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todayistoday , 25 Jun 2009

Encouragement? Please?

Hello all, this will be my fist post to this site, and I really need all of the help that I can get. My grandfather has agreed to pay for any treatment I need to reverse the damage I have done to my face IF I can stop picking for SIX MONTHS. When I first heard the time period, I scoffed. Nevermind 6 months, I can't even go a day. But then I realized that it would get easier every day. It's just the first week of feeling like crap to get over that hump. So what I am asking from all of you is a little advice and support, because I desperately need to overcome this beast.
9 Answers
July 01, 2009
How cool that your grandfather is so involved and encouraging! How is it going? Do you have any techniques you are using to stop? Advice from me... hmmm. Depending on how long you've been picking, I think we need to be very patient with ourselves and EXPECT relapses. It might be helpful to show your family this site and explain a bit more about dermatillomania. From what I understand, it's not a "Just Stop" type of thing. Notice when you are picking. Journal. Keep checking in here. Take care; I know you can do it! : )
August 02, 2009
Wow. Just on a hunch I used Bing to find this page. I thought I was the only person on the planet who eat scabs. I've been doing it since I was a kid. I HAVE been diagnosed with depression and anxiety so perhaps it's making more sense now. it's a disgusting habit and I've never told ANYONE about this until now.
August 02, 2009
i agree that is cool your grandfather is supportive and involved. I feel I wouldn't ever tell anyone as I am too ashamed. It is a process. I've been picking for 15 years and I have good days and weeks and bad days and weeks. Maybe write down when and where you do it and why and something next to each item with how to counteract it like if you do it in the bathroom try to turn out the lights or dim them and tell yourself your going in there just to do a, b, and c and talk yourself through it then get out. Everyone has unique triggers and situations so it may help to write down what yours are but there is alot of commonality so it helps to read what others write with what helps them. I'm in the same boat and am trying to stop. So far today I haven't picked. I feel this thing can be beat it's just a thing that has to be battled every day. Good luck to you!
August 09, 2009
Hi, I myself am a compulsive picker, been doing it for about 17 years since I was about 14. I am very depressed right now. About 5 weeks ago I tried to stop picking because I came off my birth-control pill and I anticipate that I will be breaking out very badly soon, because of this. I categorize my picking into 2 types- squeezing (where I go to the mirror and spend about an hour, although it varies, squeezing and destroying my skin, just to purge it of its contents) and scratching (where I can be driving, watching tv and I unconsciously and sometimes consciously scratch at my skin) The former does the most damage although the latter does some damage as well. I was mostly successful at not squeezing my skin for 5 weeks, but the whole time I was scratching it. This 5 week milestone was a great success for me. I have NEVER made it so far without parking myself in front the mirror and squeezing the living daylights out of my skin. Not even when my father died and I tried so desperately to do this for him for the first 40 days after his death,as a sorta kinda tribute to him. Today I had a relapse and my skin looks awful. Since I am no longer on the pill, my skin is oilier and my face, neck, chest and back have started breaking out. I am extremely pale and so every mark shows up on my skin. Yet I continue to mutilate my body this way. I want to stop. I feel so ashamed. I hate the feeling of dread the morning after I have picked. There is this sinking feeling when I go to the mirror. I hate the vicious cycle of picking, feeling depressed about how bad it looks and so picking more because of this. I have tried putting on masks or calamine lotion for 3 reasons. Firstly to deter me from picking, secondly as a healing treatment for after I have picked and lastly (but not least) to hide the damage I have done to my face. Sometimes it works as a deterrent but sometimes I am so determined to pick at my face, I wash it off. When I am done sometimes, I look like I have really bad chicken pox, or I have been attacked by a swarm of insects. My husband gets very upset with me. I cannot hide it what I have done. My skin is so pale and sensitive that it looks very bad when I am done. And so it stops us from going out sometimes. I cannot believe I did not squeeze for 5 weeks and then today I did it THREE TIMES!!! I am so despondent. I feel so ugly. I hate to go out because of it. I hate putting on concealer to hide it. I hate people looking at my skin when I have picked. I hate bright lights. I hate making progress and then in the blink of an eye, it's all gone. My husband tries to not leave me alone sometimes but I move so quickly that if he just steps out of the room, I rush to the mirror. When my skin is oily it makes it worse because my finger can glide over my skin easier and so I can feel every bump on my skin. I pick at my face, neck, arms, chest, back, shoulders, and even my legs. I am so fed up. I want to stop. I am damaging my skin. I have to put harsh treatments in the hopes of disinfecting my skin but it usually gets infected. Right now I am using a combination of benzac(facial wash) and hydrogen peroxide (for each individual bump) It seems to be working ok for now but I know once the birth control pill is completely out of my system, my skin will get even worse and it will take longer to heal. I wish I could remove all the mirrors from my house. We have even tried taking out the bathroom lights but we always have to screw it back in, which is a hassle. I wish there was a way to only have the lights on when we need them. I think I need constant supervision. But that does not solve the problem of me touching my face. I was thinking I should get gloves to wear at home so i t would be difficult to feel every bump on my face. That is my next step. Buy some gloves to wear at home. I wish there was a way to tie down my hands and still get things done at home. I am so embarrassed by this habit. I feel like a freak. I feel ugly. I feel like a disappointment to my husband. I want to change. Why is it so hard? I wish I did not care how I looked. Why couldn't I have a normal bad habit? Alas, there is my story.
August 12, 2009

