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surrendertheurge , 30 Jun 2009

Life story of arm & hair biting & picking for 13 years

Its so confusing how I can feel like such a stable person at age 20 and yet continue to BITE and pick my left arm towards my wrist. Please know this this is about to get extremely personal. Third grade was the year when I think this all started; I was going through a lot of trama with my father, who couldn't raise my brother and I because he was never tought by his father. He never physically abused me, but he left a scar on me mentally which then shifted to taking out my anxiety and depression on biting my wirst and arm. Third grade was also the year that I had this strange trembling in my left arm which went away after a few hours, but I felt this overwhelming desire to persist in making my arm tremble, basically faking it for attention or probably the emotional struggle that I was going through with my father. I went to the doctor and got an MRI and nothing was wrong, of course. From what I think now, its pretty clear how I started biting my arm and picking at the bald spots afterwards. I've been to a couple psychologists who tried cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis for many years, but it never seemed to help, because I can't help myself. I was also on a few different SSRI's for close to five years, which didn't help either. These days, I ususally pick when I'm alone and am bored, lonely, depressed, or mainly feeling extremely impulsive. Its this ridiculous and insane process I have to go through everyday, sometimes up to five times a day. I honestly feel sometimes that I'm a total nutcase and wonder if ill ever be able to control my obsessive impulse to effing BITE my arm! What kind of skin picker does that?! I even feel so different from 'normal' skin pickers, because they only use their hands...but biting? :( God, how I've wanted to break free of this uncontrollable desire for so many embaressing and self conscious years. I wish some brillant psychologist/scientist could come along and breech my deepest subconscious brain impluses and flush the tangled mess away with therapy. Maybe some monk or natural doctor could rid me of this despressing and confusing self destruction. Oh, and I also pull out the hair right under my chin and then rub and scratch the bald spot til it leaves a scar. The painful and yet pleasing satisfaction feels like a tiny orgasm everytime I bite out a hair from my arm and then bite and scratch the bald spot leaving a red scar and pull the hair off under my chin. I feel totally insane. Please, someone out there give me guidance and light to break free of the chains that bind my brain!!! -Logan
20 Answers
July 02, 2009
Hi Logan, and welcome. Thank you for sharing your story. You may have different symptoms, but you are not alone or more abnormal. : ) My therapist suggested a book on OCD with a 4-step method I am still trying to abide by. It's called Brain Lock. The author has evidence that doing the 4 steps can actually alter your brain chemistry. Our brains are stuck in a rut and we CAN create new patterns! Hang in there. Let us know how you're doing and take care.
July 04, 2009
hi all, my name is jackie and iam 27, and i have been suffering horribly on and off since i was 17 from dermatellomania/ skin excoriee, i used to be anorexic when i was younger and was diagnosed with bdd, which iam wondering if it all connects which it probaably does, i honestly don't know why i do this, it makes me feel horrible about myself, its a terrible cycle that i have tried breaking many times over, i have tried therapy, pyschotherapy, behavior modification braclet and elastic bands to stop my urges but nothing seems to help me, i also have horrible anxiety, so i notice i pick in high times of stress or whenever i get bored or even when iam happy and completely relaxed. i too wish i could just shut off the brain that makes me do this awful self injurious behavior, i try talking to my parents about it and getting more help, but my mom just wants to sweep it under the carpet, everyone tells me to just stop picking !! , but that never helps. if u dont suffer from this grippling disorder nobody really can understand unless u go through it too ! i so badly pray and everday and want to break free from all the chains that bind me and make me do this to myself and my body, i have scars all over my back and 2 on my scalp. i cant even get my hair done right now because i just picked a mole off my head that was bothering me, i know it sounds awful and disgusting, but something in my brain just tells me to pick/ rip it off, i have sometimes even used lil tools to self injure like lil sewing needles and pins, i feel so wrong and ashamed for doing this. everyone tells me iam gorgeous. but i dont think so and i certinaly dont feel it when i do this to myself. iwish i could make myself stop and have an answer to why i do all this ? please help me iam new to this site and welcome any suggestions of help or even some answers or anything really, i will try anything iam at the end of my rope right now. godbless and thankyou for this wonderful site ! - jackie o'
July 06, 2009

