Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

HylianBean , 31 Oct 2013

First time speaking out.

Hi, I'm 'Bean' and this is my first time talking about this problem ever, so I'm honestly nervous, especially since I'm doing it on the Internet for anyone to read. I tend to be very private, and talk about my problems almost never, so this is kind of uncomfortable for me. Anywho, (I'll try to shorten everything as much as possible, but I'm sure as all of you understand, this is very complicated) diving straight in, I've had anxiety and depression my entire life, which I feel was mainly caused by genetics, but my childhood and life experiences have definitely taken part in worsening it, as well. I grew up with a very dysfunctional family. My parents were very abusive to each other and also very abusive to me and my 2 older siblings and were always separating and getting back together, which was even more stressful because we had to choose between our parents. My mother is very judgmental, verbally abusive, and controlling and my father was physically abusive. I remember pulling all of my eyelashes out at a very young age, probably 3 years old. Around maybe 4 or 5 years old I also picked up a habit of pulling my hair out strand after strand, which I now know is trichtillomania. I even started to develop a bit of a bald spot on the top of my head because of this, which my mother made me horribly self conscious about by telling me that I was going to get made fun of and that It looked strange. She reacted that same way when I had previously pulled my eyelashes out. I now realize my mother is the cause of the trichtillomania (it didn't progress any further than the small bald spot) because she used to always force me to let her pull out strands of my hair that she called "wires" because they looked thick and "wirey" as she put it (I have very thick, full, curly Latina hair.) She would sometimes even force me to sit while she looked through my hair for "wires" to pull out. When I was about 9, I pulled all of my eyelashes out again, which made me incredibly self conscious and only added to my already very broken self esteem from school and family torment. I started wearing eyeliner to hide it and as far as I know, nobody outside of my family noticed. My family would often makes jokes about it or make fun of me and tell me that it wasn't normal, though. Following that period in my life (now 11 years old, eyelashes grown back) was where things spiked for me. My depression was at an all time low, my self esteem had long been in the toilet, I was very alone, which contributed to the start of my anorexia which I've now been battling for 7 years. 12 years old; this is where the skin picking really began and, of course, my mother was the source of it. I've always had trouble sleeping which made it hard to wake up in the morning, so my mother would wake me up for school every morning. When she would come in my room to wake me up, she'd first go through all of my things, including my cell phone if she could, and then she would sit next to me, popping every little thing on my face while I slept. When I would eventually wake up, I would be so angry and would yell at her to get out of my room and she would just play it off like it was completely normal. She would do this every single day that she woke me up for school and it was absolutely horrible. She would sometimes even try to do it to my back. This caused my anxiety to seriously spike. I would have red marks, scabs, scars, and even though I originally had very minimal to almost no acne, breakouts and acne were becoming frequent because of her obsession. She would often get so into picking my skin, that she would lose track of time and cause me to be late to school. I should also mention that she would force my siblings to let her pop and pick at their skin, as well. My sister also has had problems with skin picking, but with her arms and legs, not her face. When I turned 14 was when I detached from my parents and started actually making friends and hanging out with people (all older than me.) I never really talked to my parents and I basically lived in a one bedroom apartment with about 7 other people for around 4 months. I didn't go to school and I would only stop at my parents' house for clothes. Through that period of time, skin picking wasn't really an issue, although ever since my mother picked my face, I would have the every great once in a while picking spree, but it was nothing severe that wouldn't heal after a day or two. My skin was very clear in this period though because of how busy I constantly was, I didn't have the extra time to get stuck in front of the mirror. I was now staying at my best friends house. We were so close and I was actually pretty happy. my skin picking habits became more frequent , but still stayed under control because of my still very busy social life. We eventually became a group of friends and we all hung out everyday and were like family, I was actually happy and had friends who cared about me for the first time and my skin picking and acne were practically non existent. Now 16, I met my boyfriend and we were so infatuated. We spent all of our time together and eventually me and all of my perfect friends who kept me so happy went our separate ways. Me and (my boyfriend) "Wallace" have been together for 2 years now and live with my mother. Since I met Wallace, things have become unbearably stressful for me. Wallace and I are so close, but we've had a lot of problems. I feel more alone than I ever have in my entire life. Wallace is a terrible listener, sometimes. I have no friends at all, Wallace works 2 hours away with my father and family, so he's usually only home on Saturday and Sunday, so I am alone basically all of the time. No one talks to me, not even my best friend, who I was closer to than anyone in my entire life. She talks to me maybe once a week, but never stops by or anything even though shes aware of how severe things have been and are for me. Ever since this isolation, which has now been going on for about a year and a half, my depression and anxiety have sky rocketed to literally unbearable amounts. Last October, my sister walked in on me hanging myself and called the police. I was taken to the hospital where they made sure my neck wasn't injured and admitted me to a mental hospital. All I wanted was to go home, so I didn't tell them much about me or my problems, so I was released after 3 days. I didn't tell them really anything about me, yet I was still diagnosed with severe clinical depression, generalized anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Before I was admitted, my skin picking had already become a bit of a dilemma, but after the hospital is when everything got completely out of control. When I met Wallace, my anorexia was in a very bad state, but he helped me start recovering on my own. I was doing really good regardless of how depressed the weight gain made me, but after I got out of the hospital, I relapsed hard and also, my skin picking started to become a real concern. It's about a year later since that happened and I am at the lowest point I've ever been in in my entire life. Like I said before, I've lived with my boyfriend through all of this. It's so stressful having to worry about him seeing the scabs and scars that are always on my face. I often sit in the bathroom for hours, too embarrassed to come out and have him see my horribly damaged skin, so I just sit there and cry. It's even worse that he obviously doesn't understand it, and worst of all that he doesn't understand the immense pain I'm feeling. Everyone that is kind of in my life knows how miserable I am, yet literally doesn't care (except Wallace.) That's why getting help or trying to talk about it or anything is impossible because literally no one cares, and i really mean that. My mom points out everything she sees on my face, sometimes even in front of Wallace. It's so embarrassing. A few months ago, I actually told her about my anorexia in hopes of some help, but she didn't care literally at all. This is making me so miserable. I just want to be able to get a hold of this skin picking obsession. I've picked my face to the worst it's ever been. Maybe if I can get a grip on this, I could be able to work on recovering from anorexia and such. I guess I typed this all out just because my entire life I've held everything in and it's just become too much. I'm not looking for advice because I don't think you could give me any that isn't obvious or I haven't already heard. I just thought I'd share a fragment of my story and struggle surrounding skin picking, low self esteem, depression, anxious habits, etc. in hopes that maybe I could help someone or that there are other's who can relate. Sorry this was so long, I tried to shorten it up, but this is the best I could do. I hope this helps me in taking the steps of kicking this horrible habit. Thank you if you read all the way through this. Good luck to everyone. If you have anything you want to ask me about, feel free to ask. ~ Bean
4 Answers
October 31, 2013
Hi, Bean, I'm so sorry u have had such a rough life. Hopefully, it will get better for you. I would definitely strongly recommend you find a good therapist and start getting all your feelings out. I've gone to therapy for depression and it really helped. I can relate to you about being embarrassed of your scabs. I live with my boyfriend and get really embarrassed when he sees me after a bad picking episode. Try to tell him at least a little about your issue. I have and he seems understanding when I get into a terrible mood over my picking. Hang in there and keep sharing your progress. Don't give up
October 31, 2013

