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KASP , 16 May 2009

Please Help!

I just finished a picking episode that was 5 hours long. My entire face is red and swollen and in some spots even bleeding. I am so miserable and angry with myself. I can't truly say what hurts more, the physical pain I am experiencing or the agony I feel emotionally. Without fail each and every time I pick, I tell myself this will be the last time, and oddly I really believe it. The emotional aftermath of these episodes is devestating, and once again I am now facing another week of isolation, hiding indoors, away from the piercing stares of anyone and everyone. I have tried many many times to find some ryhme or reason to why I do this, but theres seems to be no consistancy or pattern. Many episodes are the result of some kind of trigger, a bad day at school, a fight with my family, friends, or boyfriend, or possibly I just stubbed my toe. I have found that often these triggers are related to emotions of intense anger or rage towards a situation, and tho my impulse is to throw or hit something, I find myself infront of the mirror destroying my face. And tho I can say that almost all my urges to pick come from these emotional triggers, there has been a few instances scattered throughout that I've picked simply for no apparent reason whatsoever. My face is usually at it's best before these sessions, and it's as if the stress of wondering when or if I'm going to pick again actually motivates these random episodes. Tonight it was a fight with my boyfriend that triggered it. When we begin to fight I find my fingers begin to feel around my face and scratch any imperfections automatically. As the fight escalates I begin to dig and pick and create bleeding areas and soon we are fighting about me picking my face. At this point I begin to get very angry and just migrate to the bathroom to get a visual of the damage and when I see the red marks all over I break down emotionally and give up trying to fight it all together. And although I desperately need his help to stop, specifically at the onset of an episode, the anger and upset make me lash out at him and drive him away. He, just like my mom in previous years, tries a couple times over the course of a couple hours, and after each attempt to stop me fails, soon they just quit trying. So here I am again after a long and painful night, and I'm desperate for some help. With each epsiode comes new realization of just how critical my situation has become. I have to stop, or my life, as pathetic as it is even now, could get much much worse. Please read this and know that you are not alone, and tho it seems that nobody around you could possibly understand what you are going through, I do! I don't have much hope these days, but I hold onto a tiny bit of belief that one day I will look in the mirror and see a beautiful, radiant, flawless women staring back at me, and know tht she will always be the me I look at. Not just for today, and hopefully tomorrow, but for everyday without worry or wonder. If you have a story to share with me please do!
3 Answers
May 16, 2009
P.S. If anyone would like to have a supportive friend in this ongoing struggle, you can email me at I would find it very helpful to have someone there who I can trust to understand my feeling of helplessness, and whom can share their experiences and fears, their triumphs and failures and anything else.
May 19, 2009
This sounds so familiar. I am 23 and have been picking since I was a junior in high school. It starts just as you describe - after a stressful situation, an argument, or sometimes just because I am bored. Today I had a horribly stressful day at work and on my way home I felt so much anxiety and frustration I could barely stand it. When I got home I began picking my face and aggressively "searching" the skin for anything I could find to pick. I already had scars from two days ago but I still tried to find new imperfections to pick. I often pick for hours on end and end up extremely embarrassed of my appearance. I have canceled dates or outings with friends, called of work, and refused to leave the house because of what I had done to myself. The worst experiences are the next day when I wake up in the morning and have somewhat forgotten the picking session I had the night before only to find my face a complete mess in the mirror. Covering it up with makeup is an agonizing and time consuming process because I know that people can still see what I have done. I have even been asked by an unknowing friend "What happened to your face!?!". People do not understand because one day my face will be perfectly clear and the next day I could have dozens of bloody scars on my face from picking at nothing. During picking I know I am doing something wrong but I just don't care. I feel like somehow, in some sick way, this will be improving my skin in the long run. I often think to myself that if I just squeeze out all of these imperfections then it will heal over into a beautiful fresh complexion. It of course never does. I just go back to picking in a day or two. I have not gone for more than 5 days without severely picking my face since I started this sick habit. It is not just limited to my face. I also pick my back arms, shoulders, scalp, and feet. Any idle time that I have you can guarantee that my hands will be searching my body for imperfections. When I'm watching TV, at the computer, riding in the car, at my desk at work....I'm always searching for things to pick. I'm sure people have noticed this obsessive tendency that I have although I try to hide it as best I can. I currently am engaged and living with my fiancee which has admittedly helped me to curb my picking habits. Whenever he is out of town or away from the house I rush to the bathroom to take an opportunity to pick. He has never said anything to me about my skin because it is such a delicate subject but I am sure he is horrified at times about my skin when he comes home. I am not looking for sympathy or even a resolution - I simply want to vent about my frustration to others who have a similar battle. Thanks for reading.
May 22, 2009
ha! i was there once.......ok well i still kinda am. i used to pick my face constently. i would always have red marks and hide away because that zit just wouldnt go away.. i was actually looking at my face the other day and wondered how many times i looked in the mirror just to find something wrong with my face.....of course i would find something because i would make it. i caught myself looking for something......anything to allow me to pick, but then i wiped my face and that black spot i thought was a blackhead was just a piece of dirt. ha! i almost did it. i almost picked it.....i am not a face picker like i used to be. i still have those occasional moments where i will look for something on my face, but i stop and smile then walk away. I am not out of the woods yet, i have a bad habit of picking and eating my cuticles not the nail (anymore). i am trying so much to stop and it takes alot of wilpower to change this problem. at least i can label it now dermotilimania. you are not alone and i have been battling this disease since i was 10 i am 28 now. keep up the good work your here and that is farther than i got till recently.

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