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Navy13 , 07 Apr 2018

Should I do something?

I have been picking the skin on my fingers for as long as I can remember. I always knew it was a bad habit and my mom constantly will tell me to stop if she sees me doing it. So will my close friends. I only recently learned that I wasn’t the only one, and after gathering I formation about Dermatillomania, I really think that I have it. I breiefly mentioned that dermatillomania was a thing to my mom, but I don’t know that she made the connection. Even when someone tells me to stop I’ll go and do it when they aren’t looking. Sometimes it’s subconscious and I don’t realize that I’m doing it until I look down and see blood. I’m about to start high school next year so I can’t really take any initiative by myself. I’m super shy and nervous when it comes to telling my mom important things because she usually doesn’t believe me. I was the littlest girl who cried wolf when I was little, so she still thinks that I make things up. I know that she knows that I pick, but I don’t know if she will believe me that it is dermatillomania. And even if she does, is there any point? What would she even do about it? So I’m stuck. I don’t reallly know if I should do something or just stay quiet. Help?

6 Answers
April 08, 2018

It seems that you have a very strained relationship with your mother. You were the little girl who cried wolf because you didn't get enough attention? Your mother seems cold and careless, I can see where your issues might be stemming from. My mother in law was just as careless about the feelings of her son when he was growing up struggling with issues. My father was/is the same way as well. Just know that some parents are useless and ignorant and that nothing will penetrate their brick wall foreheads. Know that once you are old enough to move out, things might get better.
My advice is to go to a therapist or a counselor. Have someone else you can confide in. BTW, I knew a woman in church who was grieving the death of her suicidal daughter once that daughter plunged from a bridge. The mother never tried to understand her daughter's pain when the daughter desperately tried to ask for help. Then this same idiotic woman was wailing in agony at the fact that her daughter was gone.
Sorry, I just absolutely hate ignorant parents.

April 08, 2018

I think I put the wrong message across. I love my mom and she loves me. She is open to hearing whatever I have to say, but I never know how to say it. In my head, a little voice is screaming that no one will believe me, so I usually get nervous and back down. My mom knows that I pick and knows that it’s bad. I just don’t know how to tell her that I think I have dermatillomania because I am afraid that no one will believe me.

April 09, 2018

Hey Navy13. I'm sure serene meant well, but I'm not sure where they're coming from. I think I can picture your situation and the best I can do is offer my story. I'm a senior in high school, and first heard about dermatillomania a few years ago. I sort of realized I had it, but didn't pursue any help because I knew therapy was expensive and I thought I could solve it on my own. Then a few months ago, my mom had a conversation with my about it and asked me to start seeing someone. Your mom may know more than you think. If she doesn't suspect something already, you can tell her specific reasons why you believe you have it and if you can demonstrate thoughtful consideration, I bet she'll be receptive. No parent likes to see their kid struggling with pain.

If you're curious what happened to me, I saw a therapist and didn't love it. I promised I would work on it by the end of 2017, but surprise, that failed. So I signed up for the online program with this site. Didn't love that either, but I followed through and at some point something clicked. And it feels so good to not be wrecking my face and arms everyday. Teen girls, we come up with a lot of excuses to not talk to our moms or not take in what they tell us. As I'm getting ready to leave for college, most of those reasons are falling apart and I feel silly for ever not talking to her, for responding to compliments with anything but a "thanks" and a smile. I'm going to cut this off before it turns into even more of a ramble than it already is, but I'll end with some advice.

As tough as it is, I would do your best to cut off this habit now. You can wait a couple years, but that's multiple years longer you'll be living with scarring. And though it may not be your case, many people, including myself, pick out of stress. You should find a healthy way to deal with that as soon as you can, because it doesn't get easier with the pressures of high school (and acne sucks too). I wish you the best of luck, hopefully some part of that was helpful :)

April 09, 2018

Oh my goodness thank you so much! You have no idea how good it feels to know that I’m not alone. It’s also amazing g to learn that I’m not the only younger person with this! This has helped so much. The little courage bar for talking to my mom just went up a notch. Thank you again! I wish you luck with your search and hope that you can over come this!

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