In reply to by nastyab

Thank you so much for the support. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets very embarrassed about being seen by my boyfriend. I recently told him about what dermatillomania is and my issues with it. But he actually has been very supportive. When I was upset in my bathroom about the picking spree I just had, he was very patient and he even was texting me and telling me that I'm beautiful and that he doesn't care about my marks. It was very comforting, so I'm glad I finally told him. And about therapy, when I got out of the hospital they prescribed me anti depressants, which I didn't take, and they gave me a therepist, who was actually quite nice, but I stopped going after a few weeks because I just felt like it wasn't going to work because of how private I am. I just feel like the issues I have are very misunderstood by a lot of people, including therapists and doctors. People often don't understand destructive, self inflicting habits, especially like dermatillomania, because it's also very new. But I'm gonna try to keep my progress on here in hopes of some support. Right now, I'm thinking about getting fake nails put on so I can't pick at my face, which is very unlike me, but hey, it's worth a try. If you or anyone has any suggestions that could possibly help prevent picking, I'd greatly appreciate it. Also, any knowledge of non-comedogenic products that could help heal scabs and possibly prevent scarring, would be fantastic. Thank you.
November 06, 2013
first time to post, just like Bean. Skin picking is my problem, and have had depression for about 8 years now. On effexor xr 150mg., doctor just went up. I'm beginning to think it makes me more on edge, and want to pick more. I had no idea there was help out there- amazing. I am so embarressed and sad at this disorder, because it makes my skin look so ugly, the scars are unreal. Right now I have places on my ankles and feet, in my scalp and some on my arm. I want to stop I really do, but when I wake up in the middle of the night or early morning, thats the first thing I do is pick. I had these little places that started out, and now I have picked so much they just continue to grow. My husband tells me not to pick, I stop for a little while, then while he is not looking I start again. I just did not realize it was such a problem.. I'm scared and sad that i will not be able to stop. Suggestions please. I'm 57 and normally a pretty happy person, but the last 6 months have been non-stop.
February 04, 2014
Hi bean For a long time now I search on the internet at night mostly when I feel anxious to see if there r other people out there that have behaviours like me. I have felt alone all my life even as a kid. I suffer from obsessive thoughs and anxiety and recently uncontrolable night panic attacks. Ive been on antidepressants for 4 months now and the panic attacks have calmed right down but they were the worst thing ive ever experienced. I would have them nearly every night this went on for over a year. I also had it about 6 years ago also and went on medication back then.. Ive had them on and off through my life when things go wrong in my life. and not being able to sleep cos all I do is think amd worry. I have also been picking and biting my skin since I could remember ( since I was about 7 I think) still to this day (im 34 now) I also pull my hair out on my head since I was about 14 I think and then pick the skin where the bald spot is. This is a very private thing to talk about ive never really told anyone. I pick and bite the skin on my thumbs that bad that it can bleed and throb in pain. Usually when im really upset or stressed but I also do it when im relaxing and it calms me when im in a panic. Ive done it for that many years the skin is thick and scared and discoloured. I hate the look of it and always hide my hands. I use to hide my hands as a kid cos i knew it was wrong to do but couldnt help it.and with the spot on my head i do the same thing. I wear my hair up every day cos the bald spot is about as big as a 5 cent peice and its all sore and scared from skin picking also. I never wear my hair down cos it looks terrible and if i do i am so self contious and sweep my hair to the side.I pick nearly all day every day. There has been times in my life where ive stopped breifly be I always go back to it. I just want u to know ur not the only one out there that has this problem and I know how deep the issues go. I have other behaviours too like binge eating and I hate it so much. I have had therapy and antidepressants over the years and my behaviours do get better sometimes but never go away. I just wanted for u to hear a small part of my story. I hope ur doing well as I noticed u posted this a few months ago Jadegirl

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now