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I am new here. I must say.. this whole picking thing really sucks. My story.
Hi. I am a 33 year old mother, of two beautiful daughters (ages 4 and 6), with a very loving and understanding fiancé. I just graduated college and earned a certificate in Phlebotomy. I have been very educated (in school and life) on psychology and drug/alcohol abuse. My father and fiancé are both recovering addicts/alcoholics. Alcoholism is very prevalent in my family. I have had serious back issues since I was 17 years old and have been living on narcotics (along with many other drugs) for over ten years. In 2005, I had a back surgery, but now need another one. I have been weaning off my narcotics for the past few months, in order to have the surgery, and about a month ago is when my picking started to take over my life. I have always suffered with depression and anxiety. I do have OCD. I have "ticks" but not so much "rituals".. For many years, I have picked the skin off the bottom of my feet. Often to the point where it would bleed and hurt for weeks. I finally was able to let a spot heal up, that hadn't been healed up in at least five years! But then.. I started picking at my heal. When I am doing this, I find that it is nearly impossible to quit. I cannot quit until all the skin around it is smooth.. so, there are no raised edges. I also pick my toenails off to the point that they are almost gone, sometimes! I have never once thought of myself as having dermatillomania (or however you spell it..lol), not until this past month, anyway. About a month ago, I started having a lot of anxiety. Well, more than usual..lol. And I think it was due to my schooling/grades, and me making the decision (against my doctors orders) to not have my (fusion) back surgery. I do not even recall how it happened, but before you know it, I am picking at my nose. It has just progressively gotten worse:( Sometimes, I can spend up to three hours at a time doing it. I probably spend a total of 5 hours a day, picking the skin off the inside of my nose! It is so gross.. and it hurts really bad:( I even checked myself into the ER the other day, because I was afraid that maybe I had a staph infection. I read online that, since the blood supply from your brain is shared with your nose, it can cause an infection (in your nose) to spread to the brain. That scared me. They said it wasn't infected though and their advice was to "just stop". ha! I looked at them and said, "yeah.. I know. if it were that easy I would have just done that." So, anyway, I did really good after that (which was about a week ago) for a few days. I guess I got really scared when they said, "it WILL cause permanent damage if you don't stop." And so, I thought I was all good.. But, no. Its really frustrating when you know why youre doing it and yet you cant stop. I have started to see my therapist again. He doesn't know a lot about it, but gave me some breathing exercises to do. They help a little. But, I will find myself sometimes purposely not doing them because of the overwhelming need to pick and the feeling I get afterwards. I cant stand to feel or see any "edges" and will just keep going until they are gone. I use tweezers. And I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this.. like the metal from the tweezers getting into your blood stream.. can that do anything?? Because the day I went to the hospital, I had gotten (for the first time) a really strange pain in my head. It was behind my left eye, which is the side I pick on. Anyway, I know its anxiety driven because I have really "dug deep" (no pun intended..lol;)) inside myself to realize whats causing this. When I got to the hospital that day, and didn't have my tweezers with me (purposely), I had this overwhelming panic and didn't know what I was going to do for the next few hours without them! And oddly enough, I found them in my daughters backpack. She packed them for me. Now, that's sad:( Can anyone please help me with this? I just don't know what to do anymore. Some times I am thinking I need to check myself into a freaking mental hospital! And THAT is not a good feeling:(
May 16, 2013
Hi, I struggle with this. My triggers are fatigue and acne. I used to get “stuck” which I’m sure is not an uncommon term for most of you on this forum. Low self esteem is one of contributing factors. One thing that helped me with this was Nerium AD. I had acne scarring on my face because of picking. It cleared up most of the scarring and helps continually bring impurities out of my skin so they don’t form acne. I encourage you to try it. With less acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, I had improved self esteem and therefore pick less. Check it out: www.ginaad.nerium.com Best of luck