In reply to by soniad

I feel the pain you are in. This is such a vicious disorder. If you want to be accountability partners my email is I am 39 and have been a hair puller/picker since age 3!
August 13, 2009

In reply to by soniad

Hey there. Like everyone else here, I definitely know how you feel. I started picking less once my acne cleared up (though I still do it). Why don't you go to a dermatologist and talk about acne medications? Maybe removing part of the trigger will help.
August 09, 2009
I have recieved help and encouragement beyond my wildest dreams through phone meetings of Skin Pickers Anonymous. No one can truly understand what I'm going through like another skin picker. No one understand the nightmare of picking body and face and not being able to stop whether I need or want to. My picking over time has only gotten progressively worse and caused me all the pain in the world. Like many people who have shared here, it's a living nightmare. It's insanity. And it's a double life, because on the "outside" I look like I've got it all together. Before these meetings I tried EVERYTHING - cog behavior therapy, habit reversal therapy, talk therapy, blockers, abstinence, group therapy, online programs (not free) and every SSRI on the market. I now have HOPE, people I can reach out to for support and I have experienced repreive from my picking as I never have before. I'm not facing this devistating illness alone anymore and I no longer have to "figure it out." Today I don't have to struggle like I used to because the 12 steps work for picking. I have seen MIRACLES of healing and recovery and I know there is hope because I know there is a solution. It works, it really does. Please call in if you need support. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. SKIN PICKERS ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING - Sundays at 7PM EST. Call in #: 1-270-696-2525 / Access Code: 12128
August 11, 2009
I did try tying my hands to my waist when i was about 15. Ha! today, 15 years later, i have not picked my skin in 3 days!?! I have been puting a lot of energy into visualizations. When i get the urge to pick I imagine my cheeks and skin soft , warm and delicate and in need of gential care, In bed at night I fall asleep imagining my life sans picking. I think it is important to be able to really mentally imagine yourself getting through one day without picking--this is how i quit smoking, I also think about my hands. I mentally gather the dirty part of whatever.. the urge.. the thing I want to get OUT of my skin.. I gather that in my fingers and mentally watch it drip and seep out. I am desperate to leave this behind me now. And really what is helping me the most is reading these posts and posting and knowing that there is a definition and others out there like me. thank all of you for sharing. and I pray we can each somehow turn that little nasty pick switch in my brain to OFF.

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