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BDD_CSP , 09 Apr 2013


I suffer from BDD, CSP, and Trauma. I don't want this anymore. Have any of your recovered? What did you do? What was the process? How long did it take? How severe was your disorder? Do you suffer scarring? Do you have any relapses? What do you do if you have a relapse? What is your advice to others who suffer?
6 Answers
April 10, 2013
Hello BDD_CSP! I first learned about Dermatillomania two years ago when I went to an appointment at a Medical Spa for a consultation to receive laser treatment for my self-induced scarring. The owner of the spa informed me that they could not treat me with open wounds all over my face. She asked me if I knew what Dermatillomania was. When I told her that I had never heard the term before, she told me that it's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and that I clearly suffered from it. She told me that I would need to research it and seek treatment for it and get it under control before they would even consider treating me with laser. Devastated (not to mention mortified and completely embarrassed and ashamed), I went home and decided to research skin picking (Dermatillomania) online. That was when I came across this wonderful forum. I was shocked to see how many people out there suffered from CSP, just like me! My skin picking was at its worse and I used tweezers and scissors to pick at my face. Admitting to myself that I had a problem was the first step, confessing to my husband that I suffered from CSP was the second step. I handed over my 3 pairs of tweezers and grooming scissors and he happily disposed of all of them. Through trial and error I found products that were ideal for healing wounded skin and keeping my skin clear of breakouts. Through a lot of dedication, will power, and consistency, after picking my skin for a total of 9 years and working on learning to live a pick-free lifestyle for two years, I can FINALLY say that I've defeated Dermatillomania and I've overcome the urge to pick. It was an uphill battle to get where I am today, but now that I'm at the top, I've never been happier. The best advice I can give is to always forgive yourself when you slip up and give in to the urge to pick. Everyone makes mistakes and tomorrow is a new day. This was why I also did a lot of research on products that would help speed up healing, because I know I'm not perfect and there would be days when the urge to pick would be too strong for me to resist. Please check out my forum topic "wounds are HEALING and scars are FADING" for tips on how to heal your skin. The road to recovery is difficult but not impossible - I'm living proof of it. Dermatillomania CAN be defeated! :) XO - newperspective
April 11, 2013

In reply to by newperspective

Newperspective, Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post! I started recording my behavior, getting therapy, and using calamine lotion and neosporine to heal my skin. A good day is about 30 minutes and a bad day is anywhere from 3 to 4 hours- sometimes can be longer. It is inspiring to hear people like you have overcome this disorder. Maybe some day I will overcome this disorder too. Again, THANK YOU, it has been a blessing to hear your story and kind words. Sincerely, BDD_CSP
April 12, 2013

In reply to by BDD_CSP

I must confess, I did not take the time to read this in it's entirety, but was eager to respond. I have been dealing with much of the same for about 20 years. What has truly worked for me was getting tattoos! I initially thought getting them would just be another trick, but tricks are helpful. Now, I have replaced something horrific (my skin before) with something beautiful. Granted, this has not been easy. I am a meditator and meditation instructor, and a very thick-skulled, stubborn person that goes on A LOT of retreats to work with my mind and impulses (not to mention my daily practice). The journey never ends, but I do think honesty and community support are key. Thank you for sharing!
April 12, 2013

In reply to by Julie

Thanks Julie, I've been using a type of meditation in therapy for my drills and hope it will bring me as much success as it has brought all of you. Even if you didn't read the other posts... you took the time to tell your story, thank you :)
April 11, 2013
Hi, I have dealt with BDD, CSP, PTSD and Depression so I know what you're going through. I consider my BDD and CSP to be "in recovery." I don't know if I will ever consider myself truly cured because they really are similar to addictions. I struggled with BDD and CSP for years. My BDD was mainly focused on my skin. I was probably like a lot of people with this in that I never really had bad skin but every little bump or imperfection I thought was there I couldn't leave it alone and just made it much worse. I tried cutting my nails, distracting myself when I would get urges but it was so overpowering none of that really helped. There are three things that I would recommend: 1) If you have acne and that is what's causing you to pick, go to a dermatologist and get treated for it. Explain your condition and ask them to be as aggressive with treatment as is safe because a few bumps a month is nothing to them, but it may mean all the difference in the world to you. I'm female so I started using Ortho-tricyclen birth control pills and that helped a lot. 2) Get rid of your mirrors. Especially magnifying mirrors! Use the one in the bathroom to wash your face etc, but try dimming the lights and not getting too close to it. Once you are ready for the day, don't use mirrors any more until it's time to wash your face at night. 3) Have laser surgery to fix any scarring you have caused. This was the most impactful thing that I did to stop picking. My scars weren't bad but I couldn't stand looking at them and knowing I had done it to myself. I finally discovered fraxel laser treatments and honestly, they saved my life. They are rather expensive and a bit painful and after going through eight of them I wouldn't dare pick my face again. This is just my experience but the laser surgery and it's amazing results (I now think nothing of leaving the house without makeup) is the only thing my brain seemed to truly respond to (I've had therapy and medication) and say "ok enough. You're good enough as you are, you don't need to try to fix yourself anymore." Maybe it's because the lasers did what I was always trying to do, only much more effectively. So honestly, my recovery is not the result of my amazing willpower- this thing would get me every time and I would feel so guilty but realize it is not your fault! It really is an illness like addiction and needs to be treated like one. I read in "The Broken Mirror" that some of the few people who recover from BDD are skin pickers who have had laser surgery, so in that sense I am just lucky. Lucky that my BDD wasn't focused somewhere else, lucky that there was treatment available to fix the damage I had caused. Hope this helped a little. I wish you all the best in your fight!!
April 11, 2013

In reply to by GirlonFire

Your situation sounds exactly like mine. I bought the "Broken Mirror" too, but with all my school work have not had an opportunity to read. I will look into laser treatment and see if they could remove some of my scarring... I don't have deep scares just red and pink pigmentation. I think I would cry the first day I walk out of the house without makeup lol. Thank you for your story, inspiration, and suggestions.

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