I cant stop


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August 01, 2013

Also, it may have started out anxiety based, but I don't think that's it anymore. I also chew the skin around my findernails, so they're ugly and deformed. On my thumb I've chewed all the way to the first joint. This is just as hard to stop as picking my face. I read the article on here about it, and i definitely have a problem. I often chew off layers of my skin until they bleed, and sometimes get infected. It is very painful and leads to a lot of visible damage. I have tried all sorts of things to relieve stress and distract myself, but they don't work. I really want to stop mutilating myself, before it starts to seriously affect me. Sorry I wrote so much, I just needed to vent because I never knew that other people experienced this too. Oh my god. I was looking at the other forms of it, and I have way more issues than I thought. Right now I want to cry and never leave my room. I pick my face, lips, cuticles, and do the acne excoree thing. I know I have severe depression and possibly a few other things..... but oh my god. I feel awful and lonely right now. So, It's not a constant thing. Just, when i see a mirror I get sucked in and can't stop. Thing is, it happens every time I see a mirror. Sometimes I'll be picking off old scabs, then go to a mirror and investigate, and an hour later my face looks like a tomato that was attacked with a potato peeler. Sometimes I go to the bathroom, glance at my face, pick a particlarly giant zit, and of course i pick forever afterwards. Everytime I come out of the bathroom after picking, I feel humiliated and ugly, especially when my mom says, "stop picking! why did you pick?" And I know she doesn't understand.Sorry I wrote so much, I just needed to vent because I never knew that other people experienced this too.
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August 02, 2013

I know what it's like... it's not ugly... it looks massive to us but trust me other people don't see it in the same way as we do. I'm sure you look just fine. Take care and good luck.
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August 05, 2013

Whenever I look at a reflection, it's all I can see.
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August 01, 2013

So for some reason, just writing about it on here and reading other stories is helping me. I feel encouraged. But I'm still picking my fingers. It's a constant nervous habit and I'm always doing it, even when I'm not nervous.
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August 02, 2013

Same here... I pick my fingers all the time, even when I feel nothing at all. I've read that picking can be a coping mechanism against boredom (as well as other more intense feeling emotions) and was sort of a light bulb for me... like I'm aiming for the same level emotional state and the picking helps me to get both up (from boredom) or down (say from anxiety). Gloves and band aides and handcream have been helpful to me to break the habit so far... have you found anything that helps?
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August 05, 2013

I've tried bandaids, and wrapping my fingers in medical tape, but then it's embarrassing when people ask me what's wrong with them. But when I do try that, I pick obsessively at the bandaids until they come off, then continue where I left off on my skin. I haven't tried lotion though..... now I realize that's really smart, because they won't peel and therefore will be harder to pick.
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August 01, 2013

One of my friends with bad acne told me once that she started picking a lot too, and I was thrilled. I was actually hoping her face would be as bad as mine, because then I wouldn't be alone. I felt the same way whenever someone else showed signs of picking. Difference is, she and everyone else always stopped. It didn't become an addiction. I felt like a horrible person for wishing this on someone else, but at the same time I didn't want to be alone.
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August 02, 2013

Give yourself a break (this is what I'm always saying to myself these days)... you're only human. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and this just happens to be yours. I've found it helpful to aim to pick less rather than to stop. When I felt like I had to stop altogether I felt like a failure when I couldn't stop. However, since I've just been aiming to do it less, I have been able to give myself credit for every little success. Every time I'm able to refrain from picking then that is a success. When I do pick I think oh well doesn't matter and try to let it go. It might help if you put some strategies in place to stop picking... this might give you some ideas http://www.trich.org/treatment/SkinPickingStrategies.html. I think the person who wrote this has been working hard to stop for long time. Take care of yourself and looking after yourself. Good luck!!
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August 05, 2013

Thanks. I'll try that.
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August 08, 2013

i couldnt agree with this more. that is also what i do. aim to pick less rather than completely stop because i am able to brush off a few petty picks where the damage isnt bad,&ill feel proud. usually though i will tell myself only get this ONE that is bugging u the most but then i get caught up getting out the rest that arent even necessary and i know will heal by themselves without my wrong doing. thx for including that link for all of us -candace
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August 08, 2013

i couldnt agree with this more. that is also what i do. aim to pick less rather than completely stop because i am able to brush off a few petty picks where the damage isnt bad,&ill feel proud. usually though i will tell myself only get this ONE that is bugging u the most but then i get caught up getting out the rest that arent even necessary and i know will heal by themselves without my wrong doing. thx for including that link for all of us -candace
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August 09, 2013

