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SoooTired , 10 Oct 2018

What has worked for you?

I am interested to know if anyone has overcome their picking issue and if so how? Please share.


9 Answers
October 15, 2018

Although I have not 100% overcome my skin picking, I am doing so, so much better than I was. In my case, I would look unrealistically close in the mirror and then pick every little imperfection, such as blackheads, clogged pores and possibly any tiny pimples. If I had a pimple, I couldn't leave it alone, I HAD to pick it and I couldn't stop unless I got something out of it.

Here is what has really helped me:

1) look in the mirror less, and when you do look in the mirror DO NOT look up close. Nobody looks absolutely perfect up close, and nobody will be examining your skin that closely either. I have been trying to keep busy too so that I don't think about going and checking how my skin looks in the mirror.

2) make a list of how skin picking negatively affects your life. This has helped me so much, and I read it every day sometimes several times. It really demotivates me to pick. I wrote down how it makes me feel self conscious and ugly (because of all the marks I create on my skin), it keeps me hiding in the house and makes me say no to social events (so I am missing out on having fun), I am damaging my skin, etc. Really think to yourself, how does it make me feel? How does it impact my life? Write it all down and read it every day.

3) I went through different skin picking forums and anybody who had an answer that really stood out to me (maybe because they gave advice on how to stop picking, or said how bad it was to pick your skin) I would screenshot it and keep reading it every day on my phone. Just like the list I made, this was also good motivation.

4) give yourself some rewards for not picking..... Think of something you really want, and think to yourself that you can have that but ONLY if you can last a few days, a week, however long without picking.

Last of all, i just want to say I know how it feels. You want to get whatever it is out of your skin and you want to perfect your skin but trust me - your skin will look so much better when you stop. I am amazed at how much better mine looks. There are so many reasons not to as well..... Not only are you damaging your skin, but it actually makes you breakout more because you spread the bacteria. If you have a pimple with a white head, I think it is perfectly fine to extract that, but trust me it is not good to look so close in the mirror and just pick away at every little bump or blemish. It has always made my skin worse. And the fact that my skin is looking so good right now because I am not picking it, it just demotivates to pick even more.

I really hope this helped, good luck :-)

D Major
October 17, 2018

I've recently come upon a year of not meeting the diagnostic criteria for derm. Here's what I had to learn to heal:

1) Love yourself (more than others). Physically, mentally, spiritually love yourself. When I had derm I hated myself. I thought that I needed to be special and the only thing that made me special was suffering. I hated myself for not suffering enough. I thought that I was ugly and fat. I thought that I didn't matter. I didn't have any confidence or self-esteem. I let others bring me down and tell me that I was stupid or not enough. I cared more about what others thought of me than anything else. I can't really describe the feeling because I've put a mental wall around it (I didn't try to do this or anything, but I honestly can't remember how I felt when I was in this state because I never want to go back. I just remember that it happened), but I remember desperately wanting someone to notice. I wanted to unhealthily push my negative feelings onto others, to mitigate the hurt because, at the time, that's what I was doing for others. I could not be happy if one of my friends was struggling. I would take their burdens and feel responsible to fix their problems, despite the fact that there was no solution. I had to learn that it's manipulative as f*ck to expect others to handle your burden. It's one thing to be there and listen, that's what friends are for. It's another to expect someone to be responsible for your well being. To drag someone into your despair. To put pressure on them to save you. I learned this the hard way. Only you can save yourself. I had to look at my friendships and distance myself from the relationships that I engaged in this behavior with. It sounds backward, but I had to be selfish and inward, in order to feel empathy in a healthy manner. I got to the root of my self-hate and anger and eventually was able to overcome those emotions. I was able to feel again. I could be happy without guilt. I could be empathetic without sucking up depression like a sponge. I could look in the mirror and like what I saw. Only then was I able to look at derm like it was an enemy causing distress in my life. That was when I was able to crack down and begin to heal.

2) Don't let your mental illness impact your sense of identity. This one is hard, especially with the Tumblr mental illness culture and insistence that being sick makes you special. I struggled with feeling like dermatillomania was a part of my identity. I thought that I would stop being special if I healed and that I would lose a big part of myself. Once I began to love myself again, I was able to let go of the need to be special because I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, it didn't matter to me. I'm content to just be me. I hated myself and found solace in this disorder, this thing that made different. I wanted people to feel bad for me because I thought that would bring in a sense of identity I felt I was lacking. I was wrong, obviously, and now, I just want to be happy. Happiness is so hard to attain, but I'll fight to keep it till the day I die. I had to learn that Dermatillomania does not add worth to my life. It inhibits me from feeling confident, from going out with friends, from wearing my hair down, from loving myself, and from being happy. You don't need to suffer or have "a thing" to matter. You already matter and once you see that, you won't want your illness, you'll want happiness.

