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picker87 , 29 May 2013

New here. Getting married next year and desperately want to stop!!

Hello to everyone here, I know well the experience and agony you are all going through and I am so happy to have found an active forum where I can hopefully contribute some techniques I've been using, and to find support for my own problem. I'm 26 and I've been picking at least since I was 11, if not before. I'm so lucky to have found an amazing man and I'm getting married in most likely May 2014 (yay!). I was single for about18 months prior so my mania ran totally unchecked. Then I met him and decided to stop for him, but once when I complained about my spots he said 'I don't care about your spots'... and little did he know I felt like I'd been given permission to give up the fight.. :( 2 years on from that I suspected he would propose to me soon so I managed to go an entire week (my best record!) by telling myself 'he won't propose if I pick from now until then' (and he did!!) but I've just fallen back into the habit. We started living together and I thought I wouldn't get the chance to pick for hours.. that's true, but I can still find 5/10 minutes of alone time in front of a mirror.. ARGH! Now we're getting engagement photos in 10 days and I promised myself I wouldn't pick until then but I accidentally did a tiny bit earlier... I just need to stop! I feel sick when I think about it and I want to cry but when I'm standing in front of a mirror I often just trance out and am just overwhelmed by the urge and I feel so good in the moment I pick... then I instantly feel huge regret and shame. My brain is so stupid. I recently started a visualising thing where I 'practice picking' in private and brush the desired area and then I visualise a giant red stop sign and pull my hand away. I repeat this a few times a day so I am gradually making an association with moving my hand towards the area and thinking 'STOP!' because I often pick in my zombie-trance mode and don't realise I've done it until after I've already started. ...Wow, after bottling this up for 15 years I guess I had a lot to say!!! So No More Picking For The Next 10 days!! Anyone have any advice or any similar stories? If you're interested my main areas are face, chin, shoulders.
7 Answers
May 29, 2013
Wow, no line breaks?? Sorry!!! I guess in brief if it's too long and unreadable- thought getting engaged and moving in with my partner would help but it didn't, getting engagement photos in 10 days and just can't stop!!!
May 30, 2013
I saw. In another post, calamine lotion a few times a day. Not sure how effective, but worth a try! I'm still looking too! CSP - 3 little letters in my bowl of alphabet soup!
May 30, 2013
Yeah, the last 3 years my skin picking at certain blemishes has devastated my life and mental health., I felt it has gotten worse since my head injury, but remember that I have done it since I was a teenager. I only have certain parts of my body and face I pick. I know what you feel, sometimes it feels uncontrollable and I want to stop, but can't. I think mine has a lot to do with my environment, (if I could be in a quiet place without the rush of the world out my window I could calm down), feeling out of control since my accident, a painful and sudden breakup and loss of income and homelessness has overwhelmed me. Plus I feel ashamed at my picking and feel like I am since I am not perfect, getting skin imperfections off (like right away! is how I feel with it) has made me even more depressed. I kinda feel like the woman I was with for the last 6 years furthered my skin picking problem since she picked, but I guess I cannot blame her anymore. It's, like when I see the bumps or KP, or pimples or skin problems, I feel a irresistible urge to pick them to "get it out of my skin." I hate it, I just wish the problem skin areas could not have any problems like other parts of my body. I don't know I am going to see my Derm and she is can prescribe a KP lotion or a gel than can diminish my bumps because I think I won't pick at much. Sometimes my picking seems to worsen at night and when I wake up. I mainly focus on the sides of my torso, and arms since that is where the problems seem to be. Sometimes I am too afraid to pick at my face because then I feel embarrassed and shitty if I have to go out in public. Also I think that feeling really had to do with all my life being or feeling like I am being judged by others and making me feel less than adequate. I don't think you brain or my brain is stupid for picking (since some picking is normal behavior) but we lose the the control to stop, even though what we are doing, i.e., excessive picking is bad for out skin and ACTUALLY making any existing spots, bumps, blemishes worse and more noticeable, and that is the part that sucks. Yeah, the feeling sick you describe is something I know all too well, and then thinking back on the picking makes for a traumatic experience for me and remembering how I did it, makes me depressed. Also the "zombie-trance mode" you describe I have learned is the thing that happens with these impulse control disorders and I have gotten those feelings is like something takes over and keeps compelling you to pick until you cannot pick anymore or are satisfied. I know for one, my picking is partially genetic and partly all the shit I have gone through and am going through and my longing to have skin that is perfect. I need to keep on with therapy and just keep reminding myself that if I pick I am probably doing serious harm to my skin and sometimes just need to calm down. I know easier said that done, right! Hang in there and hopefully sooner than later your picking will be under control.
June 01, 2013