In reply to by jackiegirlie25

I am 24, and I have been picking since highschool. I feel your pain. My family brushes it off as well. There are little things I do to MINIMIZE the amount I pick, but I have never been able to completely stop. Lately I have been trying the acrylic nails, and they have started to help. I find it harder to pick, and much more painful. Whenever I pick I usually stop by washing my face and applying a mask. The mask will help me stop for at least 30 minutes. Get up and do something once you start... I know its hard, but it helps a little. I will also put spot treatment or lotion on top of the sore so that I can't see it for a while, that helps some too. I find that if I focus my energies on reducing the redness and damage I stop picking for a while. Also, during the day, if I wear makeup it sort of acts as a "mental block." If I pick while I have make up on, I will not only ruin the make up, but take off the cover up on the blemishes I picked the night before, and everyone will see my secret. I also cover the sores with band-aids and antibiotic to stop myself, in fact I use them so much I have developed an allergy to the adhesive on the bandages. The antibiotic helps it heal fast too. STAY STRONG...!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I have gotten a little better, the biggest thing is pulling yourself away from the mirror long enough to forget about it. But even that is hard because I usually just run my hands over the spots til I get up again and pick. Go for a walk. I know you can do this, we both can!
July 14, 2009
Hi Logan, I am Katie and I am new here, I am 16 and have been picking for almost 7 years now. While I don't bite, I have the same spot as you that I like to pick at that is on my right arm near the wrist. Not only do I pick at it, but I have made it bald by pulling all the "bad" hairs out there. It makes me feel bad when I feel so satisfied and accomplished after picking out a particularly bad hair there. Sometimes I am so obsessive about pulling the hair out that I pick the skin if it it obstructing the hair from coming out, making sores. The spot at the moment is basically scaly looking and has completely scarred over for the most part, and it's paler than any other part of my arm (and I'm pretty pale) The other things I do is chew on my cuticles and chew on my lips, both until they are sometimes bleeding. I also pick at any bump or blemish, scab, etc. Luckily I have gotten rid of most of my acne, but now I just pick at completely normal bumps on my skin that I perceive as blemishes or acne that is soon to come. I am sure you aren't alone in your biting, so keep your head up! Not many of us know what started this whole process either (like me)
May 27, 2010
Hi, - I finally tried google this my habit of biting my arm and only this site came up, - apperently not many suffer from this tendency. I have been curious for a long time to know if other people had similar habit. My behaviour of biting my arm started when i was 15 years old - i am 37 years old now. I have often wondered why i do this - i know some animals pick their feathers or fur when they feel not good, - however i dont pick my skin or cause harm to myself i just enjoy the touch between my lips, skin and hair and the smell of my own skin when it blends with my spit, - in the proces my hair get bitten off. It makes me feel calm and take my mind away from constructive thought / problem solving. I am currently unemployed and not in a relationship and i have had some projects failing recently which have made this habit more intense, - currently both my arms are almost bald and I wonder how a partner would react when she see my chewed arms. I had succes in forgetting this habit when i was in job some years ago, too occupied, - I believe a happy life with something to do can help, - my habit i think is much affected by living situation,- I dont think we were ment to sit unoccupied or be unhappy and we balance this in many different ways. kind regards Morten
May 27, 2010