3) Learn to dance in the rain. The whole time I had derm I was trying to get rid of it. Once decided that I deserved and wanted to heal, I gained back some self-love and self-confidence and was able to actually make progress. That being said, there will be setbacks that would spiral me back. To combat that it was important for me to celebrate the small victories. Whether that's one week, one day, or one hour if you made it that long without picking that's a success. It's easy to get down on yourself and give up, but acknowledging that the battle is hard and celebrating small successes helps. You will fail so many times, but it's the times that you don't that count.

4) BARRIERS. This is simple, but effective. Put barriers between your skin and your hands (also if you don't use tools don't start. It's way way way harder to quit if you use tools). I picked my scalp, so putting my hair in a ponytail hid my scars/hair loss and forced me to think in order to pick. Of course, this didn't always stop me. In fact, it rarely did, but sometimes counts. Those sometimes that I didn't pick because of the barrier were what fueled me to keep fighting. Before bed I would wrap head with a scarf. I'd cut my nails short and wear gloves. These barriers help.

5) Treat it like an addiction. In my head, I wasn't three days without picking, I was three days clean. This attitude allowed me access to the wealth of information on beating addictions, but also forced me to lose the "just one time attitude". I stopped spending time in areas were I picked. I'd play with clay and get it in my nails to curb urges. Use resources for addicts. There will be so many relatable issues and so many usable tips and tricks.

Personally, after so long failing, something clicked. In the end, with hard work, I thought about picking less and less. My urges decreased in frequency and now, I rarely feel them.

Never give up. You've got this. Your happiness is worth fighting for!

anxious for nothing
November 10, 2018

Minniemouse09 I feel like you just told my story. I have been suffering with this illness as long as I can remember. It is a constant struggle with me everyday. I too look real close in a magnified mirror that I have stuck to my bathroom mirror. It is hard for me to take it down. Once I look in that stupid mirror there is no turning back. I like the way you give ways to help stop the picking. To make a list of how this affects my life. I have a husband who does not understand this disease. He is constantly saying bad and negative things to me which lowers my self esteem. He says that I will never be able to stop picking and is thinking about divorcing me. I am trying so hard to STOP this!!! I feel like my whole life depends on this.

November 10, 2018

Anxious for nothing,

I am so sorry to hear you struggle with this every day but I know how it feels, I really do. And I'm sad to hear about your husband making negative comments toward you but unfortunately not everyone understands this illness. But please don't be disheartened. Although the innate desire to pick may always be there deep down, I do believe you can live a life where you pick less and are not obsessing over your skin.

Here is something I learnt yesterday which is so important. Obsessing over your skin actually makes your skin worse. Because when you keep looking at your skin in the mirror and thinking about your skin, you subconsciously stress yourself out and stress is horrible for your skin. I have noticed that when I really put my mind to it, if I stop looking in the mirror and only do so when I need to (so maybe 3x a day), and I KEEP busy, I am not really thinking about my skin...... And my skin always looks better. I have read other people making wimilwr comments online. See if you can do that, just try and look in the mirror less and keep yourself busy with something that interests you..... All the best, I really do wish you well. Even if your husband doesn't understand, just know that there are so many people out there that do and can help you ok?

November 10, 2018

Hi anxious.....remember that we have more control over our boundaries of others as well. Tell your husband to stop talking to you like that. If he has concerns....tell him to voice how HE feels about it without putting blame on you. because putting YOU down is only him being a bully and trying to help in the wrong way.

anxious for nothing
November 11, 2018

I failed again this morning. I looked into that stupid mirror and started to do what I hate the most. I really thought I was doing so good. I tried to hide it under makeup so my husband could not see but somehow he knew that I did it again. I felt so angry....then I had to go to work and put on a fake smile knowing that I was crying inside. I pray that I can be stronger. Not doing so good today.

November 11, 2018

It's okay, it is very hard to stop doing. I have had quite a few occasions where I was able to stop picking, I would last about a week or a week and a half, but then something would happen and I would start picking again. And it was so disheartening. But I would then start again and slowly my skin would heal. Your skin will heal too. Why don't you get a piece of paper and write down all the ways in which skin picking affects your life e.g it makes you self conscious, it makes you not want to leave your house, it causes damage to your skin, etc. You could then read it every single morning to be reminded that actually picking your skin is NOT what you choose to do today.

anxious for nothing
November 12, 2018

Minniemouse09 My face has come a long way since Saturday. It is actually almost healed. I did my normal routine this morning and all the dry skin scabs actually wanted to come off they were just that healed. I just thank God that the roughest part is over.Now only to keep it this way and that is the hardest part. I will take you recommendation of getting a piece of paper and writing down how skin picking affects my life. I think my husband is being a little nicer because he sees that I am trying. I just feel less stressed out right now. I ordered some acne medication through the mail called Paula's Choice acne treatment. May be that will help a little with future breakouts and less picking.

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