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So I'm 30, and I have been picking, I think, all my life. I have Major Depressive Disorder and OCD, and ADD, but I never thought that I had Trichotillomania or anything because I always thought that was about hair. But I've always been bad about picking. In my teens I ended up getting really bad about picking my shoulders, and it wasn't until I was older that I realized that I have a lot of scars now and when you tan a little, they don't tan. I have had several spans in my life where I have kicked the habit, and have ended up doing something else to myself instead or occupied myself with other more important things, because I was spending hours in the bathroom. My family, especially my mom, and my ex boyfriends have been very helpful in getting me to stop, to focus on other things and to keep my from picking. But recently, I developed probably the worst thing for someone with OCD AND Skin picking to develop: it's called Dishydrotic Eczema. Basically on my feet (thank God it's not my hands) I get hundreds of bubbles under my skin. AND THEY ITCH. Now it's practically impossible to leave them alone. I have to take care of them (with cream from the doctor) 2 times a day, which inevitably turns into an hour long session of me picking at my feet (thank God the skin on my feet grows back normally without any scars.) but I end up with bloody, painful, itchy feet. (Which I also end up scratching and rubbing in my sleep too, which I can't even tell I am doing and can't seem to avoid.) But this is where it got worse... So while I am messing with my feet... I have always noticed that while picking my skin I feel very zen. I can filter out the world, and do something that doesn't take a lot of thought but I am feeling productive? I know that might sound weird. It's just very zen. And I also remember hearing someone else on the forum mentioning winning - YES. I also feel that I have to win against things that are trying to invade my skin. Like, this is MY body, and I don't want something there, then it has to go. It can't win. And the pervasive thought that I would rather have a scar than some dark mark or hair or whatever in my skin. So anyway, when I was down messing with my foot, I occasionally have started picking the hair off my legs. And now it's gotten a bit out of control. My lower leg is covered in scabs and red marks. It shocks me when I look later, but in the moment, I never think it looks bad... I never meant to let it get this far. I even started pulling the hair out of my underarms. Basically, I don't ever hurt myself there, it just pulls out and I can't see if there's stuck one or whatever makes me dig more, but on my legs it's a bloody mess, and so is my foot and I feel really stupid about it. I don't know why I never though I had a problem... and never considered it self-harm. I read about people who cut, and I'm like, oh God, I could never just cut myself!! And yet, when I think about it, I pick at things until I bleed a LOT of the time, I DO have to hide my leg and my shoulders. I never set out to hurt myself - in fact in the moment, I think I am doing a good thing. But in the end, I think I am harming myself. Anyway, that's my story.
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