In reply to by highlander1592

Thank you very much for your kind words. and your experience. I also believe my picking is genetic since I have memories of my mother picking at her head a lot when I was young, though I have never asked her about it. But I don't want to give myself an excuse to do what I do. The "get it out of my skin" is definitely something I know too well. I've been three days now without (or barely) touching my face and back (yay!!! 7 days to go!), but I've just had a whole session on my upper arm.. argh! I feel lumps in there and I just want to get them out despite the fact that I know these lumps are totally normal and I see them on other people. I bet those people have never given them a second thought! I'm glad you have access to therapy, don't have that option since I'm currently living abroad in a developing country, so keep working at it and don't feel you need to be bound to your genes!
June 04, 2013

In reply to by picker87

I'm so glad I found this forum. I have lived w/ this secret (scalp picking) since I was 12 (1987). I am now 37. My first occurrence came about due to stress. I remember it feeling relieving to scratch - however I don't know what triggered me to do it to my head. I have vowed to stop many times. It seems to only pop-up during stressful times and when I am experiencing PMS. When I became pregnant in 2010 - I was more determined than ever to stop. I did not want to bring my daughter into my emotionally unhealthy scalp picking world. Pregnancy elevated it if anything. Now my daughter is 2.5 and recently I have noticed that she sometimes watches me do it. Before it was easy to get away w/ in front of her. I usually stop within a few minutes of her noticing and vow to never do it in front of her again - yet I always feel like I can sneak a quick pick in... So this question is more in reference to you viewing your mother as a young child. Did you wonder why she was picking? Did you try it because you saw her do it? I would love to know more about your experience as a child w/ your mom's habit.
June 03, 2013
First of all, congrats on your engagement. I dont know if this will be of any use but I've heard that body foundation (such as is made be Mac) is meant to be quite good in covering up skin problems, especially for weddings and big events. I saw a TV programme once where a woman who was covered in tattoos wanted a normal skin colour in her wedding photos and so got this spray on foundation type thing and it completely masked it all. I do not know about pricing however. I too have an awful problem with controlling myself and, as of yet, have not found a way to stop. My entire back, shoulders, chest and parts of my legs are all horrifically scarred. Reading about the people on here that have partners gives me a glimmer of hope that i may find someone one day but the thought of anyone seeing what I've done makes me want to cry. You are really lucky to have found someone that is so accepting. I was told by a councillor to wear a hair band on my wrist and ping it whenever i feel the urge to pick - I'm not going to lie, for me it hasn't worked as well as id hoped but maybe for you it might? A hair bobble is also quite inconspicuous so people wont ask why it's there. Good luck. With something like a wedding to look forward to I'm sure the incentive to stop or at least reduce the amount you pick will help a lot.
June 18, 2013
I feel, too, like changing diet habits like eating more fruits and vegetables or oils might help too. I know for me I have phobias about eating junky or highly processed foods that they may make my picking worse; thought I crave Chinese foods sometimes. Lately, I have bee saying prayers to help free my mind from skin picking or feeling bad about my skin. When I am out in public, I see bumps or acne pimples or whatever on other people's skin and think "how do they not get upset and go crazy and pick out/off the bumps?" Since I don't have a lot of friends or a active social life and am alone quite a bit, I think picking consumes me sometime. You are also very blessed to have an accepting person say that "he does care about your spots." Here is one link about skin picking: I think the Trich website is a good resource too: Just find what works for you to control your picking, and do what is best for you because I have learned that YOU are all that matters in the battle. There is so much nervous/anxious emotion behind picking, for me it is having body issues, imperfections, not feeling good enough, feeling scarred, feeling unworthy, feeling dirty, etc....that I feel we pickers need to have someone or something supportive in our lives to make sure we don't lose it for good. I recently had a good man who is praying for me say,"We are all works in progress." Peace and Love, Amen,

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