I do the exact same thing. I'll get some huge zit, and I lean in to look closer while telling myself I won't pick. Then I'll do a few blackheads or something and then I can't stop until my entire face is red.
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August 05, 2013

I just remembered why I started picking my fingers. When I was little, every few months I would chew the skin right next to the quick of my fingernails. Then I would forget about it for a long time. But one day about two years ago, I did that and then did it again like a few days later because I liked it. I started doing it more often until it got where it is today-- my fingers are bloody and deformed and gross, and my thumb is picked to the first joint. Also when I was little, I chewed my nails all the time, but stopped. Last year I started doing that again, and my skin picking was probably worst then. My nails were chewed waaaay too short, and I would chew the tips of my fingers until they were missing entire sheets of skin on the pads. It was gross and painful. I finally let my nails grow out again, and my fingers may be looking better, but I can't really tell. I also have this scab on my foot, and I keep picking it off over and over, and I get immense pleasure out of making it bleed. I know that is gross and unnatural, but all of these things are so comforting for some reason.
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August 05, 2013

My mom actually gets mad at me for picking. She gives me this look, like I'm doing it just to spite her. It makes me frustrated because she has no idea how hard it is, and now I feel all lonely and it makes me want to pick more.
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August 08, 2013

YES YES. my mom then becomes depressed with me and i want to pick some more. i live with my grandparents, my mom and my cousin. too many people around me like that has made weird vibes when im going through this. i ask them if they can not look at me as i make my way through out the house until ive healed. theyre getting really upset and it makes me nervous when they judge.. i know theyre worried but still. i just want whoever is around me to accept what ive done and not say a word just let me be on my own til ive healed and im ready to start all over with the hands off policy. i desperately want to KEEP HANDS/TOOLS OFF for good. i dont even want to scan my face for SOMETHING. i always go back to my room and bash myself for what ive done... wishing the days would go by faster to when the scabs are ready to be taken off. people definitely overlook this severe issue.. i feel like im stuck between OCD&addiction. ur not lonely, understand im going through the exact same. i hate finding things on my body. tired of treating the effect, i want to treat the CAUSE -candace
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August 09, 2013

My problem is that whenever I let the heal, I get real zits, and they keep getting bigger and more painful until I HAVE to pick them, and then it starts all over again.
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August 08, 2013

Just now I noticed a bunch of blackheads on my arms and shoulders, but I really don't want to pick them. My face looks okay right now since it's been a few days since I last picked, and I really want to stop this time. Even my fingers are doing better, and I noticed I didn't pick them too much the last couple of days.
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August 08, 2013

UR MY TWIN! this is the exact situation between my mom and i, same feelings like ur describing, same everything. we need to help each other -candace
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August 09, 2013

Yes. So right now I'm avoiding going in the bathroom because this is when I pick the most, and since I haven't picked in four days now I'm really hoping that I won't again. I know it's easier to stop slowly, but if I can go cold turkey then that would be awesome too. So I'm gonna wash my face and go come right back to my room. No picking. Kay guys?
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August 10, 2013

Just now I asked my mom if I could get some calamine lotion, and she insisted that it won't work on acne, especially if I keep picking it. Everyone here says it works on scabs though. So I don't know.
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August 11, 2013

Try everything you need to, sometimes I think some of the stuff I try actually doesn't improve the scarring or healing rate but psychologically it makes me feel better and it looks less horrifying in the mirror even if I am seeing the same thing. And that helps with the shame and anger around the whole thing. Also just wanted to say parents suck where this is concerned. My way of attempting to forgive my parents is by putting myself in their shoes. When they brought you into the world they thought you were the most beautiful and amazing thing in it. I'm told that feeling never goes away despite whatever life throws in the way to mask it from view. They want to protect you from any harm or danger more than anything else in the world. The fact that you yourself are the cause of that harm confuses their natural instincts and they just cant deal basically. That's nobody's fault its just an added complication to the whole thing. If you thought having a conversation with your mum to explain exactly what is going on would get her more on side I'd say do it coz I cant tell you how much having someone a little more sympathetic makes a difference. Your mom seems like she wants to help (pull up the wiki dematillomania page that's how I got shit home to my boyfriend) Sorry about the rant!
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August 12, 2013

