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PenguinExplosions , 10 Dec 2012

I'm finally here - introduction

Hello. I am so glad to finally be here... I am a 23 year old female freelance artist self-diagnosed with dermatillomania... I compulsively pick every tiny bump or clogged pore no matter how small or nearly invisible it is. It started as a pre-teen when I began to get bad face and body acne... yeah "popping zits" is pretty common in teens but it became a compulsion for me and moved onto squeezing clogs out of pores when most of the acne left (doesn't help that I have oily, congested skin). The worse picking spots for me are my arms, especially upper, and breasts as these are pretty easily accessible areas. I don't believe I have ever been formally diagnosed as I am very embarrassed by this habit... I hide my skin after bad picking sessions and have never really brought it up to a professional even though I see a psychiatrist and have been in therapy off and on over the years. This disorder has affected my life and my self-esteem greatly, it has impacted jobs and my love-life in the past. I go through phases... sometimes I will go a while without so much intensive picking and my skin clears up quite a bit. Other times I can have picking sessions for up to an hour at a time almost daily, after which I usually wear long sleeves for a while because of the inflammation and frequent infections (pimples). Long sleeves aren't very practical in florida 11 months out of the year... sometimes I even catch myself picking in public and often when I do catch myself I feel embarrassed and ashamed, but often still can't seem to stop despite these negative emotions. Anyway, I am glad to be here. I may have posted before as I happened to discover I had an existing account but I don't think so. I am looking for some people to relate to and I want to look into being more proactive about this disorder.... up until now I have kind of treated it as a case of "ignore it and it will go away".

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