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erinIII , 22 Nov 2012

i just realised that i have dermatillomania and i'm terrified

i came on here after just pulling a huge chunk out of my foot until i bled and not stopping. i googled it to see if i was a complete freak, and found this website it's all just hit me. i'm never not picking. if i'm not peeling my lips until they bleed, i'm gnawing the inside of my cheek. if i'm not doing that, i'm getting nail clippers and going down all my fingers in a "ladder" motion and peeling them all off so my fingers are raw from top to bottom in a stripe like pattern. i'll pull chunks of skin off my foot until i'm crying with pain and unable to walk without a plaster on my foot. but i never counted this as "self harming" until today when i got a rush from seeing the fresh new, under skin and the blood. "it'll grow back" i always tell myself. but not once have my lips been smooth and un-chapped. i haven't seen the pattern from my fingerprints in years, and i can't touch anything without it hurting anymore and there's always a limp in my walk unless i'm wearing three pairs of socks. but i never saw it as self harm or knew it was a problem. i've been doing it since i was about five, but it got more drastic after i found out my biological father has raped my mother, abused me as a baby, and used to neglect me whilst my mother was at work all day, causing me to be ill for most of my time as a baby. i thought of myself as strong for always coping with all this without self harming or being stupid or trying to kill myself, but little did i know that i've been torturing myself, making everything i touch painful, every step i take hurt, unable to eat food as it stings my lips, causing myself mouth ulcers i'm just so scared, i never even knew. i just do it without thinking, no-one has ever mentioned it before, i never knew that this was because there's something wrong with me. i was always so proud of my self for never self harming and never considering myself "depressed", but at the moment i'm at my lowest. i'm being bullied by my boss in work, he always makes sexual comments about me or degrading comments about my body, and he's always horrible. all my friends are in college and i'm working, so none of my friends give a shit about me anymore, assuming i'm busy with my "new working life" or whatever i'm just so scared of what i'm doing to myself and i can't stop it it is literally any area of myself that i can get at easily, there will be none of it left. sometimes i'll be up until 4am picking and picking even though i have to be up in three hours. what if i get skin cancer or something will someone please just help a newbie out? this is completely overwhelming and terrifying
1 Answer
November 22, 2012
Hi erinIII I recently went through a similar discovery (see my 1st post "picking for years and only just became aware of CSP")- I had no idea it was an actual condition with a name. I then started to become more aware of just how often and how badly i pick and it was really scary. But at the same time it was reassuring to discover i'm not the only one. I used to pick my feet extensively, making walking painful and difficult. I've almost completely stopped picking my feet but still pick my face, arms, fingers, legs etc! It sounds like you've been through a really tough time and i think that you have been coping remarkably well. Please continue to be proud of yourself for that. Dermatillomania is horrible but it's gotta be better than suicide! It is a serious condition though, and I would suggest you seek CBT asap. Re: your boss, i don't know where you're based but in the UK his behaviour is illegal. Can you change job? His comments are totally unacceptable and you don't deserve them. Glad you found us. Stay strong. xoxo

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