Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated and taken on board. X
3 Answers
November 23, 2012
the first thing you should know is that ur not alone, i have a problem with my breasts too.secondly,i came up with a little idea, looking in the mirror isnt looks better that it really is.from expeirience i came to this conclusion, bec i had a problem of plucking out my eyebrow/eyelash hairs.everyone would kill me, but i didnt think it was so bad, since i saw the situation in the mirror PLENTY of day i saw a picture of myself as a whole, and boy did i get embarrassed, i practicly could of sworn my life that i wasnt TOUCHING another hair.i ended up basicly stoping, but still have a small problem.maybe this could apply to you too. just be understanding when you look at that picture anf say "damn, this is retarted!!!".also try punishing youself if you continue to pick, like by pinching yourself....or giving up a certain food or pleasure.good luck babe! dont give up! its worth it, its all your life afterall!!
November 24, 2012
im 20 years old and reading your post sounds EXACTLY like me. I have been going for cognitive behavioral therapy and it REALLY helps. Although i still pick, i know the "tools" that can help stop. However, the first thing you have to do to get better is that you must actually want to stop picking. I suggest rewarding yourself with something you like each day that goes by that u dont pick. also avoid mirrors whenever possible, never touch your face with dirty hands, and dont let yourself fall into a half hour trance state of picking. My therapist told me to chew super super spicy gum and talk out loud while i pick to keep me aware of what im doing so that i dont begin picking things i dont actually want to without realizing because im in such a trance. Just know you are not alone in this and so many of us struggle and there are ways to overcome it. I hope this helps a bit. If you have any questions you want to ask just post them here
November 25, 2012
Hi i am nearly 23 years old and am going through exactly the same thing!! I have been picking my skin for as long as I can remember I don't know how I started or if I will ever really stop!! I also get into trances and feel myself running my fingers along my skin to look for any signs of lumps and bumps finding spots that aren't even there! I do tend to try an pick areas that aren't as visible to people my scalp being one of these areas, I scratched an picked it so bad at one point that washing my hair made me cry it was so painful. I also have bad episodes before getting a bath or shower as I think if I pick them all now the water will make them all clean and not so red and obvious (of course this doesn't work). My parter also gets very upset with me when he sees me doing it and I can't explain that I can't stop and I don't know why! Eventually he got so stressed about me doing it all the time that he got in touch with my close family members who had noticed me doing it but like me didn't realise that it was a big a problem as it actually is. They all tried to tell me that I needed to see a doctor and I insisted that I was fine, for all these years I could never admit that what I was doing was an issue and would try to cover up what I did as best as I could, if people would ask what's that cut I would make up an excuse! Eventually one day it got so bad I was in the shower (I'm not sure about you but if I want to pick I always use the bathroom as my safe place) an was in so much pain I was crying and decided enough was enough I needed proper help so I went to my doctor and asked for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as I had heard it was really effective. The first therapist I had told me I had an attachment disorder because my parents are separated and my dad was never really around and so I use my picking as I coping mechanism (all made a lot of sense but made my sessions very stressful as he would go into a lot of family detail) when he went off sick I got another therapist who I really liked she told me that I had formed a habit and all habits can be changed and taught me a lot of techniques on how to cope with urges etc she was very good and very helpful!! My one big piece of advise would be never punish yourself for what you do, I have been punishing myself for years and its no good, be positive and reward yourself every time you resist an urge an once you can do that make it harder an reward yourself every time you don't do it for a whole day etc. I do still find myself picking my skin regularly however not to the extremes that I used to and now I know I can stop I just need to remember the techniques and put them into place. I know you feel so alone and you are the only person that does it but its not true actually there is a small percentage of people all over the world going through the same thing but because everyone is so embarrassed to admit and talk about it not very many people know about it or understand. Hope this information helps :)

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