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Tinks , 12 Jun 2009

New to here and need help

Hi there, I recently came across this site as I found the name for what I actually do. I'm twenty years old and unfortunately have been skin picking since before I can remember. I do it to my thumbs, sides of my fingers, my lips and the bottom of my heels. My thumbs happen to be the worst and it gets to the point where they are terribly painful and I can't touch them or let them rub off anything. As I said, I have been doing this since before I can remember and I've tried hypnotherapy but found it no use at all. I have tried other ways of wearing gloves when I am at home but it was no use as I would always forget the gloves. Most of the time I don't even realise I am doing it so it is a subconscious thing as well. Other times I notice a part of my thumb that needs to be picked to make the thumb look more even and by the time I'm finished it's either bleeding or close to it. I really want to stop this as I hate showing my hands off in public and my lips are very badly chapped and red now. Not to mention I recently picked so badly at one of my heels that I have been limping for the past few days. I badly need some help, please does anyone have any suggestions? Tinks
2 Answers
June 12, 2009
Hi Tinks Welcome. Glad you found a place. Some suggestions .... the first thing is to ask "do you really want to stop" ... now don't get hysterical, we know that we all do - I'm mean who really wants to keep hurting themselves like this. But seriously think about the question ... are you willing to do whatever it takes to NOT do this to yourself (and remember ... it's something I ask myself all the time). There is no magic wand or pill to take tonight and wake up tomorrow and you're fine. (sorry). Stopping involves looking at why you do this ... what's happening in your life? What are the triggers that make you do it? This is often a coping mechanism .. a way of handling / dealing with the stuff (stress, conflict, loneliness, abuse, shame, feelings of unworthiness). Putting on gloves, plasters, keeping your shoes on are only addressing the symptoms. To really stop, you have to look at the "root" cause. So it means facing up to the stuff in your life - and sometimes we don't like to do that (hey I know .. that's where I'm at). Be real with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be nice to yourself. Be gentle to yourself. None of us are perfect (even though we try so hard to do and say the right thing, be the right kind of friend, mother, daughter, wife, teacher, church go-er whatever you do). We are all trying to cope with living in a crazy, sometimes vile/evil world and doing the best we can. We can stop!!! But it is not going to be easy. We may fail and "fall off the wagon" sometimes. But just get back up and try again. Count the minutes. Count the hours. Count the days. If you succumb. Reset the clock and start again. Also tell someone who you can trust and cares about you ... ask them to help you help yourself. They may freak out or even dismiss it. Ask them to read the info on and find out more about it before judging us. Give them time to react and to ask questions - don't just drop it on them in passing ... like as you're leaving for school / work / college. Read through the forums and see what others have to say. Decide to take control of this .. don't let it control you any longer. Take care of yourself. Remember, it's a journey - there's lots of us here, who understand. Who are trying.
June 12, 2009

In reply to by sweetpea36

Thank you so much for replying to me, really! I appreciate it an awful lot. I have already sat down with my parents and boyfriend [who are all extremely helpful and willing to do whatever they can to help] and I've discussed how much I want to stop, what I am willing to do and why I do it all in the first place. I've been doing this since I was a child and I have some ideas as to why it started when it did. When I was younger I went through a lot of illnesses which had me extremely stressed out. I was in and out of hospital for most of my life and therefore couldn't go to school much and missed out a lot, was bullied, etc. It all added to the stress and I have used skin picking as a coping mechanism and I know that much. I work in a stressful environment and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that because I adore where I work and what I do. I do believe I have to step back and look at my life and think about what the triggers are in my life; it definitely could be my job and some other things but before I make a decision about it is, I have to sit back and actually look at my life first. As I said before, I have a great support network here at home but I find it hard discussing this with them as my mother happens to get quite upset about it; always has. But she honestly is great with it all. Thank you so so much for talking to me. I'm going to look at some of the other topics and see what everyone else has to say.

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