Pretty girl turned into a monster


Online Test For Skin Picking Disorder

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December 31, 2017

Hey! What has helped me dramatically this year was the ability to chat one on one with a similar sufferer. We met on this forum and chatted for a couple of months, discussing our thinking process around this behavior. Sending photos and discussing skin care routine, as well as sharing our ups and downs. It was an eye opening experience and I never would have thought that it could help me so much, but I think that the simple understanding that others reason like me and suffer as I do has been extremely calming. For some odd reason it had the opposite effect on her, as she thought that some of our topics of discussion were extremely triggering. What also has helped me were chemical peels. There is a psychological component to the process of shedding the outer layers of the skin, akin to a butterfly metamorphosis. Chemical peels improve tone and texture, and increase collagen production while simultaneously minimizing breakouts. My skin is doing so much better with weekly TCA peels that I administer at home. My breakouts are almost non-existent...a far cry from the past two years when I took a break from the procedure. So a combination of self care and personal support from a similar sufferer has helped me a lot. But self care is vital. Learning as much as you can about skin and how it functions is important. Learning to take care of yourself is the first step to being more delicate with how you approach your skin.
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January 02, 2018

Hi serene, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I am trying so hard to refrain from picking and be more gentle with my skin, but the second I have a scab something comes over me and I have this irresistible urge to pick it off so that it is flat for makeup application. I would love to have someone to talk to who actually understands what I am going through. I've tried to talk to my mom and my friends, even my boyfriend and they all tell me I am overreacting. I really don't think that is the case, I think I have a serious problem.
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January 02, 2018

What you could try is when you have the urge to pick...write down all the things why. Then write down your options of why not. What exactly are you picking initially? Have you tried hydrocolloid covers overnight?
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January 02, 2018

Hi snipzie.. I pick at anything and everything.. I am obsessed with the texture of my skin. I have tried the hydrocolloid patches but I can't wear them at work and I find my urge to pick is highest at work because I don't want anyone to notice my blemishes. I've also found that any new blemishes always appear in the morning, so I cannot use the patches then, and I tend to pick at them before leaving for work which makes them impossible to cover.
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January 03, 2018

I just need to write this because I feel like I've overcome a huge hurdle since I wrote my first post 5 days ago. Since then I have not touched the wound on my lip and it is incredible how quickly it has healed!! The texture is still uneven but it is not a crusty scab anymore. From my experience with this I think the spot will just keep drying and flaking until the texture is uniform with my skin. I did pick a little bit last night at a spot on my chin, but today I have put minimal makeup on it and used all the willpower I have to avoid looking in mirrors or touching it. I just checked and the difference from last night/this morning picking at it and trying to cover it up and it is incredible!! Only 8 hours without touching it and the swelling has gone down to almost nothing. The spot is still slightly red and not fully covered but by not looking in a mirror every 10 minutes I find myself forgetting about it! My new years resolution is to quit picking (I already broke it last night lol but I will keep trying). I feel very hopeful and confident that I can stop. I appreciate the responses to my original post. And I just had to share my small triumph of today with anyone who is willing to read it.
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January 04, 2018

There will be improvements and there will be setbacks. Don't strive for perfection, strive to misdirect the urges. I find that a hobby which allows me to be fully immersed helps to direct the energy away from the picking urges. Something which you love so much that you find the time fly by while doing it. Or something which exhausts you to the point where you have no more energy left to care about picking. Misdirect the energy.... because energy never ceases to exist, it can only change form. I view these urges as an extreme form of turbulent energy. Forcing myself to not pick or to avoid mirrors only helps to a certain extent... although I still feel the urges pressuring me inside. The best thing is to immerse yourself in activities and hobbies you love. Start obsessing about other things....this is the best tactic and it works.
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February 07, 2018