No, ranting's cool. And that makes sense. But for some reason I've been picking my fingers all day, and just now I picked my face. Not too bad, but enough to create a couple new scabs. I'm so pissed at myself, because I was doing really good and now I'm ugly again, and school starts in less than two days. So I think I'll just stay in my room for a while. Thanks for the support.
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August 12, 2013

No, you 'feel' ugly because you picked that's not the same as being ugly. Don't discount what you've managed to achieve just because you've had one slip up. The nature of progress unfortunately is that sometimes it feels like 1 step forward 2 steps back but ultimately you are doing good! Just try and make yourself get out of your room and do something, even if you dread it coz it'll be better for you than staying inside with only your negative self image for company - thats a recipe for picking. Please don't stay in your room for the next two days. This is a rough patch, if you can get through this you'll do even better at combating the next one, that's part of the journey.
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August 13, 2013

Thanks. I was out all day, and kind of forgot about the scabs. They're already healing and I feel a lot better now.
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August 16, 2013

My skin looks pretty good right now. I haven't picked today or yesterday and the scabs are healing quickly. My fingers look okay too. I'm doing good right now.
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August 17, 2013

I just picked again.... not as bad as I could have, but I'm still really annoyed. Every time I start doing better, I do it again.
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August 17, 2013

I picked again just now. I'm starting to get bad again..... I don't know what to do.
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August 22, 2013

Okay, I'm finally looking better. I hope I stay that way too.
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August 23, 2013

Just kidding. I picked two deep blackheads on my cheekbones, and I have one nasty whitehead on my forehead that I popped twice already that's really swollen and painful. But I only picked those three, so I'm doing a little better. I will NOT pick again later. I promise.
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September 28, 2013

My face looks a little better, but with weird damaged skin on my forehead. The ones on my cheeks and chin went away, but yesterday I picked off a huge chunk of skin from my nose. My fingers are absolutely awful, but I'm trying to focus on one thing at a time. One thing I've recently found myself doing is picking my legs. At first, I would pull out the hair with tweezers after I shaved. But my skin got really dry and I got weird bumpy blackhead things, so I popped them like I did my face. Now I have a bunch of scabs, and I have to wear shorts for dance. Also, I increased my Zoloft, and a side effect is itching. So recently my legs have been really itchy, and the other day I scratched off a two inch strip of skin from my left shin with the bottom of my shoe, and a bunch of bruises just from scratching. It just makes my legs look worse. I'm also self conscious about my cutting scars, which are mostly on my left ankle, but the recent ones scarred red, so I feel like they're very visible. I rarely cut, but when I do, it's because of my severe depression, and I hate myself later. So my challenge for now is three days without picking my face, and maybe just a few hours of not picking my fingers would be nice. And absolutely no more on the legs.
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October 01, 2013

I don't think I can count yesterday, and I'm not sure about today. Yesterday I popped a bunch of the ones that were beginning to heal, and I squeezed some weird gunk out of my leg pores. Today I have pink eye and stayed home from school, so I haven't washed my face or anything. This morning I popped a couple whiteheads and two on my back, nothing major, but evening is my worst picking time so we'll see how it goes. I tried really hard not to chew my fingers, but I still tore off a few good- sized chunks of skin, so they look especially disgusting now. Also, I have a whitehead on my eyebrow, which is one of my favorite places to get them because they always have a lot of pus. So today, I'm not going to pick my face, back, chest or legs at all, and especially that one on my eyebrow. I hope I can make it to one day.
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October 01, 2013

I have to really focus to keep from picking my fingers. Grr. But I just remembered last year in health class, one girl was like "I've never popped a zit." and I thought, you have no idea how lucky you are. Recently, my therapist suggested wearing gloves, especially to go in the bathroom, or to take a small object in with you and tell yourself you can't put it down until you leave. Those both help. Also, pure organic coconut really is incredible, and cheap. I definitely recommend trying it.
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October 01, 2013

I've like transferred my picking from my face to my legs. Even right now as I type this, I keep stopping to pop things on my legs. It's really stressing me out and I can't stop, but at the same time my addiction is making me think I don't wanna stop. I need help, because I cant stop on my own right now. and my legs look horrible im so humiliated right now
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October 01, 2013

It is so difficult not to chew my fingers right now. It requires constant concentration. *deep breath* I can do this
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October 01, 2013

