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LifeFromNJ , 16 May 2009

Obsessive scalp picking - "diagonosed" today

Hello there. I'm new around here. I came across this website today while researching this disorder. I never realized that it was really something that other people did. I've always picked at my head for as long as I could remember but lately its really increased. I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for the past year that has just been escalating far too quickly. I'm working with my doctor to find a treatment plan that works for that. When I was there today we switched my meds once again, and I finally decided to ask about the scalp picking that as of lately has been my obsession. I didn't notice I was doing it, but my mom and bf keep yelling at me to stop. I never thought this was a real problem, but the past couple weeks I have picked my scalp to the point where my hair is bloody and I can't stand to touch my head. My doctor recommended I seek counseling but I don't have health insurance or a job at the moment. I'm in Southern NJ...does anyone have some suggestions of where I can go or who to talk to that could help me with not just the scalp picking but also with the depression and anxiety that I can afford.
1 Answer
May 17, 2009
I pick at my scalp as well, but I also have dermatophagia, a skin eating disorder. I eat the skin I pull off... which makes it more attractive to do. It's horrible, but I have controlled it to the point where I have not bled for a long time. What I did was I wore hats and gloves. I managed to control both the chewing of my fingers for skin and the scratching of my scalp during the winter. From the way you describe it, your scalp is bloody and scabbed, so it might be too painful to wear a hat. And it's almost summer. Hmmm. Perhaps you could learn to knit or weave, or otherwise keep your fingers busy? I also twiddle my thumbs, that keeps the chewing/picking at bay for a while. It's so comforting to know that we are not alone. Misery loves company, right?

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