Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test
Before today I didn't even realise I had a problem, but lately my obsession to pick my face is causing me a lot of emotional distress. I'm 38 and have loathed my skin since I was a teenager, I can recall picking at my face for hours and then looking at myself with disgust because I had made the spots worse by sticking needles into my skin and using tweezers to rid the spot. After hours of self mutilation I'd end up with red infected areas on my face, the skin would be cut and bleeding and then I'd use spot treatments to kill the bacteria. At the time I thought I was going through what many other teenagers were facing, but at 38 I'm still obsessed and its effecting my life and my relationships. I've always believed that my skin is bad, as very rarely do I have a clear completion and when I do it's not for long before a blemish or a spot will appear. It's an understatement to say I hate spots and when I see them on my face I want to rip my skin off. Even though I know that picking will make it worse I just can't leave my face alone. The anxiety I feel in conjunction with feelings of self hate cause me to obsess over my imperfections to the point that I'm left with cuts and swollen red patches on my skin. I use plasters to cover the areas I've been picking so if I can't see it I don't pick it, if I'm having to leave the house I mask over with heavy makeup but often the wound is so fresh that it weeps, there is no amount of make up disguise the blemish, this is when I'm at my worst as all I want to do is shut off from everyone, I just want to hide. I have 2 beautiful girls who are witnessing my obsessional behaviour everyday and I hate myself for doing what I do as I can see the effects it's had on my two daughters as they are now obsessing about the way they look and they're only 5 & 8. My moods are effected so I become extremely irrational, agitated and anxious and my thoughts of self hate torment my mind that I can't focus on anything else other than how disgusting and ugly I look. I can barely be around my kids or husband when I'm like this and I'm getting tired of feeling this way. I've canceled so many social events and important functions and I know that people have labelled me as being unreliable and volatile as I never tell people the truth I just stay away until I can face the world again. I know this is not normal behaviour but I can't see a way out...has anyone been treated for this type of OCD and how effective was the treatment? I've taken anti-depressants in the past but it's not worked, so any advice would be much appreciated.