I have been a picker my entire life, starting as a small child picking my lips, sometimes til they bled (I can remember my father saying to me - stop picking your lip!, and threatening (jokingly) to tie my hands behind my back when I refused to stop, to which I replied - I can still BITE my lips, you can't tie my teeth behind my back!...lol). Starting around the age of 14 I began to pick my face. I did NOT have acne or significant breakouts, just a small pimple or a clogged pore here and there. But I was obsessed with squeezing the stuff out of them - I could not STAND to have it there. Then of course there would be red marks which would of course turn to scabs, and I could not stand to have the scabs there either so I would pick them off, usually well before they were healed so naturally another scab would form and I would then pick that off...etc etc. I spent all of my high school years, all of my 20s, and all of my 30s, with very noticeable red marks and scabs all over my face. I discovered coverup makeup at some point in the years shortly after high school, and would constantly go to the bathroom to check that it was in place anytime I was not at home because often the sores on my face from picking were oozing to varying degrees and the coverup would not stay on, and/or it would show the peeling edges of the scabs more clearly than when they weren't covered (a completely attached scab was easier for me to leave alone than one which was starting to dry out and peel). Occasionally in all those years I would have a good day in which things were pretty healed up and I hadn't yet made new pickings, but for the most part I spent all those young years of my life never completely enjoying all the days and nights of my social life because I knew how awful my otherwise perfectly nice face looked. It didn't stop me from doing anything, just kept me from ever FULLY enjoying doing things. I tried and tried to stop, but simply couldn't. As I entered my 40s, it actually got worse, and I spent hours and hours in the bathroom at home picking. I lived with my mother, and I was so obsessed with picking that i would lock myself in there and not even open the door to let her go to the bathroom. She once had to pee so badly that she used the kitchen sink. And I would be so distraught over my problem that I would take it out on her by shouting at her and being very mean. Also, she had to wait hours for me to finish picking for us to watch our show together. Sometimes it would be so late she would fall asleep halfway thru or show. When I think now about how mean I was to her, and the hours and hours of time I could have spent with her that are forever lost, I feel sick. Also during this time, the intensity of the picking got worse, and I started to use the points of scissors or other sharp things (I had pretty much always used a pin or needle but these other things did more damage) to gouge at my face, often thru the layers of skin, thru the fat layer, down to some other layer, not even sure what it was - hard stringy stuff - awful. There would be lots of blood. Twice I had such bad infections I had to go to the ER and get antibiotics. The picking of my earlier years did not really cause any scarring, but those later years definitely did. At done point, I started to grow some chin hairs, as many females do as they approach the change of life, and that increased the things to pick at. I felt much the same about the hairs as I had about stuff in the pimples and the clogged pores - I had to get them out of my face at all costs. I would feel the very tip of a hair starting to grow out, and would try to pull it out with my tweezers, but often it wasn't sticking out far enough to get ahold of it so I would get something sharp and dig thru my skin to expose more of the hair til I could get it with the tweezers and pull it out. Eventually my entire chin was scarred, making it even more difficult for the hairs to grow out enough to be pulled out. Mama had a stroke when I was 46, and was in nursing homes for 4 years, totally incapacitated, mentally and physically, and then died when I was 50. After her stroke, both before and after she died, I fell apart mentally, and eventually my boyfriend and my friend convinced me I needed medication and mental health therapy. The medication I was prescribed for anxiety and depression worked pretty well for the anxiety, not at all for the depression...and had an unintentional but wonderful benefit - it cut my picking by at least 90%. I still go at the chin hairs, but rarely to the point of digging and gouging and bleeding, and have all but stopped picking the rest of my face. For the last few years I have experienced going out without self consciousness for the first time since I was junior high school age. I am now almost 56 (on the 11th). For most of my life I have been against taking any drugs, it was hard for my boyfriend and friend to convince me to try them (I'm talking about prescription drugs, not street drugs of course), but ifvi had known the effect it would have had on my picking, I would have taken them long long ago and avoided all those years of pain - I don't mean the physical pain of the actual picking; I never even flinched once from that, I mean the emotional pain of never feeling relaxed and comfortable when I was young and shoold have been having fun and being carefree. And even more I regret the time I missed with my Mama, and the awful way I treated her due to my mental condition as a picker. To sum up, I would recommend to anyone whose picking is severe enough to cause them these types or other types of mental anguish, talk to a medical doctor or a psychiatrist and ask them about possible medication to help this mentally crippling condition. Sorry to go on for so long - I just last night happened on the official name for my condition, and this morning found this site. I have known other pickers, but mostly they were people with other issues, namely addictions to various street drugs, which seemed to cause the picking behavior. I was the only person I knew who picked so seriously who didn't do drugs. So reading about picking as an actual named condition, and then reading this comment, really hit home to me and I wanted to share my lifelong experience with it. Thank you all who took the time to read it. Pamela
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February 07, 2018

Sorry for the typos in the above comment, and also I would like to edit the part where I said "I'm talking about prescription drugs, not street drugs of course"-I would like to remove the "of course". I guess I'm a bit of a perfectionist and didn't like the way that came out lol. There doesn't appear to be an edit option once you post your comment...