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Aquilla.heliaca , 28 May 2018

I want to get rid of dermatillomania

Hello everyone,
I am 22 years old and I suffer from dermatillomania since I was 15. For a long time I used to think that it's just a bad habbit, as I was said. But when I realised that I have no controle over my actions, I knew that I have a problem. I have people who love me and care for me, but they don't understand that this isn't just a habit and that telling me: 'Seriouslly, it looks ugly, you should stop', won't help. So I needed somwhere to share my story, here I am.
I pick every day, for at least an hour a day. I pick every part of my body, but shoulders and legs are the main targets. I let my skin recover during winter, I guess to much clothes stops me from touching it. When I take sweaters and long pants of I feel great, because my skin looks nice. And I don't touch it until obligations at college become to stresfull, for example examination period comes. I feel like picking is my rest from studying. And than I feel terrible for doing it and to get rid of the scars I pick them (even though I am aware that that is not how skin recovery works).
I really want to stop. I tried some methods and none worked. I need somewone to talk to, and someone who understand that this isn't crazy, weird, habit, or thing that you can just stip doing. So I really hope that you will comment this, share your experience and maybe recovery experience.
Thank you
Best wishes

1 Answer
May 29, 2018

Hi Aquilla.heliaca,

I am a 27yo male who struggles with dermatillomania mainly on my face. I am very sorry you deal with the similar affects of skin picking...
I noticed you said, "or thing that you can just stop." I think the answer lies somewhere in that thought process, because you can stop, and you should.
It won't be easy, in fact, it takes a lot of practice and a much better sense of self. I recommend purchasing a skin picking book to better understand why you engage in it and some professionally tested strategies that will help you to stop. The one I own is called Skin Picking The Freedom to Finally Stop by Annette Pasternak, Ph.D. The book will teach you many strategies to stop picking, and also make you more aware of yourself through writing down information to become more conscious of your moods, feelings, and triggers.
Additionally, I have made the promise to myself to read and reread parts of the book and other online resources everyday. I have also promised myself to tune in here and spend time with these blogs--you are not alone. All of this in turn should make us much more aware of ourselves, and give us a greater sense of well being. Often when stressful times arrive I go on autopilot and loose the greater sense of myself... This is never a good idea, because at some point I usually crack and I find myself skin picking again.
For starters, until your book arrives, write done on a piece of paper a list of the pros of picking, the cons of picking, pros of not picking, and cons of not picking. You know how they say actions are worth a thousand words? You really must give it a shot!
And be kind to yourself... You are already on the road to better understanding yourself through your writing here.

Be well,

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