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I Don't Know What To Do Any More
For as long as I can remember I have picked, bit, and peeled skin off my lips and on my inner cheek as well as picked at my cuticles and any scabs or bumps on my skin. This caused huge issues when I went through puberty and got acne and I could not stop messing with my face- pimples that would normally last a day or two would turn into scabs that would last weeks (This still happens but I don't get pimples quite as often as I did when I was a teen.) I have tried to cut my nails short but this just makes it harder to grasp things so I will dig at my skin or start biting or using things like nail clippers, tacs, pens, pencils, or knives to cut what ever it is off or at least try to cut it smooth so it seems best to just leave my nails I always have at least one spot that I focus on, since I have been teased often about my picking issues they have migrated to places that I can easily conceal. Right now my biggest issue is my scalp and the back of my thighs, though my thumbs and lips are a daily battle and have not been scab free for... well, years. On my scalp I have this issue with dry skin that I am not sure if I started or if I just got dry skin and I'm not helping- I am dark haired so I kinda obsess on if it's flaked and shows so I scrape skin off with my nails or sometimes pens, mechanical pencils, and tacs which cause small scabs which I cannot stand and have to mess with and this makes them bigger and last longer and has progressively made the issue worse. On the back of my thighs I don't know what happened exactly ... but I pull out the hairs there and that makes my skin bump and I can't stand the bumps and I try to scrape them off and they causes a little scab and I just pick at them constantly. The back of my legs are heavily scarred I didn't use to care but... Now I only wear shorts around people that I know will not pick on me- not in public ever... I even wear mens swim trunks over my swimsuit so no one can see them or the scabs. I have found myself lately excusing my self to the restroom from what is going on to pick at my skin/pull out any hair there (if I haven't shaved.) I have general anxiety that I feel that I have been able to overcome fairly well and with that I have seen much less severe depression. Less daily anxiety and less attacks which makes it much easier to go out and have fun... This has also made me pick more though, it's like I'm displacing my issues onto my skin. What can I do?
July 08, 2014
Hi, I'm FG. I'm currently undergoing a twelve step program to stop picking at my skin. Like you I've suffered from CSP for years and admitting that this is an issue you have is the first step. Do not feel embarrassed, lots of people go through CSP (Compulsive Skin Picking) yet are too afraid to admit it. You're not alone and you shouldn't feel depressed. Here's a link to the program I am doing: http://www.stoppickingonme.com/recovery.php. Just remember that so far you have already done what most people with CSP have not done, admitting they have a problem. Here's a Wikipedia entry which sheds some light on what you're going through:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excoriation_disorder Read it, learn about what is happening and know that nothing is too big to overcome. Have the courage to take the necessary steps and help yourself. Good luck. If you need a sponsor or someone to help you out on your journey, let me know.