Really empathize with your post. . I started picking when I was 15ish and am now 31 and seem to be in the midst of a really bad picking episode. The irony is that I also suffer with binge eating, but since that's started to become more under control, the picking has gone stratospheric. I currently have thirteen scabs all over my face and neck they are so sore and look horrendous. Last night i put in calamine lotion but because all my scabs are craters from where I've picked holes in my skin with tweezers, the lotion dried in the centre and I found it really hard to wash off.... Did feel nice and soothing though when I first applied it. I'm absolutely sick of this disorder. I'm pledging abstinence from picking tonight and will be posting again tomorrow morning. I think im going to have to just take things an hour at a time. Hopefully together we can all beat this? X Ps my mum totally doesn't get it, despite me trying to tell her. She popped round today: the first thing she said "gosh you've made such a mess of your face and neck". Bless her, I know she doesn't mean to hurt my feelings more.... But I already know the damage I've done :(
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October 02, 2013

Man, it sucks trying to explain to other people. I agree that it's one hour at a time, because I seem to get intimidated by longer goals. I haven't been able to find any plain calamine though. I'm sick of it too, so let's not pick tonight, okay? We can do it
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October 02, 2013

Really empathize with your post. . I started picking when I was 15ish and am now 31 and seem to be in the midst of a really bad picking episode. The irony is that I also suffer with binge eating, but since that's started to become more under control, the picking has gone stratospheric. I currently have thirteen scabs all over my face and neck they are so sore and look horrendous. Last night i put in calamine lotion but because all my scabs are craters from where I've picked holes in my skin with tweezers, the lotion dried in the centre and I found it really hard to wash off.... Did feel nice and soothing though when I first applied it. I'm absolutely sick of this disorder. I'm pledging abstinence from picking tonight and will be posting again tomorrow morning. I think im going to have to just take things an hour at a time. Hopefully together we can all beat this? X Ps my mum totally doesn't get it, despite me trying to tell her. She popped round today: the first thing she said "gosh you've made such a mess of your face and neck". Bless her, I know she doesn't mean to hurt my feelings more.... But I already know the damage I've done :(
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October 02, 2013

I just figured out how to perfectly describe what this disease feels like for me. I have two different personalities-- my regular one, and the very unwelcome "picker". Suddenly, the picker takes over my whole body, trapping me in myself, and forces me to pick. The whole time, my regular half is screaming to stop, but it doesn't do anything. I legitimately am not in control of my limbs-- it's like I'm possessed. And whenever I have the urge to pick, I know I shouldn't, but the regular half is squashed by the picking half. If I want to pick, I simply cant stop myself. and if somehow I do, I get this deep sense of loss that makes my stomach hurt. I feel like I NEED to pick or something bad is gonna happen to me. Usually if I do pick, the only thing that can stop me is if someone actually comes in the bathroom, or if I have to go somewhere. otherwise, I can do it for hours.
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October 02, 2013

I can't count today. I picked my face and legs and hands a little, and I was going to do my legs more but I was like, NOOOO. So now I'm wearing long sweatpants, and gloves. this is impossible. I cant even look at myself or I'll start picking.
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October 02, 2013

Your description of the two 'selves' is absolutely accurate because this disorder does indeed encompass two competing thoughts....the 'voice of the compulsion' that tells you 'just this one won't matter', then before you know it your fingers are covered in blood and there are multiple wound sites everywhere. The other part is the 'healthy' rational brain, which knows how damaging and maladaptive this is. However, this condition is the result of very real and powerful activities in the brain which makes us literally feel like we are going to die if we don't pick. Read 'Brain Lock' by J Schwarz. On the back cover you can SEE the difference in the brains of OCD sufferers and non OCD sufferer's and this condition, I believe, comes under an obsessive compulsive disorder to an extent because the thoughts to pick/examine are obsessive and the urge to pick compulsive. I read this book years ago and it did help me but then I think ultimately it was the fact that my skin cleared up which meant that the stimulus to pick was gone. Let's start a fresh tomorrow. I am in Uni all day so won't be in a position to pick (she says hopefully), however I am nervous because my face and neck is COVERED in craters. If you need to, post on here every hour or half hour to keep you going....or maybe open a word document and do a day journal where you check in every hour then post it on here in one go...do whatever you need to get through the day (and obviously ignore this if these techniques won't work for you). Apart from squeezing a spot, I haven't picked today...but the I have binged for the first time in ageas. sigh. More from me tomorrow xx
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October 03, 2013

Yeah, this definitely feels like a real addiction. Today I had to skip pe because I don't wanna explain all the scabs on my legs.... don't want to be judged