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G'dayPeeps , 19 Apr 2016

Has anyone been a picker for 40+yrs??? Am i a freak? Newbie

11 Answers
April 25, 2016

I'm 41 and have done this for as long as I can remember. You're not alone and definitely not a freak. Now to figure out how to stop...

May 03, 2016

In reply to by dragonfaery

Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and your feedback. I suppose because I have studied Child Psychology for soo long it makes sense. ..but doesn't explain why it's still a behavior soo many years later. Do you have an

May 03, 2016

I am almost 46 and I can't remember a time I didn't pick.

May 03, 2016

In reply to by lizstevens

Thanks soo much for your feedback. I suppose because I have studied Child Psychology for soo long it makes sense. ..but doesn't explain why it's still a behavior soo many years later. Do you have any insight into this? ?

May 03, 2016

no you are not a freak. I am 51 years old and have been doing this for many years. I used to bite my nails but quit that after I spent lots of $$$ on braces to keep my teeth pretty. so I started picking. It's really bad lately - lots of personal stress. My family and friends notice and ask why I do this to myself. I am ashamed of the band aids and try to use liquid band aid which burns like hell so stops me for maybe a couple of hours. I hide my hands during meetings at work so no one will see my mutilated thumbs. Don't know what to do to stop.

May 09, 2016

Thanks for sharing your story.
Have people shared on how they deal with it or have stopped doing it? ?

May 25, 2016

Just copying a post I placed on of the other threads as it's probably more relevant here...
I have broken this habit after - get this - 45 years! My story is like every one else's - it started in childhood, I've tried everything, I do it subconsciously, didn't think anyone else did this. However, thanks to another forum, which is closed for comments now, I found a solution. It's quite simple - emery boards! You gently file down the rough skin (even if it's been bleeding), then rub in a good hand cream (Burt's Bees cuticle cream highly recommended here). The effect for me was instant. The fingers were smooth, and even if I went to bite out of habit, there were no satisfying "edges" to work on. Initially I filed and moisturized once a day, now it's every few days, or whenever I notice a rough bit. I can honestly say, with smooth fingers, the desire to bite has completely gone. To seal the deal I treated myself to really nice nail polish. I think I did it due to anxiety, but I can see now it was making the anxiety worse - I'd see my fingers and feel even more stressed. I'd like to thank the person who suggested this approach, but can't, so passing it on here in the hope it will help someone else.

June 27, 2016

In reply to by Maddy

To G'Day -- YES, I'm 51 and have been picking > 40 years.

I think that the key is, with picking or any other behavior I want to change in my life (to lose weight, stop drinking, whatever) -- for me at least, I have to be darned fed up and say "THAT'S IT!!" When I try to change before being totally ready, then it's short-lived and sometimes frustrating. When I reach the brink, I have way better results (not always permanent, much more significant and when I fall off the wagon it's easier to jump back on).

CBT has been very helpful to me this year with regard to picking.

To Maddy, THANK YOU for your comment, as I crawl back up on my no-pick wagon! I've learned in CBT for my picking, my big trigger is "tactile", so I'll pick when I feel one of those shreds, but not so much just visually look and pick (sometimes but not nearly so much as the tactile). I've also found that the filing helps a TON... but this might not work so well for those with visual (or other non-tactile) triggers.

June 07, 2016

I'm 41 and have been picking since around 13, so you're not alone.

June 13, 2016

I am 49 and have been picking since I was 8. I had a very narcissistic borderline mother. There was hell to pay if I expressed a thought or desire that did not match up to her needs. I became completely focused on her emotions to the point I could barely feel my own emotions.

The only thing she and I couldn't control was picking. I was sent to therapy as a child with the agenda to stop picking and making her feel like a bad mother. I didn't feel like safe to have feelings and I could shut them down and sooth myself with picking.

To this day I am not very good at being present to my own emotions. I pick when I am anxious. I pick when I am bored.

I was very distressed at my 20 year anniversary of picking. I felt very ashamed. At my 30 year anniversary I had come to some kind of acceptance. At least I stopped beating myself up about it so much. By my 40 year anniversary I didn't think about it much. Now however my skin is changing with age and is not bouncing back and healing like it used to. It is much more easy to leave a permanent scar on my face or arms.

I was aware I could never go on a reality show and be filmed 24/7 due to my secret. I told my husband when I got married in my 20s. I told some very close friends in my 30s. I haven't told anyone in my life about it for about 15 years now. I have been single most of that time. I had roommates twice. One commented that I shouldn't pick so much at my face once.

I am amazed to see groups like this and that picking has a name now. I never felt like anyone would understand how compulsive picking is or how much it is both a comfort and a burden.

June 28, 2016

In reply to by Cybele

I am 60 and have picked on and off for about 40 years. I have a mom like yours. She also picked for years. I also have a past of low self confidence and my husband does not show or speak affection. Weird relationships within my immediate family. I am struggling with inward hurt and rage. I have home to a psychiatrist for 20 years but I can never really open up.

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