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HSPpicker , 11 Jan 2015

Suspecting there is a link between HSP and Dermatilomania

I've been a skin picker for 28 years. Diagnosed officially 17 years ago. Also have been diagnosed with an Up Regulated Nervous System, known as being Highly Sensitive. Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has effected my life dramatically compared to most others around me who are not HSP. For example, I am easily over stimulated by lights, everyday noises,and all kinds of typical scents. When I walk in to a room with lots of people, I hear all the conversations at once and find it very hard to focus on what I may be doing at that moment. One hour at a family gathering is enough for me and I'm ready to retreat to my house and be alone and quiet. Many times after large get-togethers(even very happy ones), I'm exhausted. When I'm finally home, my nervous system is frazzled from taking in all of the subtleties in my environment plus the obvious. It's at this point that I will begin to pick all over my body. Running through my mind are all the thoughts I wasn't able to process at the time do to 'overload'. Good, bad or indifferent. For me, picking is a way to unwind and process. My question is, " Are there lots of other Dermatilomania suffers' out there that have been diagnosed with HSP or suspect that they also might be HSP? For any questions on HSP, research : Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 'The Highly Sensitive Person'

9 Answers
January 12, 2015

Hi. I am a HSP, but not all the time. It's a tendency I have. And of course I am a picker, and I would say it's worse when I am more sensitive and affected. However it's not a problem you have to have for life. It can be fixed. But Western medicine will not be as helpful as alternative medicine. Have you researched Yarrow Environmental Solution? It's a flower essence that should help with this. Also, I saw a healer who took a look at my chakras - they were all blown open (she thinks from a time I took drugs- which is when my problems started). If your chakras are open you can be empathetic but you absorb literally everything - good and bad energy. You need to have help in closing them down. And you can learn to close them down yourself too with some exercises. Furthermore there are some homeopathic profiles which deal with HSP- phosphorus was good for me but yours would probably be different. My picking is all but gone now.

January 13, 2015

Hello Rose808 its nice to hear from another HSP! Thank you for the encouragement! I will research some of your suggestions! I haven't tried any of them. I've always just rolled with the HSP part of me. Only recently as I've realized that I'm completely burnt out, have a decided that its time to make some MAJOR life style changes to protect myself. There's so many things I love about being an HSP, like being able to help others because I can feel what they feel. But I know I must find a happy medium or I will pick myself in to oblivion. I can't even imagine life without picking. I would have so much freedom. I'm so happy for you that your picking is all but gone! I know there's hope! Thanks again!

January 15, 2015

Maybe try and go see an occupational therapist to participate in body brushing and other therapy to "calm" down your senses. Its definitely something to try. I have also noticed that being weighted down helps. Wear heavy clothes or several blankets at night. The input helps me. Maybe it is something that would help you too!

January 19, 2015

hey deelo thanks I will check it out! I do seem to sleep better at night with a heavier cover over me.

January 25, 2015

You may also want to try using strong pressure. For instance, when I want to pick my fingers, I put cream on and massage one hand at a time. I start from the palm and move towards the end of each finger, one at a time. I still pick, but this is one of the strategies that i am using to reduce the picking. Also, if your fingers are massaging your hands, they are not picking your face. Maybe after doing his repeatedly, it will become your automatic response when you want to pick. idk, I haven't found the answer to this terrible body focused repetitive behavior either, but am trying to try different things. Hope this helps you!!

January 28, 2015

Thanks for your suggestions Deelo. I'm willing to try anything to get some results! I pray you get relief from this terrible problem also! Lately I've been massaging Silly Putty while I'm watching TV if I feel anxious and want to pick. I may have to redirect myself 20 times, but eventually I settle in with using the Putty instead. Hoping I can start using it more and more and pick less. Also I checked in to Body Brushing and it sounds like it would be a good, healthy habit for me to start doing. I'm planning to go and buy a brush and start soon. I wish I had the money to pay someone to do it but there's no room in the budget for that at this time. Just want to say thanks again for taking time to respond to me. It helps to know I'm not alone in this struggle ;)

January 29, 2015

HSP, My pleasure. I struggle as well-every day! This is a horrible disorder in which I am told occurs when you are stressed or bored.

Maybe you could either look on you tube to learn the brushing method or pay an Occupational Therapist for a few sessions to teach you how to brush yourself. Sometimes I find relief from using a regular brush to scratch my arms so I don't pick. The tactile input calms me somehow.

Try wearing a simple ring and twisting it around and around your finger while you are idle or stressed. It also looks socially appropriate to do that, rather than pick at yourself.

There is also a video on body tapping on you tube. I forget where I first saw it but maybe google body tapping and skin picking or dermatillomania. There is a certain technique where you use your finger to tap different parts of the body in a certain pattern, beginning with the forehead. Worth trying. Let me know if it works for you as I haven't used it yet.

February 01, 2015

All good suggestions SS! Thanks for your input! I've checked out several videos on Dermatillomania and Tapping. Maybe it's time I get my butt in gear and give it a try! I will report back how it goes if I do!

sitting on hands
May 10, 2015

I'm also a HSP and am easily overwhelmed by stimulation. I think there may be a connection, but only in so far as stress and anxiety probably trigger the picking behavior and its certainly very stressful living in this world being a HSP.

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