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butterflydust , 18 Feb 2013

make it stop....

I have never been here before, but things have reached that desperate point in my life in which I need this to stop. I'm in the usual cycle I think- I mess with someone on my face because i'm stressed, it gets injured, i get a scab, i mess with the scab, repeat repeat repeat. i have a therapist and i've tried a few things (putting messages on the mirror, taping my car mirror shut, putting bandaids on places i feel like messing with), but even though yesterday i hit another "I'M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!" breaking point, here i am again today after having peeled off a scab with the same problem.... it's amazing how powerless i am to stop this impulse, even though i really, really, really want to. it's really gotten to be so i don't leave the house a lot of the time, back out of commitments, miss work/school etc. also, i'm pretty sure my husband thinks i'm crazy and though he doesn't say it, i'm sure he's also tired of me looking like a pepperoni pizza. i've been doing this for 13 years and just surviving with the shame/lack of self esteem about my appearance, but i really want it to stop. NOW. i haven't done that many things yet to try to fix this (besides what I mentioned), so if anyone has anything that has worked at all for you, please let me know. I'm particularly interested in ways to avoid skin "scanning" as I think it's the texture that drives me nuts in the first place. please help me.... :-(
4 Answers
February 19, 2013
I've had that "MUST STOP" break-through as well. A few years ago when I was 11, I wanted to stop. I'm 13, almost 14, and look where I am now. On this website, looking for advice and support. If it works for you, PLEASE reply to me and tell me all about it. I will definitely envy your willpower. -Jasmine
February 21, 2013
I don't have any answers yet. All I can do is remind you that you're not alone. I struggle with picking, too. It's a challenge for me just to be here and talk about this, but I'm doing it. I believe that we can change what we're doing. We can stop re-injuring ourselves. Together, we can figure out how.
February 21, 2013
Hi Butterflydust, So sorry to hear about your troubles. I definitely know where you are coming from (I am a 95% recovered from skin picking, and had these moments many times in the past). You should know that this is not your fault, and anyone who says "just stop" (as if a simple and easy rational decision to stop would suffice) clearly doesn't "get it". I know how embarrassing the wounds feel and how compelling and temporarily relieving it feels to pick them again. Skin picking can be as addictive as food is to binge eaters or alcohol is to alcoholics. However, it is not your fault! This is a legitimate and researched issue (called dermatillomania or skin picking and is seen by some drs as a sub group of OCD, as it deals with difficulty with impulse control). I posted some tips on one of the other forums here (e.g. covering your fingers/fingernails with gloves at least until the scabs have fallen off by themselves-I know its hard). Also, you said you have a therapist, but the question is, do you have a good "skin- picking" specialist? From my experience, some run-of-the-mill psychologist/therapists seem to have little idea of how to treat (and sometimes even diagnose) this issue. The right specialist can work wonders. I am not a doctor, but I would recommend getting a skin-picking specialist in your area. I know, I know, it feels so weird to go to a dr. for this, but it can help a lot and actually the doctor has seen this billions of times, so you definitely won't be weirding him out or anything. Actually, it's really refreshing to have an expert who knows exactly what you are talking about and who can provide some treatment. Check out this website for some options: They also have some good resources for purchase to prevent skin picking. Good luck. I know it feels like a million miles away right now, but I am confident that you can overcome this!!!
February 25, 2013
thank you so much... it was actually so amazing to come here and read the stories of people who have experienced this as well. it's easy to start thinking you're crazy when other people tell you to just stop. my therapist is a cognitive behavioral therapist, which is probably the best kind of therapy to deal with this. i think she sees other patients for this problem. i'm just always really embarrassed to bring it up at our meetings because it makes me feel so crazy. also i think it's just embarrassing to admit to any kind of addiction and to admit that you're powerless over it. it's just so frustrating. i've had some success this week. i put a kitchen timer in the bathroom and have started setting it for a few minutes every time i go in there. i put a picture of me at my worst on the mirror to try to discourage me. i've been trying to wear gloves when i'm tempted (which is hard). my skin is so dry which is a huge temptation to me, so i've been putting on lotion every five seconds... one thing that i think will help is having something else i can do in the bathroom to relieve stress (i tend to be way worse when i'm stressed), but i can't really think of anything. any ideas? thank you so much for replying! it's so good to know that I'm not alone (although I wish nobody else had to deal with this).

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