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Picman , 23 Jun 2020

Picking after 50

I’m a 53 years old male still struggling with mainly dermatillomania and some trich.

With time and experience, i have learned to minimise the physical damage but i know i’m always on a slippery slope. Although my skin is looking better now, the hours waisted scanning the surface of my body uncontrollably in this hyper focused state of mind is still overwhelming and the psychological distress that comes with it remains about the same. Often, it feels like simple decisions, initiatives, or choices that need to be address before i take action in my daily life will trigger a some internal conflict that will short circuit my brain and then, the examination will begin... If I’m lucky the “tools” will stay in the box.

Looking at literature on the web about this topic gives the impression that most affected by BFRB are teens and young adults, males being a minority as well. Anyone else around my age still struggling with this?

4 Answers
June 27, 2020

You're not alone. Almost 55 yr old female. I also suffer from self injury. I haven't cut myself in over a year. Have had lots of work in DBT. Some therapist don't understand why that therapy doesn't work with picking. I've repeatedly tried to explain it's not about burying mental pain and relief as much as it's about body dislike. I hate seeing dirty scabs on me. I hate the way the bumps feel. Since I'm not cutting they really don't pay attention to my picking. Comparatively I think they see my picking as harmless vs. my cutting. I don't hide my arms or legs in shame. I very comfortably wear shorts and tshirts out in public.

October 16, 2020

I’m 66 and have been plagued with hair pulling from beard, and skin picking at eczema patches in my beard. Disgusting but I can’t stop. I have bare spot I try to cover. I feel your pain.

February 26, 2021

I'm with you all! 53 years old and still fingernail obsessed (I used to bite them to the nub which ruined my teeth and made my fingers hurt so badly), but have been clipping them super short for decades and chewing my clippings. Gross. I know.) and I pick my face—and now my head—like I'm still 13.

I look horrible. I feel horrible. I can't stop. I don't want to stop (there's that strange comfort and satisfaction in the repetition and the discovery and "the pick" and the pain). But I'm way too old for this, and so I actually DO want to stop. I just don't know where to begin.... And now, with working from home at a new job that's super easy but stresses me out like crazy nonetheless, I pick freely all. the. time. I was also finally diagnosed with ADHD and I'm sure that, in trying to find the right medication, my picking is exacerbated.

Lost Dragonita
March 16, 2021

Hi everyone... I’m 49 and I can’t believe how utterly powerless I remain— I’ve got little to no ability to stop myself from picking! It’s gotten better as far as my picking locations— I have one eyebrow that I will not leave alone and that’s about it. But I still do it for hours at a time.

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