In reply to by MortenA

I would tend to agree with you when you say that this is a distraction from how youre feeling: I have too stopped myself mid- OCD and though " what exactly am I feeling right now?" Yes, its usually something uncomfortable, even if its because Im bored! I lost my last relationship due to DTM: I was so ashamed after a frenzied 'self attack' that I didnt let him stay overnight. Of course the attack was a reflection of feeling bad, so I didnt exactly solve it within weeks. The upshot being he decided that my irrational excuses why he needed to go home after a night out/in wore thin after a few weeks, and that was that. Have you tried stopping yourself and asking the same question to yourself? Maybe youll simply find out the exact feelings the compulsion gives you, and then you may understand that IF something is missing and youre replacing it with compulsions, that you are better informed about whats the right thing for you? Worst that happens is you simply stop for two mins, and continue with what you were going to do anyway. Ive had a bad OCD day today, and I must admit, this site has really taken my mind off it, and I feel a little more in control of myself. Hope something in here is of use to you too
September 15, 2010
Logan, I was searching for hair biting and like someone else said, this was the only website that came up. I have had (self diagnosed) trichotillomania since I was about 13. I do not pull out hair from my head or eyelashes like most people, I bite the hair off my arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. I have NEVER met or heard or anyone else doing this. I have 2 cousins with trich but they pull their hair from their head and eyelashes so what I do seems totally wierd. I also pick like you were talking about which creates red scars. I usually pick at a hair that is growing back in and pick it until it surfaces enough for me to bite it out. I would love to talk to you more and ask you some questions and find out if your condition is similar to mine. My personal email is, maybe we can start writing each other? ~ Stefani
November 28, 2010
i am 14 years old and have been picking my hairs out almost everyday since the 3rd grade. it first started as me pulling my eyebrows and eyelashes out with my fingers... Then i discovered tweezers. ive tried to stop by hiding them but then i had a strange impulse to bite the hair of my wrist(especially), arm, and fingers as well. Now i tweezer them still. I've also tried shaving my arms so that i wont have anything to pick, but there is always pricklies. my family thinks i'm weird when i do it, but has never tried to diagnose me with anything. I;ve told them symptoms, and my mothers even a nurse. But i know how it feels to feel physco too. I also think biting is a common thing as well. I still dont know why i do it though. Becasue i've never been under a great deal of stress. I just want to have normal looking arms now becasue i'm sick of having scabs on my arms, and irritations. I guess i do it becasue it feels good when i pull it out, and then i also love seeing it come out of my arm. some hairs i've pulled so much they dont grow back anymore...
January 18, 2011
Hi logan. I need help. I'm 20 and have a really bad habit of biting the hairs out of my hands. Even when I'm trying not to do it, I will somehow end up biting them. If it is an ingrown hair I will rip the skin on top to get to the hair. My fingers are not red or scarred. I get so embarrssed by it that I told my boyfriend about it saying that it was an OCD because he always watched me when I started to bite. Its getting a bit out of hand now and it is frightening me coz even when I'm not meaning to do it, I still am. I can not go 5minutes without doing it. Is it an OCD or just a bad habit? How can I stop? Is the a solution? Please help.
April 05, 2011
Oh i just saw this thread, Im 26 and love biting hairs from my arms wrists and fingers. i have been doing it since i was a kid, i feel happy when i do it. I always wondered if other people did it too. I like biting my boyfriends arms as well. lol ive never been embarrassed or uncomfortable about doing it, although it does look abit weird
June 07, 2011
i do the same sometimes... your post was old, have you had any luck since then?
August 08, 2011
Hi Guys, i'm a 36 year old male from ireland and like yourselves i bite the hair from my hands. never met anyone else that did the same, but now i know i'm not alone in this ocd behaviour. i've always been chewing something though. As a child i bit lego, then during my teens when studying i started to chew tissue paper rolled up. And while studying aged 16 i noticed the hair on my finger that had developed over the years and this bothered me so i pulled it out and was happy to be hairless. but the pulling and pain sensation with the relief that follow felt good so it progressed to my entire hand. i actually stopped for good 2 years ago. had to go completely cold turkey. i was shamed into it when someone commented on it and my wife was giving out to me putting my hand to my mouth alot and it looking weird !. So i just decided to properly stop. But i recently was in a stress situation and started again (so now i know i definately get some confort from it) i know i will have to go cold turkey again to stop. how i did this was to stop looking at my hand and to bite my fingers painfully if i put my hand to my mouth. a type of punishment for bad behaviour. i surpose this is what all addictions are like, be it smoking, drugs ectera. it you take just one fag after giving them up, you'll be on a slippery slope and will have to go through the hard work again of stopping. Anyway, i've accepted this neurotic ocd behaviour. But did this just develop due to the fact that i have a neurotic trait in my personality or was it because i suffered some stress as a child and needed some confort, who knows and does it matter? i have to deal with it now. i just know that i have to try to manage it as best i can - go cold turkey again, learn never avoidance tackets and make a big effort not to do it. and be constantly vigilant on tiggers. i know i can stop, but i know i will probably relapse, and so on. that's just how it is for me. but i do feel this is now a normal behaviour for a segment of the population after reading your post. Anyway good luck to all of you. yours, the46gang
February 11, 2012
Hi im 27 and also bit the hairs from my fingers, trying really hard to stop and its getting so bad that one of my front teeth has started to ware away. I dont realise im doing it untill my teeth start to ache. It use to be only when i was nervous but now its when im bored, reading, watching telly basically all through out the day. Also if i cant get to a hair i bit at the skin till i can get it so my hand look like a 40 year old boxer's with little scars all over. Is there any help for this it seams to small a problem to go the doctor what do you suggest? Thanks
November 19, 2012
hi logan, i suffer a similar problem as you.i started at 13 picking my eyebrows and eyelashes.then it went on to arm and hand hair.i get very embarrassed at times, because i have a nice amount of hair on my arms, but it just stops in the area where i bite it-by my wrist area.i need help to.i thought i was lonely in this war.i can make a sigh of relief that i have mor ppl. in my army fighting this nonsence too.anyone with advice, is asked to please post a comment.thank you
June 26, 2013
i bite the little hairs off the knuckles on my fingers. it makes my teeth hurt and i cant stop and ive been doing it since 2nd grade and im now in 8th grade. it started with picking my eyebrows, but now i dont and i mostly only pick my finger hairs and idk how to stop. it usta be a stress thing and now its a habit
June 22, 2014

In reply to by jayyymeisterrr

I'm 35, been picking arm hairs for as long as I can remember. Wow .. I remember 3rd maybe 4th grade pulling the hairs on my arms out with my teeth. Twisting my skin to get as far up as I could. Now it's a private thing... Mater of fact, I shave my arms, but even shaving my arm hairs excites me. Freakin weird ... Can't explain it. Ps I leave my finger/knuckle hairs for a little treat now and then :D Every once in a while I'll pluck my chest hairs also.. Right in the center. The root/bulb comes out dark and moist. Then I will trim it all down. Party's over lol
October 12, 2014

I bite my wrists compulsively, and sometimes the tops of my fingers. I find this is a result of anxiety or boredom for me as it is a distraction. To stop this, I've been trying to replace it with deep breathing whenever I feel like biting

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