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Kai , 11 May 2019

I’ve picked my scalp bald

And I’m really depressed. Hello, I’m Kai, I’m new. This is my first attempt to really talk about the picking problem. Ive suffered with depression, anxiety, OCD, and I’m a recovering addict. I remember picking my scalp in high school which was, well, wow... I graduated high school in 1992. You do the math. I never picked to this degree, but I picked. For years, I stopped.

Over the past year I have picked terribly. I had three spots on my scalp that I’d pick till they bled. Now, over the past couple of months, it is one spot on my crown, toward the back. I’ve picked it bald. It’s a little bigger than a quarter? I have to wear my hair up in a ponytail on top of my head. I cannot wear it down or my hair separates up there and the bald spot is super visible.

I can’t stop. I need to STOP. Oh it is so stressful. Then I’m stressed and pick more. I really don’t know how to stop. Right now I have a clip covering it. Literally blocking the area. This is long. Thanks so much for reading.

7 Answers
May 11, 2019

Hi....are you in any therapy treatment or/and on any medications? Have you had full blood testing to see if you have any deficiencies?

May 12, 2019

Hi Kai, I hear and feel for you. I've picked for as long as I can remember -- I graduated HS in the 80's! My most current and very disturbing behavior is picking my scalp. I have had an open wound on my head for, literally, 3 years straight. The hair loss is so disturbing to me. I just a couple hours ago spent a bunch of $$ on the internet for hair fillers and clip on things. I bought a hat yesterday for the first time ever because I finally went out in public and believe completely that people all and only saw the lack of hair on the top of my head. I could hear them whispering about me. Maybe that's a whole separate issue!! Anyway, I've not found any medication or therapy to be helpful for the picking. This is my first time reaching out to others and am hoping, I guess, this will be helpful. I hope you find it helpful. :)

May 13, 2019

Hey snipzie — Thanks for responding. It’s time for me to go back to therapy, but to be honest I’ve never been there long enough to really tackle anything? This feels very OCD to me. I feel so full of anxiety. My new trick now is to put a barrette right over my pick spot, so every time I go to pick, I hit the barrette. I’ve ended up getting under it a few times, but it is better...

May 13, 2019

Hi Kai....I urge you to go back to the therapist and dip into your issues and thought patterns. Interrupting the behaviour with a barrette isn't's a reminder to not do it. It can prove helpful if you examine your automatic thoughts, emotions and behaviour pattern. Being aware allows you to make decisions. Are you picking sores and scabs, and do you have any products to use on your head to help heal those areas?

May 13, 2019

I’m so sorry. Feeling hurt for you. I really do know how upsetting that is. Does quite a number on the self-esteem. I’ve started blocking the area with a clip so that when I mindlessly put my hand up there, I hit the clip. It’s helping. I mean I’d have to make a real effort to get under this clip, and so far I’ve stopped myself from making the effort. This is mental. It’s all in our heads, and we’ve created a cycle. A viscous one at that! Thanks for responding. We can chat anytime you like.

May 13, 2019

Hi Snipzie, Interrupting the behavior with a barrette or clip absolutely is cognitive. It’s not enough, but it’s definitely cognitive. It causes me to be aware rather than mindlessly picking. I’d have to make a conscious effort to pick by either getting underneath, or removing, the plastic barrier I’ve put in place. It causes me to pause, and decide. So far its helping, but you’re right about needing therapy. This is a symptom of something much bigger. It’s almost incidental. It’s a physical manifestation of an intangible issue. A behavior stemming from anxiety, and discomfort. That’s all compulsion is. Anxiety, unchecked. It is destructive. I’m a Behavioral Science major. How common right? It’s not unusual for people with mental health issues to have both a natural aptitude, or an instinct, for psychology, then a desire to study some variation of the subject. We struggle with ourselves, while nurturing a knack for helping others.

I don’t have an open sore at this point. I have an embarrassing bald spot that is getting bigger. It has to stop. The therapist I used to see left maybe two years ago, and I just didn’t pursue finding someone new. It’s hard to do. That’s an important relationship. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotta like the person, as well as trust them. Takes time. I made some phone calls this morning, and have an appointment in a couple of weeks. Here’s to hoping. For now I’ll continue to talk about it, and keep my clip/barrette in place. Thanks again for being here.

May 15, 2019

True, all good points. Cognitive to out it there and realise to stop since it would take more effort. If you are using a clip barrette it can cause breakage on the hair and might be another issue of .disappointment. there are small barrettes that have a pointy stick that secure it into place. I hope therapy helps you further into the deeper emotional stuff.

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